Monday, October 16, 2006

Double Wide? Double Fun!

Apologies are offered to those who (a) actually read this and (b) feel a sense of injustice that updates have been infrequent. I offer as compensation two Double Wide Tales for the price of one (or none or thirty-five; whatever).

Starting the Double Widemobile is exhausting …
Another constant of DW’s tenure at his own personal trailer court is his car. A beat up compact with rust holes, smashed up corners, and peculiar inner workings. By the last point I mean his battery. And by that I mean come cooler temperatures he removes it each day and hooks it up when he’s ready to go somewhere. No, really. When he’s ready to drive off for new adventures, he emerges with battery in hand, pops it in under the hood, turns the key, and hopes for the best. The obvious question is why. A couple possibilities leap out. One is that he’s got no alternator and is draining the battery with every drive, so he recharges it in the house. A second scenario is that he’s running something inside off the power of that battery. Either way, he’s marching to the beat of his own skinless drum.

Occasionally, despite popping in that battery, the car won’t start. More often than you’d think (or maybe not given the condition of that shitbox). When that happens—and I’ve seen this many many times—he pops the trunk and pulls out one, sometimes two jerry cans, hoping that there’s gas in there. Usually not, based on his hardy efforts to shake and tip whatever liquids within into the tank. From there, it’s a phonecall to a friend with a vehicle that has both its own battery plus gasoline.

It turned a bit for the cool last week, revealing a new feature of the DWM: a large cloud of exhaust from the tailpipe of El Rumblo. I’ll let the photos tell the tale, but I will add that it’s like Casa Double Wide exists by the moors.

Satlight teleovishun
This one’s from the past weekend. Late in the afternoon, I noticed that DW and his buddies/roommates(?) were outside with a mini-dish on the lawn, with a coaxial cable running thru to the front window. “Ho ho,” I thought, “it’s been awhile, but I think this is going to be a good one.” Indeed. One amateur technician would stay outside, either holding the dish up in the air or flat on the sidewalk, various altering angles and directions. Alas, it appears that no signal was received (a huge shock, I imagine, to those inside). By the evening, it appears that the Great Experiment had concluded in failure. Until the next afternoon. Maybe height is required! Sure, all those other dishes in the neighbourhood are elevated—that must have been the problem. So, they get a ladder and place it up against the house. It should be noted that they placed the ladder up against the house where there are a number of trees. Again, great surprise, it must not have found a signal. Maybe the tree in the front yard! Yeah, let’s try that! Nope, not there either. Sadly, Round Two of the Great Experiment had ended without extra channels.

What to make of this, apart from a profound ignorance of setting up satellite dishes and the importance of an unobstructed path to the sky? Here are a couple theories that a friend and I came up with. (1) They found (or stole) a dish and don’t know that you also need the decoder box to make it work. Sure that sounds bizarre, but past entries to this blog suggest that the Nobel Committee isn’t making an oversight in not considering these guys for award. (2) They do have a decoder box, but it has an illegal card in it. That has a certain logic to it because it explains why they don’t just get a proper installation done by the satellite signal provider. (3) There might be a third possibility that is even more absurd and unworkable that I haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

A bit of a sidenote. Since he’s taken on some roommates, there now appears to be an official Double Wide uniform for residents. When the residents wear their white caps—and that’s frequent from what I’ve noticed—it’s always got to be backwards. The three of them will head out, all wearing the same white ball cap backwards, ready to impress the world. It’s all the more noticeable because Double Wide himself will occasionally wear a blue ball cap—but that’s worn forwards. Always forwards. White=backwards, blue=forwards. Fashionability!

(Photo credit: Tipsy McStagger)