Hello, glad you stopped by.
Taken your car in for repairs lately?
If its still under warranty you probably visited a dealership repair shop where the waiting rooms are really swell, (that is if you are driving a pricey car.) These little intimate rooms offer a selection of gourmet coffee and day-old doughnuts (there are no fresh doughnuts in any dealer’s waiting room, it just doesn’t happen) and a service rep sits down and talks to you about your life and what seems to be troubling your car. They give you a car nicer than yours to drive home, wave goodbye and promise to throw in a wash job when they finish just because they are such nice people.
On the other hand, if your warranty has run out you head for a repair garage where the mechanics wear oil stained coveralls and carry dip sticks in their hip pockets.
No matter what the problem they promise a quick fix -…’this won’t take over 15 minutes if you want to wait.’
Two and a half hours later you’re still sitting on a steel bottom correctional institute chair bolted to the floor and leafing through a 1959 spark plug catalog somebody threw on the floor to soak up an old oil slick.
You automatically get a new battery and shock absorbers if you mention the funny noise the motor is making. And, if you bring the car in to have a wiper blade replaced, you drive off with a new set of tires.
Occasionally some naive woman comes in for a major tune-up and leaves her car along with a check list. She gets a ride home in a tow truck with no passenger seat.
The minute she is out of sight the mechanic uses the list to wipe the oil stick. Then he adjusts the pistons to knock when the car is driven under 25 mph instead of knocking when it hits 40, seals the glove compartment so it won’t keep popping open and adjusts the carburetor so the motor will race and it will take both feet on the brakes to keep it from moving off at a stop light.
And, when she picks up her car and gets the bill, there is an overtime charge.
That’s for the five hours it took to drive across town and back, to pick up a part from a supply house that’s only open at night. Something like a plumber who has to make a second house call after hours, because he didn’t have anything in his truck to unstop a toilet.
Moving on to some notes from my SOCIAL SCENE weekly Sunday column.
Willie Nelson blew into town with his entourage and band to play to a full house at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club.
Gene Rainbolt picked up the tab for the evening, charging each invited guest a $500 contribution for cancer research at OMRF and the OU Cancer Institute. Tight jeans and designer boots led the fashion statement for the evening and 650 guests piled into the club to raise $360,000.
A group of bankers ”Billy Bob Bovine and the Embryo Transfer’, led by Jay Hannah, (don’t ask about the name, I’m sure it has some deep significance,) played boot scootin’ music throughout the evening, even enticing Burns Hargis to pick up a guitar before the Willie Nelson show began.
Beer and barbecue with all the fixin’s was plentiful. Rainbolt who was celebrating his birthday even though it wasn’t his birthday, welcomed by name all the fellow octagons he spotted. Needless to say they didn’t rush up to the podium and take a bow.
Willie Nelson performed for guests seated in the round in the two formal dining rooms. Some of his classic tunes included Whiskey River, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys and On the Road Again. All and all, it was a stellar evening!
The “Roaring Twenties” will be the theme for the 2009 Heritage Hills Historic Home Tour Oct. 24 and 25 from noon to 3 p.m.
Home from the following streets will be on the tour: NW 14th, NW 15th, NW 16th and NW 19th streets. A garden also will be featured on NW 19th and the Overholser Mansion will be included on the tour.
Lunch tickets can be purchased for both days of the tour as well as items featuring the Heritage Hills log. Go on line at www.heritagehills.org for ticket information. Tour chairman is Lee Ward and co-chairman is Anne Boozer.
The Oklahoma county Medical Society Alliance will host its 19th annual Nichols Hills Kitchen Tour Oct. 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Each of the kitchens will feature local guests chefs, cooking demonstrations, luxury table settings and floral designs. Also featured on the tour will be a Coffee Bar, Bake Sale and a question & answer session with kitchen designer Karen Black-Sigler.
Admission tickets are $12 each in advance and $15 each the day of the event. They can be purchased at A Karen Black Company, Jamie’s, Lime Leopard, Mediterranean Imports, New Leaf Florists, On A Whim, Tony Foss Flowers, NuNu’s Mediterranean Cafe and Paper Lion in Edmond.
Proceeds benefit Schools for Healthy Lifestales and Health Alliance for the Uninsured. For more information call 323-1553.
The Oklahoma Heart Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary will host its Second Annual Golf Tourney at Gaillardia Country Club, Oct. 5. The tournament includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, awards reception and a silent auction.
Proceeds will benefit the Oklahoma Heart Hospital patient needs and educational needs and community projects.
For more information call 608-3388.
Fall Fashion Event and Accessory Demonstration, Sept. 29, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Balliet’s at 50 Penn Place. Appetizers, wine, makeup and accessories demonstrations , $35 per person. Sponsored by the Board of the OU Breast Institute; event’s proceeds will benefit the Institute.
