Dayenu! Or, guardian angels in overdrive. Or, an update by way of an email exchange

Date: May 16, 2016 | 3:33 pm
To: Me
From: Doctor G*

Been a while :). How was the desert? Got photos?

Date: May 17, 2016 | 11:03 am
To: Doctor G
From: Me

We managed to get as far as Baker. See, earlier in the week we decided to get the RV’s oil changed. R’s parents said it would be a good idea since they put 3k miles on it just getting it to us. They said to call a Dodge dealer. Dodge guy all said that our particular RV is only a Dodge on the outside; the engine is a Mercedes, so we had to take it to a Mercedes shop. We called some Mercedes shops. Mercedes guys all said they weren’t equipped to handle an oil change on an RV.

So we ended up going to one of those quick oil change places…and they put too much oil in. The warning light came on while we are driving to the Mohave. We start calling around to all the oil change places, even RV dealerships and Sears, but it’s 4 pm on a Sunday and none of them are open.

Last ditch effort we go to Wal-Mart in Baker. Success! They take out about a half liter of oil (at no charge) so we can be on our way again. Only it’s another three hours to the desert, and it’s now nearly 7pm…and I’ve been fighting a cold. So we decided to sleep overnight in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I wake up at about 2 am and I’m not so much fighting the cold as I am whimpering helplessly in its maw. My ribs hurt from coughing. My throat is on fire from the post-nasal drip, and every move I make makes my head want to explode from the deep sinus pressure. I am a mess. R drove me back to my parents’ to convalesce.

Date: May 17, 2016 | 12:54 pm
To: Me
From: Doctor G

This…is amazing. There’s so much pathos here that playwrights around the world are up and quitting.

It’s not so much a comedy of errors as your guardian angels in overdrive. Do you remember singing that silly song about what would have become of the Hebrew people if God hadn’t done X or hadn’t done Y? If he HADN’T taken us out of Egypt…*Dayenu* (but he did!)…if he HADN’T smote the Egyptians, who chased us, with a big-ass wave…*Dayenu*…if he hadn’t led us through the desert… *kind of a bummer, but we survived it, Dayenu!*… If you hadn’t heard that terrible noise and checked your hitch…DAYENU! If you hadn’t learned all about fork braces for bikes…Dayenu! If you had learned all about fork braces, but hadn’t taken that ride down the mountain to learn how to appreciate the bikes themselves…Dayenu!

…And now, if not for some jackasses at a quick-change oil place (I hate those places) you would have gotten sick in the desert, which would have sucked worse. Dayenu! Your guardian angels have one powerful and twisted, if highly functional, sense of duty.

My friends are witty and kind, and I am going back to bed now.

*Doctor G was my roommate in college. She is currently the medical officer in a six-person crew on a year long simulated Mars mission for NASA. We communicate via emails that are on a 20-minute delay to simulate the light-time distance to and from Mars. You can learn about what they are doing here. She is also a fantastic writer and blogs at the Huffington Post. Also, there are some pretty great History Now episodes following the mission (that’s Doctor G herself in the spacesuit on the History Channel’s landing page).


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