Tuesday, July 29, 2008

a brief update about a very bad uhaul

Currently, all of our stuff (excepting luggage) is in storage by the barn on Erin's parents' land. We've completely checked out of our old apartment. Through a complex series of events, we ended up moving our belongings THREE times on Sunday. It's still a little hazy, but here is what I remember about what happened:

1. We go to pick up our Uhaul. Since it was an "in-town" move from Lawrence to Topeka, they would only rent it to us for three and a half hours. We reserved a specific time to pick it up, but then we waited in line for twenty minutes when we actually tried to pick it up, before we got to the counter. They wouldn't add twenty minutes on to our three and a half hours. In fact, when we suggested that they let us have some more time because we'd been waiting in line, they threatened not to rent us the Uhaul we had reserved and told us: "You need to understand that it's a very busy time. I have someone picking up this Uhual at 4:30. I'm not renting it to you if you aren't going to have it back by 4:30."

2. We rent the Uhaul. Erin, Megan, Elliott and I frantically load up the Uhaul--frantically, but very carefully. Erin jumps in the Uhaul and I jump in my car to follow her to Topeka.

3. It should be noted that at this point in the causal chain of events, the temperature outside was around 100 degrees--probably the hottest part of the day.

4. At the intersection of sixth and Rockledge, right down from our house, the Uhaul died, blocking traffic that was trying to get to I-70.

5. Panic ensues.

6. We call Uhaul. They send someone out in another truck. Strangely, without inspecting our truck, the Uhaul employee backs a second truck up illegally so that it's behind ours (see illustration).

7. Many cars honk. Many cars pass by.

8. The Uhaul employee tells us a) they were never supposed to rent that truck because it doesn't have air-conditioning and it has a broken fuel-pump.

9. The Uhaul employee tells us b) "Don't worry--we won't charge you for turning in the truck late. Now we need to put all of your stuff from the first truck into the second truck."

10. Erin and I move our things--all of them--frantically, for the second time in about an hour. The Uhaul employee "helps" us.

11. It looks like everything won't fit, since we're having to rearrange the order of objects in the truck.

12. The Uhaul employee says "Hey, I can probably get you guys a 'deal' on a smaller trailer, if you want one to put the extra stuff in."

13. With effort, I prevent Erin from punching the Uhaul employee in the face.

14. We leave some unimportant things on our curb.

15. We drive to Topeka. We unload everything we own, moving it for the third time in one day.

16. We return the truck, after-hours, to the Uhaul place.

17. We vacuum our old apartment.

18. We drive back to Topeka.

19. I think about Samuel Beckett.

20. I think this was all a philosophical test to prepare me for traveling in China.

21. I think that I passed the test.

22. I think about Samuel Beckett again.

23. I fall asleep murmuring combinations of the phrases "What are we doing?", "Waiting for Godot..." and "Ah, yes..."

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