Friday, March 14, 2008

Had Me A Week

I’ve had me a week, and the week isn't even over. Awash in the elderly long distance as if I’m an electroweeblemagnet. I was supposed to get a lot accomplished this week. Cleaning for the holy day of obligation on Sunday, submitting a proposal to the children’s ed director for a calligraphy class for kids, working on a notebook for the faculty works in progress art show.

The downhill slide began on Tuesday. Prissy called.

“Are you busy?” which translates to “Can you come for coffee?”

Prissy thinks just because I’m a stay at home mom, I don’t have any “real” work to do. If I tell her I’m working on the class proposal or art work, I’d have to justify what I’m doing. Much easier to lie and if I invoke the name of Himself, I’m golden.

“Himself called from school, I have to send him some computer files.”

Back to work.

The phone rang again. Prissy.

“What’s cumin?”

“An herb.”

“I have a recipe that needs cumin. What can I substitute?”

“Parsley or cilantro.”

“No, I don’t want to use those. Guess I’ll have to go to the store to buy some cumin.”

“You do that.”

Back to work and then time to take a break. When we last left the Weebles last week after the Mahket expedition, I was not in Ma’s good graces because I refused to take her to the post office to mail entries to Auntie Rose. I had meant to call over the weekend, but vaccing up water from the basement, well, it slipped my mind. Freudian, I know. So, I thought I’d call just to see how they were doing and maybe earn some brownie points. Around quarter of 12, I dialed the Weebles. Busy signal. The Weebles don’t have Call Waiting or Caller ID. (They have FIOS even though Dad hardly turns the computer on, but the computer can sit still at lightning speed.) No worries, I’d watch the news while I had lunch and call back.

An hour later, the phone was still busy. Good ol’ Dad. Probably yacking with the church lady about the choir program or calling Sen. Kennedy in his Washington, DC office. He loves being able to call anywhere in the lower 48 for a flat rate. Lord, I hope it’s not Ma talking to Jamaica.

Sorted through more clutter. One more try before I had to pick The Young One up from school. Still busy. I knew someone had just left the phone off the hook, but there was a little prickle of worry. Suppose something happened? Suppose Ma had fallen, and Dad was off walking all over town? Suppose Ma sang the “You’re Stupid” song one too many times, and Dad imitated Lizzie Borden. Stupid Daddy took an axe.... Maybe there were problems on the phone line. Like the cord wrapped around Ma’s neck. I’d try one more time after I got The Young One home from school.

Still busy. I belted off an email to Himself.

Hey Kid,

On the way home, could you stop at the Weebles to see if they left the phone off the hook? Tell them, I’ll put in a service call if necessary



Me too

A couple of hours later.

“I’m home!”

“So I see. Everything ok?”

“Yeah, they left the phone off the hook.”

Deep sigh of relief because I’d feel guilty if I made Himself go over there to find dead bodies even though finding dead bodies is definitely not a Little Princess thing to do.

“Was kind of funny,” he continued. “After I told them about the phone, they didn’t even remember I was there. Just lit into one another. You’re stupid you left the phone off the hook! I wasn’t even home. You’re stupid. No, You’re stupid.” Himself did a perfect imitation of the Weebles. “I finally just left.”

We had a good laugh.

I was on the phone talking with a calligraphy buddy when Call Waiting flashed the Weebles number.

“Lambie, I have to take this. I’ll call you back.”

It was Dad. Telling me how stupid Ma was because she left the phone off the hook.

An hour later, Ma called to tell me how stupid Dad was because he can’t hang the phone up correctly.

Wednesday. I had the early school shuttle and got an early start on my chores. Cleaning the clutter and vaccing the rugs for a change and not water in the basement.

During my midmorning tea break, I noticed a call had come through though a message hadn't been left on the voice mail. The call was from Prissy.

“Did you call?”


“You didn’t leave a message.”

“It’s ok. I couldn’t get the lid off a can with the ring top. I finally used the can opener on it. Are you busy?”

“Yup, Himself called and wants me to send some computer files to him.”

Later that night, Prissy called again.

“Are you going to take my trash?”

A year ago, the town changed the cost of the sticker we had to buy to have the pleasure to haul our trash to the transfer station. (They get indignant if you call it the dump.) The sticker price dropped from $250 or so to a very reasonable $30 for the year. The catch was you had to buy special bags to toss your trash. The trash bags could only be bought at Jack’s station in the center of town. The bags were horrendously expensive. We contracted with a company to haul our trash away.

Since Prissy has a dinky bag of trash per week, and she was all a flutter with the cost of the bags, I told her I would pick her trash up and dump it with ours. She generously kicks in big bucks to the cost of the service.

“Oh, yeah, forgot that tomorrow is trash day. Leave the trash on your front steps, and I’ll have Himself pick it up when he gets home from karate.”

“I can drive over with it.”

Prissy has problems with her knees had one knee replacement done.

“No, just leave it on the front steps.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

We go through this Abbot and Costello routine every blessed week.

“He’ll pick it up!” Third base!

Thursday Night

I was chatting online with a friend. Relaxing after the day and reveling in the fact of no interruptions. The living room had been cleaned, I had prepared handouts for my calligraphy class on Saturday, made a Spring wreath and had cooked supper.

At quarter to nine the phone rang. Prissy.

“Are you in your jimmies?”

“No, what’s wrong?” At quarter to nine she isn’t calling to invite me for coffee.

“I can’t turn my television off.”
I wish I could just pull the plug.

Prissy met me at her front door with a flashlight. She has one lamp in the living room. One lamp with a 40 watt bulb. She was using the flashlight to locate the control panel on the television.

I tried using the remote and nada. I pushed the power button on the television and the tv went pictureless and silent.

“Oh! But how do I change the numbers?”

She meant change the channel. I turned the television back on and showed her the up and down channel button.

“Oh! Why doesn’t the remote work?”

Since none of the buttons illuminated, I suspected the remote needed new batteries.

“What kind of batteries do I need?”

I pried the cover of the remote off.

“Four small ones, Triple A’s.”

“Where do I put them?”

I was so tempted to tell her exactly where she could put her batteries.


Anonymous said...

LOL, CJ! It's never a dull moment at your house. It makes me glad my clients just drool and poop!


Erica Vetsch said...

LOL, you weeble magnet!

Nutterone said...

that's all we can do, right?