A couple of years ago, I bought a great little printer, HP F4440. After using up the ink supplied with the printer, I bought re-cycled cartridges from eBay. Worked great for a very small amount of money, compared to the new HP cartridges.
But THEN!~ I upgraded to Windows 10. And had to get new printer drivers. Which wouldn't be a problem, except that the new printer software INSISTS on genuine HP ink. It wouldn't print for me.
No REAL problem; I rarely print anything anyway, other than my tax forms. And since I usually don't file my taxes until they put a lien on my bank account, that really isn't an every year thing. Maybe every five years. (I'm not a tax rebel, I have ADD.)
But last night a friend asked me to arrange and print some song lyrics for a performance he is going to lead, so I knew I would need to get some genuine HP ink today. I agreed to print out what he needed, then meet him at his house for lunch and proof reading by 12:30.
No problem. I had to go out anyway.
See, about two weeks ago, I went to the stomach doctor, and complained about stomach pain and heartburn. He put me on an antibiotic, and told me after I had finished it (only five days) I would need to submit some stool specimens. The antibiotic tore my stomach to pieces, and killed everything that was alive in there, and after I stopped crying like a scared little girl (which took a week or so), I went by the lab to pick up the stool sample kit.
Found out he ordered FIVE tests, which called for EIGHT tubes. They gave me the tubes and plastic bags and this little plastic hat. Poop in the hat, scoop out the poop, put it in the tube. Seal the tube. Put the tubes in the plastic bags. Seal the plastic bags. Return everything but the plastic hat to the lab.
It is a demoralizing process to take your own stool samples. How much is going to be enough? I've got eight tubes....
And what if the plastic hat slips?
No easy way to do this.
At least the cat didn't try to come in while I was sitting on the bathroom floor. She already thinks I'm strange because I empty her cat box. If she saw me scooping up my own poo with a little plastic spoon and sticking it into a tube, she'd call the cops. "Arrest this man! He's playing with his poo!"
So, I had to go out today, to take the poo samples back to the lab. Therefore it was no problem to make a SECOND stop and buy ink.
And my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA is serving on a women's retreat this weekend, and she left this morning, so I decided that was a good time to make my poo and ink run.
Now, I'm fat and crippled, and I have a bag of poo, so I decided to take the motorcycle. Just something about the rebellion associated with being a biker; I needed that additional personality reinforcement to make up for carrying a poo-bag.
Except I couldn't get the bike started. I hadn't ridden in weeks.
So I fooled around with the carbs, and put the battery on the charger, and by carefully handling my tools, I was able to make the bike fall over. So that was good. It's not a little bike; it's a 1985 Honda V65 Sabre, and it weighs around 500 pounds or a ton or something. Anyway, I can't pick it up by myself.
So I left it, and took the truck. I figured that way I would have enough time to drop off the poo, buy the ink, get back home, and print off the songs in time to make it to my friend's house by 12:30. If I tried to pick up the bike and get it running, no way.
So, in plenty of time, I pull up to the lab, and walk in with my bag of poo. "I need to drop off these stool samples," I tell the receptionist.
"Okay, go ahead and sign in, and I'll have someone see you in case you need blood drawn."
"No, I don't need any blood drawn, I just need to drop off these stool samples."
"Well, you may need to have some blood drawn, so just have a seat, and I'll have the technician look at your paperwork." And she makes me sit down in this crowded office. And I was holding a bag of poo. And everybody in the office KNEW I had a bag of poo, because you could hear everything that went on. I knew this was the case, when I heard the receptionist tell a technician that there was a Mr. Patterson who was sure he didn't need blood drawn, but that there were other people ahead of him.
So, I sat in the office holding my bag of poo while millions of people who needed blood drawn went ahead.
Now, there is NO WAY that there was any odor coming from the bag: the poo was inside a sealed tube, inside a plastic bag, inside another plastic bag, inside a big honken plastic bag that said "CAUTION! POO!!" No, it didn't say that, it said SPECIMEN or SAMPLE or something. But the point is, no way was there any odor. But that didn't stop me from smelling poo, and imagining everyone else in the waiting room smelled poo, as they looked at the fat crippled biker sitting on the edge of his chair. Took about a week subjective, maybe fifteen minutes Earth time, before the tech called me back.
She wanted me to sign in again, so I did.
Then she finally accepted the bag of poo. And she wanted the paperwork (which would undoubtedly show that she would get to draw blood from my grumpy hairy arm. I pointed out to her that the paperwork was in a special side pocket of the poo bag. She took it out, and then said she needed my insurance card. There's a copy of it in the papers in the poo bag, I replied.
No, there isn't (you dumb butthead), she retorted.
So, I reached through the window, rearranged the papers for her, and showed her the copy of my insurance card.
And they then grudgingly let me leave without taking blood. I decided on my own that I would perhaps LATER have a nice day, but that her parting words would not influence me in any way.
And then I walked through the crowded waiting room, all eyes on me, as I reeked of poo and had big green horseflies buzzing around my head.
Ten minutes later, I'm at BJ's Warehouse to buy ink for my HP printer. I need one black cartridge and one color cartridge. Cost: $90.
That bothered me.
I strolled down the aisle, until my eyes discovered a Canon Pixma MG6620 printer (Wireless-print-copy-scan-cloud link) on sale: was $150, now $60, new in box. Did it have starter ink cartridges? Box doesn't say, so I go off to Customer Service. Yes, after talking to someone on the radio, they let me open the box, and the nice lady helps me discover: TA DA!!! INK!
So, I'm still okay on time, and will make it home, install the new printer, properly format the song sheet, and get it to my friend for 12:30 lunch.
That's before I discovered a cement truck had dumped its' load on Highway 92, reducing lunch hour traffic to one lane.
I make it home at 12:30, scramble inside, unbox the printer and start the setup. My friend calls at 12:45. I decide to psych him.
Hey, Tony, where are you?
Silence. A moment of profound, deep silence. Then:
Umm, I'm at my house, where you are supposed to be.
Yeah, I knew that, I was just messing with you. I had to buy a new printer. Why don't you come over here?
So, by the time Tony arrives, I've got the printer installed on my wireless network, and the song sheet formatted, and he loves it. He makes a couple of changes, and I print off the pristine original in clear, crisp, 18 point type, and even have a folder to keep it from getting messed up.
And before he leaves, he helps me pick up my motorcycle.
See? If you have FRIENDS, life just is a whole lot better. Cats are okay, but they won't help you pick up a motorcycle.
On the other hand, I don't know how comfortable it would be if Tony sat in my lap. So there's that.
I hope this doesn't have any typos, because I'm just going to publish it without proof-reading. Bad habit, I know, but it's 9 PM, I haven't eaten anything, and I'm tired.