Thursday, November 20, 2008

And You Will Be Visited By Plagues, Inclusive

It's been a stressful couple of weeks around here, and with my play opening next Tuesday, it's not likely to level out any time soon. We had our first two tech run-throughs this week, and let's just say people collapsed and died and I'm not joking. (Hey, you'd know all about it if you'd ever asked for an invitation to my secret theater blog, so that's all you're getting.)

Lately we've been getting a bit too close to a Passover seder around these parts; the edge of our plate is covered with dots of wine from our pinky fingers. (For that one, you may have to Wikipedia "Passover.") We begin:


As in, the stuff that lubes your car. Who knew that cars are super-finicky about how much? Not me. Not until last week, anyway. My car had been making strange clackety-clack noises for a while so I asked David--casually--what that might be. He ordered me to get my car serviced. What was supposed to be a routine 60,000 mile check turned into three whole days of me driving a brand-new black PT Cruiser around, complimentary (batting my eyelashes still gets me somewhere on a good day.)

When the car was finally ready (and we were considerably poorer), Mechanic Manuel affixed me with his level gaze and said in a slow, helpful voice:

"We're really lucky we were able to save your car, miss. Did you know that a car needs regular oil changes to function properly, and that the engine will not continue to work without them?"

I looked at Manuel and said, "This sounds like an important life lesson I hope I have learned." Know what? I wasn't being even a teeny bit facetious.


I won't go into too much detail (my dear husband is entitled to some privacy for all he has to put up with being married to me) but David had a long-overdue appointment for his fair epidermis (so unlike my own leathery hide) and ended up with three separate sets of furry black stitches for his trouble. It was very worrisome to me, though he was nonchalant about it. Well, nonchalant except for the times I give him a swift smack on his back in the spot where they cut him. Sorry, dear--I forget myself.


I hesitate to apply this label to our problem--it's mostly for poetic reasons. Rodent-lovers, please do not take offense. The fact is, I, too, think mice are very, very cute--except when they're sprinting through my kitchen late at night. Then I simply see them as a metaphor for a lack of control in my life.

This particular mouse was strangely intrepid--he wandered right out in the room when we were enjoying our dinner, and only retreated at the sound of my screams. For several nights, he scampered freely, enjoying a lavish buffet of peanut butter that we smeared each evening into some evil-looking traps. The little imp was able to extract every molecule of the good stuff without ever coming to a bad end, and so often that we grew rather fond of him. I chatted up a nice fellow at Home Depot and purchased two more traps--a "live" trap that looks like a little mouse house, and one of those old-fashioned wooden smackers. Several more nights passed in which our little friend was far too smart to enter the live traps. At last resort, we put out the wooden guillotine, and while we were reading in bed one night, there came such a sickening crack from across the house we knew we had closure. David, who had to deal with the tangible evidence of our crime, was pretty shaken, and we both shared a brief period of remorse and mourning.


A couple weeks back, I delicately mentioned a plumbing tragedy we endured while watching the election returns. Imagine our surprise when the problem returned only a week later. This time, our plumber, Ray (who came to feel like a member of the family) was not so blithe about the cost or intervention necessary. He spent a full Friday--from morning until after dark--digging and digging in our yard, and then he returned on Monday with a friend, Rudy. By the time I'd returned Monday night (having whisked Jarrah from school to a movie so we could be out of the house) there were three of them, and two trucks. Our front yard looked like a giant pile of dirt (due to the state of our grass, that's not much of a change, but that's another plague) and photos revealed that Ray had been compelled to jackhammer (yes, that's how fresh and verdant our lawn is--to enter it, you need a JACKHAMMER) down to depths of 20,000 feet into the earth's magma core in order to reach our seriously screwed pipes and their rain forest-like population of roots. He claims it's all fixed now, but I'm still not convinced.


Well, we haven't actually seen any locusts. But something must be in the air because all three of us have had a hacking cough for about a month now, and just when we thought it was getting better, everyone seems to be a little worse. I decided it had to be allergies and asked David to buy me some allergy medication, which I was certain would make a new woman. I felt like a new woman, all right--for two days I felt like a woman with wet wings who has just shoved my way out of a cocoon. I walked around in an echo-y fog, smiling stupidly, trying to remember my name and my purpose in life. On the plus side, my nose wasn't as stuffed.


Readers, I don't want to sound ungrateful. As my Dad pointed out, none of these troubles are worth mentioning in the greater scheme of things. But it was a good wake-up call about not taking the simpler things for granted, like being able to drive my car, flush my toilet, breathe through my nose or walk through my kitchen without clapping my hands like a toddler music teacher.

I'm sure that, like the necessity of oil changes, this is all an important life lesson that will stay with me, at least for the next few minutes.


Anonymous said...

WOW! You have really had a lot going on! But like Manuel, I will tell you MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE THE OIL IN YOUR CAR!!!!!!! (I used to work at a service shop when i was in utah...we saw this problem ALL the time!)

And I am also glad the pipe's are fixed! Not being able the flush toilet is seriously the pits!

Type (little) a aka Michele said...

First of all, I've been a terrible friend in that I haven't commented AT ALL about the part in the play. Please to whip me, or I will whip myself. In my defense, I did think supportive "Way to Go!" and "You're Awesome" thoughts for you, I did.

And the plumbing. (i'm deliberately ignoring the oil - because i'm just as bad at maintenance and the mice, because they give me the friggin willies)
We had a water main break here on Weds and had no water at work or daycare. We've had it at home the whole time, thank god, but we just got the "boil water" advisory lifted 2 hrs ago.

So what I'm saying is I'm so grateful to pee with abandon, sing in the shower, and to stop brushing my teeth with Listerine.

BREAK A LEG in that play mama. I wish I could see it.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Well done! Brava!

dena said...

You always make me feel so good and laugh! (Is that bad? I don't really laugh at your pain, it's just your writing that's so great!)

Hopefully "Life" will turn around for you soon and all will be back to "normal".

Caroline said...

Eep! And I was complaining about my own silly Rasputin cat while you were dealing with all of that! Hope that this phase ends soon, leaving you with a long, golden era of peace. :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the vermin still has me giggling! Glad your sense of humor is intact with all the goings on around your abode!

DrSpouse said...

Oh my! You have been having quite the week!

dena said...

Ahhh, Sam, you are too funny! Me? A blog you ask? I have 3 kids and a husband. Therefore, no blog.

Michelle keeps trying to get me to start one, which means it will most likely happen... eventually.

Thanks for the boost!

Anonymous said...

Break a leg, Miss S! (And I mean this in reference to the play, not to be associated in any way with plagues of any kind. . . .)

Will be thinking of you!

Miss J

Mary said...

I am so glad that these have all been resolved. I am sorry about your little rodent friend. They are pretty sneaky!