Random advice from the trenches

I just finished Kazantzakis's marvelous Last Temptation of Christ, and boy are my arms tired. The House of the Seven Gables is a wonderful mystery, as is the apparent scarcity of editors in the 19th century. A hundred pages into Bleak House finds me hoping all the lawyers on this blog have read it or plan to, as it involves a legal case so hopelessly complicated and wretched with "bedevilment" that nobody knows what it involves anymore, except fees.

But a dog may well show up on the porch with his front paw somehow thrust up through his collar, his wrist hanging comically over that collar, looking for all the world like Paul Lynde dropping a bon mot, except with a more humiliated, impatient expression. A year and a month into a microwave's one-year warranty, it's time for its light to stop working, and no it's not the bulb, and it may take three visits by a man who literally cannot speak, except to sort of snuffle through his nose and beard, to fix it, after having ordered the wrong part, and when he comes back he may well have forgotten his laptop's cord again, and be unable to look up the right part, again.

When my wife sneezes once, we say she's had a cold and understand that very soon I will be off on a four-day TheraFlu/NyQuil Magic Carpet Ride, in the middle of which will be the suddenly remembered Provincetown application deadline, precipitating hilarity. It's a good idea to proofread such materials before cheerfully dropping them in a mailbox, and not after you come home and collapse on the bed. When you turn a built-on afterthought of a kitchen pantry into a new bathroom, make sure the workers remember to create a barrier between its floor and the -1 degree outside air, or your feet and the waterlines are likely to freeze. Snow on the deck makes that deck part of the yard/toilet system, according to dogs, and a Robomaid skittering about the floors is just as fiendishly interesting and objectionable as a squirrel.

It's pretty bad, I guess, when the mailman leaves a note asking you to shovel the path to your mailbox. Also it seems that furnace filters need to be changed more than once every six months. It would have been a good idea for the previous owners of a house to have placed the thermostat in a different room from the fireplace -- that way the fireplace would be a useful appliance, rather than a method of freezing every other room. There are better ways to wake up at 5:52 than to the sound of a dog vomiting, and better things, surely, for dogs to have in their stomachs than sketchy green foam.

Don't laugh "that" hard when your Methodist grandmother tells you she just bought a new car, a bright red Catholic. When painting a wall, try to remember to keep the freshly filled roller tray, which you have for some reason decided to hold in your other hand, level while you're bitching to your wife about something, especially if you don't bother to cover the new tile floor with a tarp first. And don't place a Styrofoam take-out box, heavy with Hamburg Inn #2 mashed potatoes and gravy, on the passenger-side dashboard right before your wife takes off down a pothole-strewn alley, unless you need a way to get dogs to lick your pants, and try to remember to wear different pants the next day, or your dog's resumed licking will make it your turn to wear the humiliated, impatient expression. Finally, check the labels before putting your wife's sweaters in the dryer, except when you are trying to make doll clothes.

Update: Before blogging on Trash Day morning, remember to take out the trash.


Trevor Jackson said...

I feel your pain, as they say. I've become convinced of a malicious ghost in most of the machines in my life.

Though if these are all relatively recent occurrences, you've got me beat. And then some. Man, mashed potatoes WITH gravy? Tragic.

Grendel said...

The past week for most of it, Mr. Jackson. Two weeks for all.

TLB said...

Oh, dear. Hope things are going better for you today, Grendel.

(I have forgotten the trash more times than I can count.)

Brando said...

Grendel, old chap, you really need to stop toweling yourself off with black cats.

SER said...

Grendel, I hope you're feeling better because your presence is decreed at our party this weekend. Take note! Take drugs!

Grendel said...

Barring unforeseen circumstances -- and really, what could happen? -- we'll be there.

SER said...

Ah, I do so enjoy reading Famous Last Words like that. I eagerly await Monday's report on what unforeseen obstacles arose.