Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Only the Good Die Young

I've had me a day. Cut off twice, passed on the left in a no passing zone and all before 7:30 AM. I tried to tell myself this wouldn't set the tone for the day. After all, I was expecting delivery of my new photo printer.

I worked on a dreamcatcher for Red's Christmas gift. The smell of the leather and the tacky feel of the sinew were soothing as I wound and knotted my way around the ring.

Staples arrived with the printer, drum cartridge and paper. The driver stacked them neatly in the livingroom. Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance. Yes, the day had a rough start, but in spite of the cold, grey, drizzle, things were decidely looking up. While the printer and drum acclimated to room temperature, I worked on the dream catcher, went to pick up Number 2 Daughter, and then sipped hot chocolate while chatting on the phone with my calligraphy buddy.

Call waiting is not really a good thing. Ordinarily, I ignore the beep if I'm on the phone, but I thought perhaps, this was Himself saying he would be getting out of school early and would be able to pick up Number One Daughter. I should have ignored it. It was my weeble widow neighbor across the street. She's screaming hysterically that she has an emergency, and she hangs up. I grab my jacket, dash across the street to find her Prissy-dancing in the kitchen with her hands flapping like loose birds. "Oh, I don't know what I'm gonna do. Oh, I don't know what's wrong."

Her oven is beeping incessantly, combined with Prissy's high pitched squeals, the muscles in the back of my neck to begin tighten. It seems the workman and his son had come to repair the furnce. Sonny thought he would be helpful and set the oven clock to the correct time zone.

The oven is modeled after one of the consoles NASA uses in Flight Control to launch the shuttles. There are no familar knobs, just digital displays, touch pads, up down arrows. The oven was wailing, and a red door lock light was flashing. I pushed the Clear pad. The red light went out, the wailing stopped, but only for a second. F9 gleamed brightly at me in the display window. I took umbrage at the audacity of the oven to speak in tongues.

I asked Prissy if she had the manual that came with the oven. Fortunately, Weebles never throw anything away. She handed me the manual and while the display light kept mocking me, I tried to skim the trouble shooting section. I'm also wondering why Prissy fields her monkeys to me instead of her daughter. I'm cursing the daughter for picking out a Star Wars model oven for a mother who still thinks Flash Gordon is state of the art. Finding nothing helpful, I handed the book to Prissy and told her to call the 800 number on the back.

"Oh, oh, p-please," she snuffled as she dabbed a wadded kleenex under her nose. "Would you call for me? I don't know what to do."

Okay, I'm...irritated (second choice word). I'm not only irritated with Prissy, but with myself for enabling her dependency and placing the call. You women out there, listen up! You don't need another person (DH, Significant Other) to make phone calls for you. You call the number, listen to the long menu, make a selection and wait in the queue. It is not brain surgery. If you have a problem with a piece of equipment, you call the manufacturer. Simple.

While waiting in queue hell listening to a cheery voice tell me how important my call was, I watched the clock tick closer to the time I had to pick up Number One Daughter from work. Letitia finally answered and walked me through steps to clear the oven memory. This involved cutting power to the oven. Fortunately, the service box was at the top of the cellar stairs behind the oven, clearly marked, and praise the Lord, she had circuit breakers! We basically rebooted the oven, twice, but it didn't work. I suspect Sonny in his infinite, good-hearted, stupidity had programmed the oven into the cleaning cycle. Prissy must have yanked the door open when the lock light came on. Letitia was telling me that contrary to what I thought F9 meant, it meant the fuse to the door was blown and would require a repair man. She kindly gave me the names of 3 companies in the area that serviced the make and model.

I explained to Prissy she would have to give them a call. After all, it was just past 5pm someone might still be in the office.

"W-would they come today?" Another piece of wadded kleenex appeared.

My very first instinct was to say, "What are you," I didn't finish the thought, and I bit my tongue, looked to the Heavens and tried not to let impolite words bubble through my lips. "No, they won't come tonight." You'll be lucky if you see someone by the second Tuesday of next week, I finished to myself.

She pulled an envelope with the name of the contractor who installed the oven and handed it to me. Yes, I fell again, and I placed the call. Jim was sympathetic, only installed the ovens didn't repair them. He said to call the place where she purchased the oven, as it was only a year or so ago, the oven was probably under warranty.

I asked Prissy where she bought the oven. "On Southbridge St." This was not very helpful. She sank into a chair. This wasn't helpful either. I shuffled through a file folder of oven memorabillia, and found the receipt. Thank God weebles don't throw anything away. I told her to call them, and dashed out the door without looking back.

Somehow, I've become a Weeble magnet. A comforting thought crossed my mind. I'm not going to die. Ever. Well, at least not for a very, very long time. Too many people depend on me. Besides, only the good die young and that leaves me out.


Erica Vetsch said...

you SLAY me!

nutter said...

Isn't it awesome that YOU have the ability to deal with these things...

On the other hand...

< You women out there, listen up! You don't need another person (DH, Significant Other) to make phone calls for you. >

This from the princess who doesn't clean her own bathroom????

CJ said...

There's a difference here. I KNOW how to clean a bathroom. I have, in fact, cleaned the bathroom, a time or two. It's merely a division of labor and not my monkey. (-;

Argumentative me! said...

Well, I'm sure the weeble knows how to make a call and has done it... grin


Everyone is enabled in some way!


Donna Alice said...

I always ask someone else to call too---and it's not that I don't know HOW...I'm just intimidated by those people in phone land. Either that or it's all those hours with Dell people, praying for one who speaks English.

This is so funny my stomach hurts from laughing! Why you aren't selling this stuff is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Donna! CJ should have a stand up routine! LOL

I sympathize with you too, CJ, because I am the designated phone caller in the family. Try to make a call when Hoss in the next room biting someone and two little ones need help, (just at the time you finally get the right department), in the bathroom and are fighting over the throne! Always fun!