Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend's Over

battery park
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I'm back in Asheville, where it is cold. It occurred to me, as I was driving up 26, a drive that's gotten horribly familiar, btw, that I was leaving a warm, clean environment for a freezing, filthy one and perhaps I should abandon my children and dogs and just move in with M right now. Actually it was not that filthy when I got home; the kids had tidied up a bit and were even trying to run the dishwasher, which would not work. Why would it not work? Well, boys and girls, that would be because my West Asheville home was wired for electricity back in 1956 by Keebler elves on crystal meth. It's a constant GED type logic problem in my kitchen, to wit:

There are nine electrical appliances - a Panini Press, a Refrigerator, a Toaster Oven, a Microwave, a Crock Pot, a Waffle Iron, a Blender, a Food Processor and a Dishwasher. The Refrigerator can run at the same time as any two things, but no more. The Dishwasher OR the Microwave can run at the same time as any ONE of the following: the Toaster, the Waffle Iron, the Blender or the Food Processor. The Crock Pot OR the Panini Press can run at the same time as any ONE of the following: the Toaster, the Food Processor or the Blender. Using these parameters, attempt to simultaneously heat up frozen hideous crap for a teenager, make smoothies and waffles for a sleepy twenty something, cook beans for thrifty, health conscious mom, get all the dishes out of the garage where the teenager and his friends have left them and wash them along with all the other dishes that nobody has touched since Mom went to work and thence out of town on Friday morning. If you mix up any of these rules, you will trip the faulty breaker and force Mom, on her return, to go down to the scary, snowy basement with a candle to try to get the goddamned thing working again. Which will make Mom shout bad words.

That is why I was in the basement this morning with a lighter and why my reading lamp and alarm clock weren't working last night, since that breaker controls all the outlets in my room, half the ones in the kitchen and a couple of random outlets scattered all over the rest of the house and I refuse to even attempt the basement adventure in the dark. This is also why I just had to walk young M through the bean making process, since the dishwasher was running this morning since it wasn't yesterday (see above.) The bean making process by phone is fairly entertaining, and it goes like this:

Mom: Pour the water off the beans.
Young M: The beans in this bowl by the crock pot?
Mom: Yeah. (sotto voce - because there are so many bowls of beans soaking in our huge kitchen it's hard to find them?)
Young M: How?
Mom: Well, just try not to dump them in the sink. Or use a colander.
Young M, accompanied by worrisome noises that indicate beans falling in sink: I'll call you back.

Phone Call 2:
Mom: Now get those ham hocks out of the fridge, you know, those gnarly looking things.
Young M: Those things that look like they're for the dogs?
Mom: Yeah, those.
Young M: For real? We're going to eat those?
Mom: We'll pull them out. They're just for flavoring.
Young M: I don't know, they're pretty haggard.
Mom: Trust me.
Young M: I'll call you back.

Phone Call 3:
Young M: So, how do you want me to cut the onion?
Mom: What do you mean? Just half an onion.
Young M: But, like, long ways or around the middle?
Mom: Don't overthink this. Just peel it first and then cut it in half.
Young M: I have to peel it first?
Mom: Call me back.

Phone Call 4:
Mom: Now add about an inch of water and turn it on.
Young M: Should I get a ruler?
Mom: No, it's like. . . like when you put your fingers so far apart. . . I mean. . um. . like half your thumb!
Young M: Just that much water?
Mom: No, that much water over the top of the beans.
Young M: You're not being very clear.

Ah, it's good to be home, away from that clean, warm, shiny Charleston no kids or dogs environment. Really. Really it is.


Lee H. said...

Well, this is not the first of your blog entries that made me laugh so hard, I ended up reading it aloud to someone who overheard me so that they could have a laugh, too. But it is one of them.

zen said...

Fliss, i was laughing so hard on your phone conversation between you and young M i had tears in my eyes!!

I know it's real, but you captured it so perfectly! Thank you thank you thank you.