06 July 2008

All in One Day!

3:45 falls between 3:30 and 4:00 nearly everywhere in the civilized world, which is why I had no reason to expect that my new washing machine would arrive anytime before half past next Friday. But let me back up to the old washing machine.

It has been trying to kill me. But for thick-soled shoes, brushing the metal cylinder would put a tingle in my fingers. (Remember, we run on 220v.) If the clothes were wet, just touching them would give a little zing. If, to balance while bending over to the front-loader's door, I carelessly put a hand to the metal drain board on the counter and touched the metal cylinder... ZAP... and a strong reminder to be more careful in future.

But I had good reason to believe a resolution fell squarely in our court. We would have to buy a new washer. The electrocution was just the last affront in a series of malfeasances from this wretched machine, which Craig had ably addressed as they arose. So, when I went to Flavio ~the real estate agent through whom we pay rent and bills~ on Saturday with the pile of cash, I casually asked if something were wrong with the washer, say it's trying to kill me "zzt!" , what to do? Oh, he'd call Franco to come out and have a look. Hm, and who would pay? The proprietor, of course. It's normal wear and tear. Note to reader: "normal wear and tear" is frequently the renter's responsibility, as are mandatory inspections of various kinds. I still feel a bit guilty for dodging the water heater inspection on the last flat, but not more than the owner should for not repairing the bad plumbing in the wall before we moved in. So, back to Flavio. He called up the electrician and while making the appointment ~I'm pretty sure I heard him say, "She is American, so that is a problem."~ the concept of simply replacing the menace arose. Oh yes! That would be much better. I held my breath as Flavio rang the appliance store. Then we walked up the street, talked to the man, and made an appointment for delivery.

Which is where I had left you in the first paragraph, agog at the promptness and preparedness of said delivery men (on time, with all the tools they'd need). The poor fellows had to haul the thing on a dolly up four flights of stairs. But when they were finished, it worked and hasn't attempted murder once. I am ecstatic over the whole inconceivable process. This very fact reiterates that we do not live in what is conventionally accepted as Europe.

And that's not all. On the same day, Craig managed to work out a ride in the van going to Camp Darby to retrieve not one but two big shiny American Weber gas grills. He and a co-worker have been ogling these behemoths for weeks/months. So a brand new washing machine on the landlord's tab and two wondrous grills were acquired in one day.

The excitement was only beginning at that. Not long after the washer was merrily agitating, I went to dump the mop water down the drain. A beach ball was resting there, and plucking it out I found. . . a scorpion in my bath tub! We live in a seaside 5th story flat. Why is a desert floor dwelling arthropod hiding in my bathtub? Well, it's not anymore. Currently, it awaits transport to a budding young entomologist... in the freezer. But I'm left spooked: there was one, there could be infinitely more, sneaking around in the night when all I want is a glass of water. I've spent 80% of my life with the vague fear of drinking a spider after my aunt told me she'd found one in her cup in the middle of the night. Must I for the rest of my life put on slippers for sleepy sojourns and rinse out the bathroom cup?

So, if they aren't skittering about my feet in the dark, they are cruising through at eye level in the light. Yes, Heavy Attack Wasp is next for The Day When Too Much Happened. We have had bees like B-52 bombers thrumming through the place, but now I don't mind them. They are just big, lumbering, and loud. The HAWs look like something out of that particular style of science fiction where ginormous hyper-advanced insects take over the world, stinging and crushing humanity like the pathetic flesh-bags we are. They are long, almost an inch, obviously wasp-waisted, with creepy dangling legs when they fly and a curved stinger visible to the naked eye. They set off my personal perimeter alarm, as in if they get too close I emit involuntary shrieks.

Could it get any worse? Yes. "Local knowledge," to be trusted only as much as "what some guy down at the pub told me," says the HAWs are really a tricksy variety of fly; the horrific stinger is not, but rather the other thing. They are harmless. Mm hm. And the scorpion? Its sting is no worse than a standard issue bee sting. Great. So now I'll become complacent, allow the Raid canister to rust out of usability, and my last words will be, "See, that's what I thought." Also, "Aaaaaiiiii!"

Now I must go have a lie down. It's been a busy week today.

1 comment:

Renata said...

Eeeeek! They're still scary, even if the guy says they're harmless.

I left my can of Dr. Pepper out of my sight for a few minutes yesterday up at the river. There just happened to be lots of little beetles flying all over the place, about the size of lightning bugs. Well, I took a swig of my pop and quickly felt a creature stuck in my throat. I had to tell myself "it's protein, it's ok" and forced it down. Double Yuk!!!

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