25th Anniversary Auction benefit for Free To Live, a non-profit animal sanctuary, Oct. 11, 3 p.m., Clarion Meridian Convention Center. Buffet and cocktails, $30 per person in advance, $40 at the door. For more information call 282-8617.
Orchids in October, a luncheon tibute honoring Michel S. Laird, Oct. 8, Myriad Botancial Gardens Crystal Bridge, noon; $50 per person; 297-3474.
Just as I’m getting the hang of shoving my carryon into the overhead storage and timing it so I’m the first in line to retrieve it, airline regulations change. Now the only thing you can carry on board without a charge is a change of underwear in a ziploc bag.
There are fees for bags, fees to get through the line faster and fees for seats with extra leg room. US Airways even charged for soda and water for a few months until two passengers choked to death on stale peanuts and pretzels because they didn’t have the exact change for a bottle of water.
In order to save money some airlines have gone a step further and are thinking about cutting out some of the extra space in planes. (extra space – it was must be in the cockpit or hidden in First Class.)
Things are so tight when you pull your seat upright, you barely miss resting your chin on the back of the seat in front of you. When you buckle your seat belt you can’t bend over and store anything -much less everything -(including a small child) under your seat. Then, when the plane makes a rough landing, everthing slides to the front and none of it is ever seen again, except possibly by the pilot and co-pilot when it stacks up outside their door.
One air line is now being sued because a stewardess offended a passenger when she told her to put her snack tray up. She was so busy collecting dirty cups she didn’t notice it was the woman’s stomach.
Then there’s the game of who claims the armrest. The trick is to put your elbow on the armrest without touching the other person’s. It can’t be done. You can only hope the passenger will fall asleep and you can knock his arm off without him falling out of his seat.
One of the top priority areas in the plane coming under scrutiny are the bathrooms. ( Surely they jest.) Standing on the lid of the toilet to reach the paper towels is bad enough. Add a little turbulence and you’re knocked through the door into the aisle. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for upsetting the drink carts. Which is a major. Some passengers have nothing else to look forward to except the drink cart. (some people get so excited when they see it inching down the aisle they speak out of turn and ruin the rhythm of the whole thing. This leaves the attendants only three seconds to get everyone served.)
Some passengers extend out into the aisle making it impossible for the drink cart to get by. These oversized travelers have to either climb into the storage bin above or put their legs (or whatever is extending) in the lap of the passenger sitting next to them. And pity the poor person with an overactive bladder. They’re always the ones that choose a window seat so they can climb over everybody. I’ve never seen one sit in an aisle seat. Invariably the drink cart is in the way of these frantic passengers trying to make it to the “unoccupied” sign before it changes to “occupied. ” They stand waiting in the aisle while the attendant serves at least three more rows before they begin stepping over passengers sitting in aisle seats, to get to the magic door.
The question is, how are they going to configure the plane without messing with the First Class section, which everyone knows is sacred space. Few of us really know what goes on in the front of the plane once that blue curtain is pulled. We know the people in those seats are either retired congressman, business executives and their wives on an expense account, vacationing traffic controllers, NFL players or someone on the way to appear on the Oprah show. Passengers in Economy, Super Saver and Frequest Flyer seats fantasize about what goes on once that curtain is snapped shut. They think the flights are shorter, luggage is never lost, the flight attendants are better looking, the bathrooms are large enough to stand upright in when you shut the door and there’s so much extra space a person can recline his seat without embedding the snack table tray into the stomach of the passenger behind him.
What the airlines can’t seem to fix are the arrival and departure schedules. Late arrivals are a given anymore and even if your plane is on time, you’re arrived too late at a terminal on the other side of the airport, to make it to your connecting plane. There are a number of standard excuses for these delayed flights. “We seem to be missing a crew. They arrived late last night and haven’t rested the required time between flights.” (why don’t they just say they’re sitting in the wrong plane somewhere) Then there’s the one that always makes you feel more secure: “We’re missing a part and can’t close the luggage door but we’re checking around to see if we can find one.” (are they going to remove it from another plane and will another plane borrow one of your parts before you can take off?) or the old standby, “We were waiting for late-arriving baggage.” (That one would shame Pinocheo)
And then there is the security issue. Everyone knows the first place a terrorist thinks of to hide his gun is in the sole of his shoe. Removing shoes in a security check in line can be traumatic for some passengers, especially women. For one thing most of them are wearing a pair that are a size too small and once they take those babies off, there’s no getting them back on. I’ve seen people miss their flight because they are sitting there trying to squeeze their feet back into the shoes. I haven’t heard a pilot use that one for an excuse yet. “We’re waitinig on a few passengers who are having trouble squeezing their feet back into their shoes,’ would you please check and be sure you are wearing the shoes you left home with.”
Obviously we put up with and forgive airlines for anything just so we can climb on board and fly again when we need to.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Have you ever seen a hotel courtesy van waiting to pick up a guest at a bus terminal?