Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

I can't see but I can smell

Wick's World


As the blades in the heater fan ground to a halt, my olfactory senses kicked in. I remembered the smell from a former time in a different Toyota. It also happened in the autumn of the year — a time when critters are seeking shelter from the upcoming winter.

In a matter of moments, the defroster stopped blowing. I remembered the routine. The entire dashboard would have to be dismantled to remove the pureed mouse’s blood and guts from my heater assembly. I knew the nest would also contain the usual twigs, leaves, string and small pieces of cotton.

I called my Toyota dealer and asked for the service desk.

“I just chopped up a mouse in my defroster. How soon can you fix it?” I queried.

“Oh boy,” I heard the mechanic moan as if he knew how displeasing this task would be. It obviously wasn’t his first mouse.

“I can’t get to it until Monday morning. Bring it in at 10 o’clock,” he unenthusiastically stated.

That meant I had no choice but to drive the stinking car for a 250-mile round trip to Moose Lake with the window rolled down and possibly my head hanging outside. If you have ever had the opportunity to smell a chopped up decaying mouse, you know exactly what I am talking about. The odor is distinct and very strong. It is remarkable and unmistakable.

But first I had another important task to deal with. I needed to get over to the eye clinic and have my lenses put in a new frame. As if my day wasn’t complicated enough, my time at the clinic went from bad to worse.

After patiently waiting for the receptionist to get off the telephone, I was finally guided to “Go sit over there. Someone will be right with you.”

Someone was not right with me. After a 10-minute wait, I finally returned to the front desk and asked a different receptionist if I could get some help.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you sitting there. Someone will be right there.”

Someone was not right there. I finally got some help, but not much. After looking at the two pieces of my glasses, I was informed new frames would need to be ordered. I protested that I had just called over that very morning and was assured my particular kind of frame was in stock. I was told I didn’t need an appointment and the glasses could be repaired in a matter of minutes.

“Well, I didn’t see those frames on our wall. Did the person have them in her hand?” I was asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “My smart phone couldn’t see in your office.”

After looking on her computer, the eyeglass helper, or whatever her title was, stated the inventory did indeed show one set of frames in stock. So she went back to the wall and returned with the frames and said, “Someone will be right there to help you with these.”

Someone was not right there. I waited for another 10 minutes until a technician returned with my lenses that were properly fitted into the new frames and handed them to the guy sitting behind me.

“Hey, those are my glasses!” I hollered.

With no apology or acknowledgment whatsoever, I was ordered to put them on my face. However, they did not properly fit. I could tell I only needed a slight adjustment but before I could protest, the technician was out of her chair and on the way to another customer.

“Someone will be right there,” she turned and said.

Someone was not right there.

Finally the original person who had waited on me that morning came over and said she would help me with the adjustment. I put the glasses on my face and nodded my head back and forth to see if the glasses were loose or not.

“I can’t help you if you don’t hold your head still,” she stated.

I exploded! I took the Lord’s name in vain. Then I said loud enough to turn every head in the place, “I will move my head when I want to move my head! I have been here 55 minutes and we will finish this now!”

Her tone changed immediately and I suddenly became the most important person in the room.

“Wait a minute,” Miss Congeniality said. “I am getting you a gift for waiting so long.”

She returned with a handful of eyeglass cleaners. It must be my lucky day.


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