Riker's Mailbox

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I know I failed to make good my promise to write more soon.

Since I've come out and admitted it, there is no cause to criticize. I will now get out of the way, in synopsized, bulleted fashion, the innumerable (or perhaps five) events of significance that have happened which would, under normal circumstances, deserve their own blog entry, and may still, pending the opportunity, just so I may fast-forward to events so dramatic as to encompass the whole of my attention and concern, events that have not even completely transpired:

  • My flight to California - I vacationed in Huntington Beach during the end of March, visiting such close friends and compatriots as Ray Ward, Joe Farnsworth, Laurali Kinsella, Meg LaRochelle, Julie Wilcox, Chris Savino, and a handful of others. I had the time of my life.
  • My roommate Tom's mugging - Tom was attacked by a handful of kids as he was riding home on a bicycle. They ran off the porch and chased him down, attacking him and taking the ten dollars he had on his person. I hate Brooks Ave.
  • My car woes (and consolations) - Nissan Sentra II's (slight papal allusion there) health took a turn for the worse as my timing chain skipped a few teeth, rendering the car completely useless. I couldn't afford to have a garage fix it, so I'm doing it myself. My housemates are great for accommodating me with my need to be places. As soon as the car is fixed, I'll be selling it, and adopting primary utilization of Honda Accord IV shortly thereafter.
  • My plan to sell my house and move to California - What can I say? It changed my life when I went out there; every possible thing that could have fallen into place to make such a move possible, did so perfectly, to the extent that it would be wasteful not to take the opportunity to the fullest.
  • The massive standoff in my neighborhood, complete with lunatics holed up in a house with shotguns, and thirty-odd cops on the scene throwing around terms like 'kill zone'. I hate Brooks Ave.
Okay, that's the most of the biggest news in the last month and a half... now, as promised, I'm here to give you the late-breaking news today, with events still unfolding... I'm going to do this line by line, for dramatic effect:

My house is mere inches away from exploding.

Not metaphorically, more along the lines of 'gigantic fireball of natural gas-ically'.

Apparently my home has been threatening to blow us all to that great California in the sky for some time now. And the amazing part is...


So Ralph's and my comfortable slumber was interrupted earlier this morning by men in hardhats knocking on my door. Meanwhile, other men in hardhats stood in my yard pointing at my porch. They quite casually informed us of a massive gas leak on my property, and apparently had already called the police locksmithing team to grant access to my basement, since it took us a whole minute to answer the door.

I guess they thought we'd all suffocated in the night? I'm not up to speed on the likelihood of natural gas poisoning... but I digress.

They called off the police, I escorted the men to my basement, covered up all the alcohol-producing apparati and other contraband, and listened as they inspected my gas main with a cartoony-looking sniffer device clad in happy dandelion (or in retrospect, fireball) yellow, that clicked like a team of South-African tribesmen playing soccer with a Geiger counter*. Turns out they need to replace the line in my basement. This also means they need to dig a small cavern in my front yard under my porch. For Christ's sake, they brought their own stalactites. This leads me to believe RG&E plans to recoup the cost of performing this operation by turning the cavern and my basement into a tourist attraction, selling tickets for guided tours underneath my home ("...and over there is where the cat shits..."). Sons of bitches. Oh well, at least I'm not being charged for the repair.

And I forgot to mention the entirely comical part about this whole thing! First off, I don't know how the HELL they knew to come over and check out this leak; I'm not familiar with any random gas-leak teams that just drive around peoples' lawns with their windows down**... something must have tipped them off. I'll not worry about that for much longer, rather, I'll worry about the place they discovered the leak. As I mentioned, the leak originated underneath my front porch... you know, that place where everybody goes outside to smoke and eventually throw their cigarettes into the bushes? Yeah, that's the place where they had to find a fucking gas leak. At this point, I'm supposed to have one of those epiphanies, where I get a new lease on life because by my best estimation, I should have died about twenty times in the last month, and that's not counting any of the stupid shit I do away from home on a daily basis.

To put it succinctly, HOLY FUCKING FUCK!

What's interesting though, is that I have the opportunity to take pictures of the whole operation in progress, which entertains me plenty, and helps me avoid working more on my car, which has become wholly tedious. Meanwhile, I'm upstairs by the porch playing with electronics and testing lady luck like it ain't no thang.

In all honesty though, it could have been much worse... I always envisioned the day when men in hazard suits came to my home as involving them drugging and dragging me into a panel van, instead of them fixing something that broke after 89 years of faithful service.

Maybe while I have them here we can talk about fixing another pipeline with another kind of gas involved - my sewer stack is smelling mighty foul lately.

* - I'm not racially insensitive, nor am I racist or anything remotely similar. The fact of the matter is that I was referencing a recently-discovered comedic performance by one Russel Peters, who spends no small amount of time musing on the intricacies of the African clicking dialect. As my dear friend Andrey puts it, "I didn't know Indians could BE that funny!" See what I'm talking about right here: Russel Peters Stand-Up Comedy

** - It turns out that's EXACTLY what they do. Every two years or so, RG&E goes around house by house checking for gas leaks, and they found ours just in time.


  1. Riker -- glad all seems to be well. When is this move to the west coast going to occur?

    If you need/want/whatever a place to post your pictures, I'm still looking for beta-testers for dpo, and I'd be happy to add an account for ya assuming you'll use it. -rsp

  2. Looking like mid September, right after my friends Phil and Lauren get married... after that, I'm outie.

    regarding pics, I'll gladly test your dpo coolness... we'll chat on that later