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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Opinion
Letters From North America
by Peary Perry


Air Fresheners:
Use at Your Own Risk
Peary Perry

Youíd think by the time I got to my age IĎd have picked up a certain amount of common sense about some things. I suppose itís just too much to ask. I am constantly amazed at some of the dumb things I do. Iíve talked to other men and find I am not alone in this manner. It seems that most men, or at least American men, do things and then read the directions. I bet most of you out there have assembled something and then found several pieces left over. You were then faced with two options, starting over or throwing them away since you figured they werenít needed in the first place. Most of us just chunked them and made the decision that we could live with what had been created, even if it was less than perfect. Itís only later that we find that the missing parts were necessary for some seldom used, but desirable function, but by the time we found we couldnít make the thing work due to our assembly error, we also discovered that we had misplaced the parts along with the instruction manual, so weíre forced to accept this as a form of karma or fate. Of course this results in some creative thinking to make up for our initial stupidity.

ďYou could use the blender for that, but since I lost the top to it, just stick a bunch of paper towels over it and have at it, it should be ok.Ē Or how aboutÖĒ I took the discharge thingy off of the lawn mower and donít remember what I did with it, so be careful and donít stick your feet close to it when you get it started.Ē Events such as these are the nuts and bolts of emergency rooms throughout the country. I canít begin to tell you how many times I have come close to losing several of my vital body parts by doing dumb things with the garbage disposal. Gun control is one thing; disposal control to me is much more dangerous. Legislation is definitely needed in this area.

Donít get me started on medication. Iíve always believed if they say take one, then taking two will just speed up the process and make you get well that much faster. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. My brain cannot process small pills. For medicine to be effective, I need large, giant pills. When I see a small tablet the size of a pencil point, I just say to myselfÖĒThat canít be too potent, look how small it isÖ.Ē Needless to say this is one of my dumber moves and not one I repeat very often since it tends to make you either crazy, sicker than you were a potential candidate for emergency room treatment or all of the above.


Now this past week I racked up another one for the family history book. I suppose my kids and grandkids will have enough to laugh about for generations to come after Iím long gone.

In my garage at home sits an old blue pickup truck which I use for hauling stuff like trees, bushes and various things from the hardware store. This truck has a leaking gas tank. Now, since I donít use it very often, it isnít high on my list of things to fix. I took it out the other day and filled it up, forgetting that the tank was still leaking. So what happens, the stuff leaks out all over the garage floor. Now this is bad enough, but the real problem is the fumes. These seem to accumulate in the car I drive each day. By the time I get to work, Iím about half goofy from breathing gasoline fumes all the way to the office. Iím also getting a headache and start taking sinus medication thinking itís the stuff in the trees again.

My son, who has a college degree and is much smarter than me gets in my car the other day to go to lunch and nearly passes out from the gas fumes. He insists I pull the truck out of the garage, which I do. He insists I clean up the gasoline on the floor, which I do.

He suggests that I might want to get some air freshener to spray inside of the car to make the smell go away.

Now, this is where my brain goes haywire. I proceed to drive to the local car wash where I know they have a varied assortment of air fresheners.

But, do I do what a sane person should do and buy just one and use it?

No, not on your life. I buy four. The clerk should have stopped me. Iím out of control.

Then I spray all of them inside the car, thinking they canít all be very powerful, can they?

Now, I have a car that has a gasoline, vanilla, citrus, strawberry, watermelon smell to it. Itís very hard to describe. Youíd have to sit in it to believe it. My throat has seized up and my nose has closed for the season. Iím glad I donít have to sell this car anytime soon; I bet Iíd have to pay someone to take it off of my hands. More lessons to learn.

You wonít have any trouble recognizing me; Iím the doofus riding around in the rain with his windows down. I probably need to take four or five aspirinsÖ.

© Peary Perry

Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

July 7 , 2004
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