Friday, March 04, 2005

The Gates of Hell

Well, we saw "The Gates." And, man, was it ever a day of fun and folly.

The fun was when the power steering "just went" on the Volvo. That was fun. Especially since it happened as soon as we turned onto Manhattan's West Side Highway. Luckily, it was before we saw "The Gates." So, it was about 9:15 a.m. on a Sunday in the city. When car dealerships are closed and mechanics are indisposed. Those aspects really added to the fun.

Why, you say, did you try again to see "The Gates?" Because, I reply, I want my husband to slowly lose his sanity, and making two attempts at seeing this "art installation" seemed the perfect, and quickest, way to pull this off.

Two weeks prior, you may remember, when we tried the first time to see "The Gates," we couldn't get a parking space for love or money. Mike was annoyed at spending an hour-and-a-half trying to find a space that wasn't going to be found, but relieved that he didn't have to admit to anyone, including himself, that he lowered his cultural standards and went to the Christo/Jeanne Claude exhibit.

He was stupified when I told him two weeks later that I was going to take the kids in to the city to see "The Gates." (And doesn't it seem that much more important when I put quote marks around it?) All he could muster up was, "WHY???"

But, rather than see his two deprived children hop on a public transit bus with me, rather than have me do the driving myself so he could stay home and relax in front of the tube, he decided to come with us. And that's why the power steering "just went." To really drive it home with him that seeing "The Gates" was not just stupid, but insane.

We decided to leave early--to get parking this time, as we were going on the last day of the exhibit. We got bagels on the way in. I had coffee in one hand, bagel in the other. And Mike says, "The steering just went." Yet, the car was still moving and he was changing lanes without crashing into the Intrepid. It took a couple more tries before he figured out how to explain that the POWER steering just went.

Now, for those of you who think that if your power steering goes out, it's just like having manual or non-power steering, you're wrong. It's like steering a one-ton boat that's half-submerged in drying cement. Unless the car is moving--then it's only like steering through mud. So. There's a lesson for ya.

After finding out that "Roadside Assistance" would only come tow the car, and not bring power steering fluid, Mike dropped me, Cara and Ryan off at Central Park, and said he'd go home. An hour or so later, he calls my cell to tell me he found a Mobil station on 51st that put in power steering fluid and SECURED THE ROD THAT HOLDS IN THE POWER STEERING FLUID, which was something the "mechanic" forgot to do when we had the car serviced last time.

So, Mike got to "enjoy" the saffron fabric billowing in the breeze after all. It was such fun. Such folly. Thank bloody God it's over.

--Catherine Schetting Salfino