Monday, May 30, 2011

Sheeting home short work of short sheeting.

I recently attended an annual state-wide conference held by Toastmasters. On a bit of a high at the gala dinner… the event of the year… and helped along with a bottle of red wine I accepted the kind invitation to the after party held by the big cheese.

Somewhere along the line I managed to consume a little more wine and not enough good sense. In a playful mood us three conspirators got up to a little fun…

The next morning, not feeling too much worse for wear, we gathered, all 150 of us, for breakfast presentations. The opening speech was from the Cheese himself. I’ll take a moment to say he’s a wonderful toastmaster, he has a fine sense of duty mixed nicely with good humour and a person whom I have not only admiration, but a good dose of respect too. He’s just a great leader.


“My wife and I held a party for our friends last night in our room. Mrs Cheese arrived just before the gala dinner and hadn’t time to bring her things to the room so we went down to collect them leaving our guests for just a few moments. During these few moments, our friends, did something extremely juvenile. After everyone had left Mrs Cheese and I prepared for bed but I couldn’t get into it. The bed wasn’t made correctly and I was struggling badly with it. Mrs Cheese investigated and burst out laughing…”

At this stage, I must point out; I had shrunk from view behind another breakfast guest. Hoping he wouldn’t see my guilty and embarrassed face even though he was recounting what happened in good grace and humour. But I just hoped I was lost in the crowd.

“Someone had short sheeted our bed!” which brought laughter from the room as he continued “Unfortunately for the person responsible, they left their compendium in the room, and if they’d like to collect it…”

I knew the game was up. I moved back into view and his eyes found me immediately.

“…from Mrs Cheese and I, then bring along a letter of apology and a bottle of Champaign”

Nothing for it but to stand. And there I stood among the 150 of the state's brass.

The room roared with laughter so I missed what was said next, red faced, looking at the ground, I sat down again to dwindling gwarfs and tisks. The only remaining pride I owned was due to the fact I hadn’t given up my conspirators.

The man has a great sense of fun. He paid me back well and truly.

I have it in hand!

So, there I was, as you would be. I recall there's a Toastmasters’ event on tonight so I parked the car at a rendezvous railway station... it being the closest to the arterial road which would lead me to the venue after work.

Later, I confirm I am a month early for the meeting (thanks Greg) which means I can meander my way home tonight instead of turning up to a meeting that's not happening for another four weeks.
On my way home, I arrive at the station, walk to the car, get in and right away my phone receives a txt message from The Minister of the Dark Arts.
"When you get into the car would you call me?"
Frightened, I look around... she can't be THAT good. She doesn't even know about the non-event I am not going to tonight. How can she possibly know?
I call. She's been collected from the gym's car park by The Provisional Princess* and dropped her glove on the concrete. If you know Sydney today then you know it's been raining like mad… flash floods, accidents, commuter system all fouled. She asks if I'll stop on the way home and look for it. I shrug my shoulders which has no effect over the phone, so I voice agreement to have a look... in the dark... in the rain... for a black glove... in a car park of which I have only a vague idea where she might have parked.
I stop the car, approximately in the right area, to begin searching with the light from my phone. I find them after about 5 minutes of sweeping back and forth.

Flushed with success but wet with rain, I give them a squeeze to wring out the water, jump back in the car and head home with the pride of a job well done even against such odds. Spooky odds at that.
I walk into the house, there's a call from above "Who's that?" She wasn't expecting me home so early**.
In I sludge with the booty in hand, actually a pair of gloves in hand. "Here you are dear, one pair of soaking gloves, luckily I found them!?!"
Her face drops, "That isn't my glove."
My face drops. I unfold the gloves and it's all wrong. They are garden gloves. I've found the wrong pair!
Spooky's Baaack; I found someone else's lost gloves in the dark rainy night.

*I love the fact TPP is actually dropping-off and picking-up one of us for a change. As any parent will tell you that's just sooooo weird and yet sooooo satisfying!
**Always a risky thing; coming home unexpected.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen...

Y'know, things just aren't fair.

I get dragged around dress shops and sit in the man-chairs while SWMBO checks out every little thing on the racks and scours the "sales". I complain, but SWMS, gets her way and enjoys her shopping regardless. Now days I just enter the store and sit and wait like a good husband. A good bored husband. A good bored defeated husband.

But when, on the rare occasion, and I can't think of one right now, but there must be, we go to a hardware store I don't get the same... I dunno... the same patience in return.

This afternoon she thrusts a brochure in front of me. Our oven has been on the blink and we've struggled with it, on and off, as it were for quite a while. The kitchen needs re-doing after 18 years so I want to buy a decent free-standing 6 burner instead of spending the $800 to repair an 18yo oven. I figure the $800 can be put towards the new one. Well, there's the nix. We can't afford to re-do the kitchen for at least 18months and SWMBO doesn't want to put in a super-duper stove before then.

The brochure.

It contains a cheap $485.00 oven that is so cheap the only thing it has over our current one is that it works more often. The local hardware store has one left in stock, which she has reserved, so we must toddle off there, now, to check it out.

If this had been a frock then there wouldn't be any brochure, nor any phone call to reserve the last one, nor would it be found in a hardware store. I doubt the price point would have been an issue either.

I note with chagrin that hardware stores don't have man-chairs like dress shops do. I can't sit her down and wander off.

First problem is her car. It's a Mazda 121. I barely fit in it so there's no way this going to happen like she thinks it will. However, as soon as we arrive at the store she stops the first shop assistant, a senior who probably just stepped out of his shed to pop down for a few hours paid work at hardware Nirvana. Asks where the ovens are and strides off. I raise my finger to let her know I know every inch of this store but the whole encounter is over in seconds and she's gone. The sales guys gives me a look of practised pity as I race off to catch up.

It's a satisfactory kit for the money although a brand I have never heard of, but seems solid enough for the cheapest oven on the planet. I couldn't be bothered arguing for my 6 burner any more so I agree that a new cheap $485.00 oven is better than a $800 repaired oven; just to tie us over but I do manage to convince her that her car is "insufficient". So the oven is still there, in the store, with our name on it right there next to the other ovens which haven't sold yet. So much for "last one". We plan how I am to wrestle my car from the Provisional Princess to come back to collect the oven.

Anyway, I'm in a hardware store so it makes sense to stock up on a few thing while I'm there. We need 6 power-boards (4x 4-way and 2x 6-way) and 6 extension leads (2 each of 3m, 5m and 10m) for a project at work so we wonder off to "electrical". SWMBO stops and huffs and says something like "Men! We're only here for the oven. I'll meet you in the car" and walks off.

Alone & free at last I find myself at the specials bin which is in the opposite direction from electrical. There's a nice fat drill bit in there for only $20 marked down from $30. It's a top quality bit but I resist the purchase. I eventually grab the powerboards and leads and head for the register. On my way I detour via the BBQ section. Our bar-bee, like our oven, is feeling the pinch of time and needs replacing. Lo and behold but whom should I meet there? Yup, SWMBO has had the same thought.
She's decided which one we're going to buy next pay day and is searching for an assistant to see if she can reserve one. Sheesh! I've been researching BBQs for months but she's decided in mere moments! It's a fair enough BBQ, but I don't know if it can be converted to natural gas. The assistant says the person who knows all about the BBQ is the Tong Master who is at dinner (go figure) and wouldn't be back for a while. I convince SWMBO to let me sort out the BBQ and she reluctantly agrees.

So, tomorrow, after taking The Earl of Hornsby half way across Sydney for his basketball match, with any luck, in my own car, I will to return to pick up the oven.

I wonder if the drill bit will still be there?