Don's phone stops working
Friday, February 19 2021
My brother Don called us today from a borrowed phone in Staunton (Virginia) to report that his cellphone no longer worked. Gretchen got the call, not me, and the diagnosis Don made was almost certainly wrong, but it left Gretchen suspecting the problem was with billing, not the technology itself. So she called GreatCall (his cellular service provider) and everything seemed okay with respect to billing. So maybe he'd been charging it by plugging it into a disconnected powerstrip. We had no way of knowing, and I received all the debugging skills talents in the spectrum of possibilities of our combined genomes, while he'd received none of them. Gretchen decided to call the number Don had called us from to see if he was still reachable. The woman who picked up had the correct-sounding working-class Shenandoah Valley accent, but she didn't know about any Don Mueller. It turned out that the number he'd called us from was the Staunton's Dollar Tree. The woman paged Don on the PA system, but he was evidently already gone.
So then Gretchen tried calling Joy Tarder, the good samaritan who got a plumber to fix the plumbing at Creekside and who has been bringing over food and even working equipment like microwave ovens. (Due to Don's garbled pronunciation, we weren't sure of how Joy's last name was spelled, but we'd nonetheless managed to get her number from Piper over at the art center in Waynesboro.) We managed to get through to Joy, and things were awkward at first, perhaps because she assumed we were being neglectful of Hoagie and Don, and the only thing she knew for sure specifically about me was that I'd made Don's satirical Facebook account (the one featuring dinosaurs and dictators in equal amounts). But bathed in Gretchen's warm banter, she became more comfortable. As for what was motivating Joy to look after my Hoagie and Don, from what she said it seemed she had reverence for Hoagie, as though she was some sort of celebrity. But there might've also been a religious motivation as well, judging by what she said about the plumber she had fix Creekside plumbing: he's "a good Christian man." (An expression whose musty well-meaning bigotry seemed to startle Gretchen.) Regarding Don's phone, Joy said she'd be going out to Staunton tomorrow and could drop by to investigate further (Don has said that Joy has rental properties and is "handy" at doing things like, for example, getting into locked rooms whose keys have been lost by a senile old woman.) Joy then told us about Don's various unrealistic aspirations, such as to be a teacher's aid in a math classroom or to one day get married. Joy said she's been trying to teach Don basic hygiene, and using these aspirations as motivation. That's definitely the lord's work right there, and God's speed to that!
Snow fell throughout the day, though it didn't accumulate more than three or four inches. Nevertheless, I shoveled the snow on two occasions today, with the first shoveling being enough for Gretchen to drive into Kingston to refill her ambien prescription (the one I occasionally poach).
This evening Gretchen made a dinner of linguine with tahini sauce, chick peas, and broccoli. It was supposed to be vaguely Middle Eastern, but to me it seemed more French than anything else. Afterwards, she, Powerful, and I all played Bananagrams. We played three games, and each of us won once.
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