Subject: Manse Diaries: Bliss Turd

Date: 11 Feb 1999 00:00:00 GMT

From: nospamum@radix.net (Mumthra)

Organization: RadixNet Internet Services

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free

 

[Monday]

 

I woke up really happy this morning and actually thought it over before I could talk myself out of it. It's not typical. I usually wake up with one thought: NOT AGAIN.

 

My problem is the EXCELLENT MATTRESS that we now have. When we had our nasty old lumpy bowl of a mattress, I never hesitated to get out of it. Now getting out of bed is the greatest hurdle of the day, and there is a certain amount of suspense as to whether or not I will get out before I run out of time to meet the morning deadlines, like the Pouring of the Cereal and the Finding of the Socks.

 

The device that most often rousts me is a battery-powered, purple Barney The Dinosaur Clock. I refuse to be ashamed of it. Wallace and Grommit weren't nearly loud and jarring enough to have any waking effect, so Barney won fair and square. Wallace muttered about "time for walkies" in such a way that he didn't even wake the DOG, but Barney makes a big NEE-NEE-NI-NEE noise that disturbs almost everyone.

 

When he beeps, I don't just abuse the snooze button, nono. Barney doesn't have one. He isn't next to my side of the bed, either. I have had to gradually move him to the farthest part of the room so that I cannot slam Barney into the carpet without waking up and traveling a few feet.

 

This distance alarm method has evolved into complex, semi-conscious training. When Barney beeps, I jump out of bed, slap his off-switch, carry him into the bathroom (where there is better light) and reset him for twenty minutes later, put him back on the shelf and fling myself back under the covers. I can do this indefinitely while actually going deeply back to sleep between drills.

 

No matter how much I complicate the Barney placement, I haven't found a permutation that requires full consciousness to disable him. The next stage may involve a step ladder and a gun, and it may finally cause the Rev to complain.

 

A good bed is such a burden.

 

As to my happy wakey thoughts: I was thinking about how fortunate I am, and how unfortunate it is that I tend to be too busy being fortunate to notice. It's the usual Curse of First World Living at work.

 

The biggest problem of the day required that I upend whatever half-baked plans I had in order to receive a FREE, NEW dishwasher. Getting a free thing was bound to be hugely inconvenient.

 

I've been waiting for the dishwasher for two months, but I didn't even mind the delay at first. Washing dishes by hand can be a pleasant chore; and it was pleasant, until the baby learned how to open the dead dishwasher.

 

After that, she would relentlessly return to climb up and fondle the knives and to place THINGS to soak in the sink. She was perfecting her technique, and had developed several schemes to distract me and then to ambush us with boomeranging, soapy spatulas and spatulating, soapy boomerangs.

 

When the news of the new dishwasher came, I wondered if she might be a little depressed when she realized how much her kitchen rituals would have to change. Surely baby-proof dishwashers had been perfected in the last twenty years since the deadwasher was put in.

 

The landlord and his pal Stu arrived at dusk with the machine. I suspect that Stu is in some sort of unsavory thrall to the landlord: perhaps something involving his first born child. Whatever their understanding, Stu is the underpaid fixit guy and the landlord is his heckler.

 

The removal of the deadwasher began with Spunky crawling on the floor next to Stu and mimicking various plumbing gestures until it was time for the awkward yanking of the washer. Even she knew to get out of the way as they heaved it out from under the counter. Mid-heave, a mummified mouse was propelled in a wide arc across the kitchen until it landed conveniently next to the trash can with a tiny THHHWAT. Everyone saw it, and everyone said, "Wuh!? MOUSE!" with various speeds of recognition.

 

The baby was charmed with the whole process, but I decided to keep her planted on my hip from then on, due to the uncovering of a huge tray of rat poison and far more mouse turds than would be permitted by regulations to season the biggest-ever vat of supermarket soup.

 

My inner germ warrior tried to squeal at the idea of microscopic mouse parts swirling around the kitchen--Vermin Spores Invasion!--but soon I was too busy trying to get the all-too-visible, human invasion out of the house to work up a really respectable germ panic.

 

Stu was doing a fine job, prettymuch, but I ended up restraining the baby for HOURS while she tried to get in the middle of the installation and he tried to figure what to do about forgotten fittings. We spent a great deal of time talking about dogs.

 

Finally, well past dinner time, we had a free dishwasher and a free dead mouse all to ourselves. I think they expected me to do a jig of joy that the new dishwasher was not only in place, but--gasp-- functional.

 

All I said was, "Thanks. Now I can cancel my appointment with the dermatologist," with exactly the inflection suggested by the _Ungrateful First World Woman Manual_. I mean, really, it isn't like the dishwasher is going to help me joust out of bed in the morning. They could have brought a BED OF NAILS or something USEFUL.

 

This was probably from Mumthra. Ordinarily non-contagious.
"So you'd have to take it on faith that it was in fact
a tentacle and not, say, a potato." --Jahweh Dave Lynch