Posted by at 12:04 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 242012

Did you ever have one of those oops moments? One of those times when you do something, and the instant you do it, you know that was a big mistake? I’ve had a lot of those in my life, more than I care to mention.

When my son Travis was a baby we bought a waterbed. The day it was delivered and installed I came home from work and my wife at the time asked me if I would change the baby’s diaper while she set the table for dinner. So I laid the little guy in the bed, took the pins out of his diaper (do you remember cloth diapers?), and stuck them down into the mattress, just like I always did. And the second I did my mind said oops! It’s funny the dumb things we do right after we just do something else really dumb. I pulled the pins out real quick, like I hoped the waterbed mattress wouldn’t notice. It noticed. 🙁

A few years ago, back when we had our old MCI bus conversion, I decided to clean the old-style oil bath air filter on the diesel engine. For those unfamiliar with such an animal, the filter was contained in a vertical canister with a reservoir of oil at the bottom, designed to trap particles and drop them down into the oil before they could get to the engine itself and do any damage.

The bus was almost 30 years old at the time, and I doubt anybody had ever cleaned the filter. The inside of the tank had a thick coating of grime, and I used a putty knife to scrape as much of it away as I could. When the job was finally finished the filter and canister was looking really good, but I was looking really bad. I was covered in caked on gunk from head to toe. Knowing that Miss Terry would not appreciate me coming into the bus looking like that, I was trying to figure out a way get cleaned up really quick when I realized that we had a can of spray carburetor cleaner. Hey that stuff cuts right through the grease, I bet it’ll work!

So I liberally sprayed my neck, hands and arms down, and about a nanosecond later the biggest oops of my life escape my lips! That stuff set my skin on fire, from the tips of my fingers to my armpits I felt like I was bathed in napalm. And then it started running downhill to other places, if you get my drift. So there I am, standing in Elkhart Campground doing a striptease and yelling “Help me!” Terry came running outside to see what the commotion was, and grabbed the hose and started washing me down. I’m sure she meant well, but what she actually accomplished was getting the nasty chemical to the places it hadn’t found yet. Yeah, I was screaming like a little girl. A little girl with her little boy parts on fire!

We had an oops yesterday. After chasing down copies of Terry’s marriage license and divorce papers from her first marriage, so she can get her drivers license renewed, we decided to apply for passports. Not because we plan to go anywhere, just because it seems like everybody needs them these days to keep the Homeland Security dweebs happy if we want to do anything from renewing licenses to opening a bank account or ordering a pizza.

We planned to do that yesterday when we went through downtown Phoenix to pick up the new issue of the Gypsy Journal at the FedEx freight dock. So we had a manila envelope with the completed passport applications, the marriage and divorce papers I mentioned above, and our Social Security cards in it. We also have a couple of orders to mail off, in the same sized envelopes, so we pulled up to a mailbox in front of a store on our way, to drop the orders off. Can you see this coming? Just as the envelopes, including the one with all of our personal information, went into the mailbox with everything in it, we both yelled oops! Actually it was more like “Oh sh#&!!!” Talk about making an identity thief’s job easy!

The sticker on the mailbox said that pickup time was 4:45 PM, and it was only a little after noon, so we drove a few blocks to the nearest post office, where I explained our predicament to a supervisor. He said once the envelope got picked up and mixed in with the rest of the mail, it could be a real hassle to try to find it and advised us that our best bet was to be at the mailbox when the postman came by to empty it. He also told me that it was really up to that individual’s discretion whether or not to release it to us.

We were back parked next to that mailbox an hour before pickup time, just in case he came by early and when the mail truck finally pulled up, I explained our mistake to the gentleman. He was very nice and just asked to see our drivers licenses to confirm that the information inside the envelope matched. We were really happy to get that envelope back in our possession! And you can bet we’re in no hurry to have our next “oops” moment. 🙂

Thought For The Day – I’ve decided to start eating healthy and to grow all of my own foods. Does anyone know where I can buy Twinkie seeds?

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  10 Responses to “Oops”

  1. Love having my morning coffee with you Nick. Sometimes I think we just need to be reminded of our humanity. You really do need to leave the repair jobs/mechanical anything to Miss Terri or Greg.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a good blog when someone can admit their “oops” moments!

    We did that post office box thing in December, by accidentally dropping in a birthday card with a gift card inside that just said “Jesse” on the outside. No stamps, no address etc. It happened to be right in front of a post office, so we went inside, fully expecting one of them to come out and unlock the box for us. No way no how… against *policy* and we had to fill out forms, drive to the main branch, turn it all in, and wait three weeks till someone could get back to us. They did, but never found it…. six weeks later someone did. ARGGGHH

    But what I did do, was the very same day, stopped at Kohls, had them cancel the gift card and re-issue a new one. whew!

  3. Nick, where is your brain. Greg and I leave you alone for just a few days and this is what happens.

  4. Nick – I one time did a bunch of arc welding with my shirt off. Oops. When I woke up the next morning I was more sunburned than I have ever been in my life. I also had a similiar experience with a waterbed. Someone put their dart board too close to the bed, and I’m not so good at darts!

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a better day today.

  5. Thanks Nick for my big laugh of the day, we have all been there with the “Opps” thing. Glad they gave you that envelope back some of those guys can get really nasty with their authority.

  6. Next time maybe you should let Miss Terry do the mailing. It would save you a lot of trouble.

  7. Did you know that hot coffee shooting out your nose burns just as much as carburetor cleaner in the boy parts does? I learned that this morning when I read your blog. Give a guy some warning Nick! I have not laughed that hard in a year or more. What a picture!!!! 🙂

  8. MERCY!! Those are some horrible moments!! And you know as we age…heh, such things seem to happen moreso!! SO glad that the nice postman gave you back all those documents!!

  9. Judy,
    It WAS me! I had everything in my lap, we were hurrying out to pick up papers, we had another stop along the way, I jumped out of the car and………………I could not believe my eyes as I watched that brown envelope under all of the white ones disappear into that big blue box! Neither could Nick! My sweet husband is letting you all assume it was his bumbling that got us into this mess, but this time it was me! And he didn’t yell once, after the initial moan, that is! What a man!!

  10. This is one of the funniest posts I have ever read. Nick you are an amazing writer. I’ve been laughing on and off all day since reading it.

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