There have been lots of other times when it went on strike. I’ve never given up on it and I’ve always gone to the trouble and expense of getting the scalawag repaired. But this time, nope, it’s over. I’ve had it up to my tonsils with its toxic, superior attitude.
You see, it’s not so much that it won’t work but that it goes all stubborn. Which is after I ask it to snap a picture of moi.
I wanted to take a picture of myself in this gorgeous setting. So, I set my camera on top of a fallen log, put the camera on timer, then ran like hell to get in position. When I was in the right spot, I stood in front of the camera’s blinking eye with a big “say-cheese” smile on my face while I waited for the camera’s shutter to say, “click”. Which it did. Like it was supposed to. And I did get one picture of me.
But later, it snapped a few shutter clicks and then it stopped working. Three times it’s done this, and yes, I’ve always taken it personally. Maybe I’m one of those writers with a big ego, but as before, I took it personally and this time I was ready to say, “Good-bye, old camera. Hello, new camera”.
Maybe, when I get the new camera, I’ll take some pictures of places and things we pass when Buddy Lee and I are on one of our cycling trips. Buddy Lee never lets me down. Good boy. Pat, pat.
You see, we had workers come to our trailer to install new doors. They got the front door almost done except it’s missing a suitable knob. At the moment it has an unsuitable knob. Who knew that doors that cost a lot of money don’t come with their own knobs? So we had the old doorknob put in the new door and we sealed it with tape to stop the outdoors from getting in and the indoors from getting out.
Anyway, the workers arrived on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. Two men and a woman. They were also going to put up a new gutter and replace a piece of floor board in the kitchen. It got soft after we had a leaky pipe. We had placed a chunk of plywood over the soft place, as it’s right in front of the sink. Sue put some nice wallpaper or whatever you call it over the board. Which covered up my red coloured smiley face, but hey, I think her design idea was better.
So the workers came with their tools and enthusiasm and began work on the front door. The sun came out and the wind, which had been blowing fairly briskly, settled down to a whimper. What with the sun warming things up and the wind dying down, the area became a vacation getaway for mosquitoes and black flies.
The door installers worked on our door from about two pm to about seven pm. Once the door was in they replaced the floor board and then headed home. These hard, steady, capable and careful workers will return later to replace the screen door and the gutter.
You may wonder why it took so long. Well, one reason was that the guy who sold us the door didn’t read the instructions very carefully. The instructions that the tradesman gave us to show to him. Another reason is that Sue and I don’t have a sweet clue about doors and so while it said the door should be 36 inches wide there were some extra bits in the description that would not have gotten us a 36 inch door but a smaller one. But that was okay because it meant they had to make the door space larger which meant that they had to remove all the dry rot they found there. Which was there because we didn’t have a proper gutter in the first place. See a pattern forming?
Anyway, when they were finished, they left us with words similar to ones we’ve heard from so many workers who come to our trailer. Discouraging words too often heard. You have dry rot. Your roof will leak in a few years if you don’t do something. Copper piping can give you all kinds of trouble. Do you have a boat in case of floods? Who picked the pink paint for the kitchen? Those sorts of things.
The workers, bless their hearts, left us with a new door and a new floor board and about one zillion #$%^&*() mosquitoes. Because the door had been open so long, no matter how many we struck down, flattened or killed in mid-air, they just kept dive-bombing us until the sun was high in the sky. Not the sun we said good-night to but the sun that came the next morning. I’m assuming it is the same sun that left us on Sunday evening, but who knows, after the night we had?
I hate mosquitoes anyway. I tried to sleep, but I kept hearing the irritating whine of mosquitoes or feeling the prick of their probing proboscis. So I jumped out of bed with hate in my heart and went into the living room. I wore shorts. This was my bait. I turned on the television, snapped on the lamp and with fly swatter in hand began to slaughter the buggers. I battled as ferociously as any warrior would be expected to. However, they never stopped. There were dead mosquitoes everywhere. On my legs, my tee shirt, the couch, the floor and the walls and ceiling. Blood and squashed mosquito meat.
The only consolation is that I learned on the TV that God has a financial plan for me, where to buy books about the End Times, how to cube up cucumbers, why this pope is the End Time Pope and I watched a woman have a talk about sex with five gay fellas and gathered lots of other info I will need to know as I head towards my eternal resting place.
Finally, I had to retreat. I knew I couldn’t sleep so I went to my office. I stood in the middle of my tiny office and looked at my computer, my CD player, my lamp, my candle, my pens and pencils, my stapler and all the other objects that are part of my writing world.
Then I drew a line on the floor with my big toe and said, “All of you who are willing to stay and fight, cross this line. If you don’t cross my toe line I won’t hold it against you.”
They all crossed the line. Right down to the tiniest pencil stub. I’m proud of them all. We hung in tough until after two am when finally it was just too much, so we surrendered the office and I retreated to my bed.
What to do? What to do? I could hear the whining sounds coming from everywhere. Well, what I did do, was first of all dig around in the closet and drag out my hiking knapsack. Inside the knapsack is a bug mesh I sometimes wear when I’m hiking. I slipped it on, lay me down to sleep and didn’t. But instead listened, bug-eyed, to the incoming hordes. The mesh was holding them back, but it got so stuffy. I could hardly breathe with the screening in front of my nose. So, I got up again, and found a bottle of Vicks. I stuffed the Vicks up my nose. Which gave me the cool self-hypnotic sensation that I was breathing freely. Even though another part of me knew I wasn’t.
Well, would the buggers give up? Crap no. They just kept up the irritating hum thing they do. So, I removed the mesh, got up once more and tamped tissue down into both my ears so I couldn’t hear the buggers very well.
Alas, after a terrible night, we arose from our bed around eight-thirty am. I think I got a few hours of sleep. I was surprised that Sue had slept better than I had until she told me she’d taken a sleeping pill. But that had presented problems of its own. Mainly that it had presented many more dining opportunities for the little critters.
The first thing I did when I got out of bed was take a shower. Well not the first thing. The first thing was to check the mouse traps. I tossed one dead mouse out for the waiting crows to breakfast on. Then I showered while Sue began the fun job of cleaning the blood and dead bodies from the walls. It was carnage. Absolute carnage.
Later that day we went to the hardware store and bought a large can of bug killer. We returned, doused the trailer with spray and then left for a few hours.
That day we both discovered the same thing. We had red marks all over our feet. Sue’s left foot and my right foot. Which meant that I had slept with my right leg outside the blankets and Sue had hung her left leg outside the blankets. Which had presented the little vampires with the opportunity to sup freely. I like to think of it as their very last supper.
Anyway, we have new doors, and we recently bought new knobs. Last year we put a bunch of new windows in our living room. Which means, according to the various tradesfolk who periodically have to visit our trailer, that we will, sometime in the next few years, have five windows and two new doors standing proudly in a pile of wood and metal trailer rubble.
Amen and so be it.
(Note: Apologies for the dearth of pictures on this post, but Weebly won't let us upload images this week for some reason. )
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
Alfred, Lord Tennyson