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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Damaged Goods

It was last Sunday morning when I sashayed into the vacuum cleaner selling place bearing a strong resolve NOT to be rude to the salesman. 

I usually find vacuum salesman to be of a highly irritating disposition and considering the fact I was about to purchase one of the most troublesome of household appliances, I knew in my heart that it would take all my strength to keep a civil tongue in my head.

I’d spent Sunday morning violently sneezing and after surmising my aggressive allergic reaction was the result of the twenty million, billion dust mites overrunning every crevice of my house, I’d dragged out my three year old, seventy dollar vacuum cleaner and begun the dreaded task of cleaning.

Naturally, the cheap piece of crap decided to cark it at the crucial moment and I exploded in a violent fury and marched out to Scotto, who was outside building the deck, and emotionally declared that we had to proceed at once to the vacuum cleaner selling place.

“I’m not spending more than two hundred dollars,” I wheezed and snuffled into a tissue on the drive down the mountain. “And I don’t want one with bags or a fudging cord. Don't let them talk me into it!”

How many wasted years of my life I’ve spent untangling cords, tripping over cords and ripping electric sockets out of the wall by cords, I couldn’t tell you.

“I have four dogs,” was my initial petulant reply to Derry (the vacuum cleaner salesman) on Sunday morning when he politely asked if he could ‘help me’.

“I need something cheap but effective,” I ranted. “I want something strong enough to suck a German Shepherd through a straw.”

I emphasised the word ‘cheap’.

I must admit, he was not at all pushy. He informed us that bags were preferable to bagless because of the ‘cleaning of the filter’ issue and that cordless vacuum cleaners only hold their charge for EIGHT MINUTES.

It takes me at least an hour to vacuum my house. Can you imagine the frustration, the utter rage, the bitter hostility which would arise if I was forced to stop proceedings every eight minutes in order to recharge the useless machine.

I walked out of there $500 poorer with a vacuum cleaner that had a very long cord and needed a constant supply of bags.

After I finished cleaning the house, my cautious review of the said appliance was a cool 6/10.

It was acceptable. I won’t say I liked it, but I didn’t hate its guts. I didn’t feel the need to bash it against the wall or fling it down the driveway and that’s quite promising.

You’re not allowed to use it,” I said to Scotto pointedly, suspecting the last vacuum had died because of his rampant use of it when vacuuming up bits of plaster.

He assumed a downcast expression.

“What about if I just want to vacuum my office?” he enquired pitifully.

“I suppose that will be alright,” I agreed reluctantly, knowing in my heart he NEVER vacuumed his office, “as long as you don’t go vacuuming up all your little screws with it.”

Someone else using my brand new vacuum cleaner would defile it. It would be rendered corrupt, tarnished, sullied.

I just couldn’t bear the thought.

As I drove home on Monday afternoon, I suddenly had a horrible premonition that Scotto had used my new vacuum cleaner while I was at work... but I brushed the menacing vision away. Surely he wouldn’t have dared to use it so soon… surely?

Well… he had used it.

Of course.

Scotto can’t resist using anything new.

And now I feel as though my beautiful, new vacuum cleaner has been besmirched, its virginity has been spoiled, it’s a ruined woman.

I don’t think I like it at all now.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pinky Goes Outlander Style

Dad on his steed

Scotto and I like to do something novel on weekends, apart from drinking, so lately we’ve been going horse riding.

This silly idea was entirely inspired by watching ‘War Horse’ one night (when we were drinking) and I lavishly pronounced that we should go and ride horses at once.

“That horse is so lovely.” I exclaimed to Scotto whilst observing the handsome and gallant War Horse. “I want to ride a horse just like him and have my hair flying in the wind with the rain on my face.”

Scotto never needs a second hint and before I knew it, we were booked for a two hour trail ride in the Gold Coast hinterland.

It was all right. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I enjoyed it… but it was all right.

Unfortunately, about four weeks later, we (were again drinking) watching Outlander on the telly, where there are quite a lot of very good looking, heroic people riding valiant horses...

 and I once again made the mistake of mentioning to Scotto that I should like a bit of equine activity.

“We should take Dad!” I enthused. “He loves horses.”

Dad is eighty two years of age and even though he is very fit and still has a four pack (which is quite extraordinary for a man his age), his usually dutiful daughter should not encourage him to put himself in treacherous and uncertain circumstances.

I sort of forgot about this whole discussion, but Scotto remembered (most inconveniently) and brought the subject up at our regular Sunday get together with my parents.

My mother was against my father’s engagement in this reckless scheme from the start, but after some earnest assurances to her that the horses were extremely gentle and that we barely get beyond a trot, she eventually acquiesced to the adventure.

I still felt a great deal of guilt however and hovered around my father like a bird over a chick until I saw him (dressed in his drizabone and proper riding boots) hoik himself onto the horse with all the physical fitness of the Man from Snowy River. He rode like the old school horseman he is and suffered no ill effects.

In the meantime, it took me three goes at mounting my flea-bitten nag even though I was standing on a milk crate.

However, apart from my horse scratching its entire body against a tree forcing me to lift my foot out of the stirrup and elevate my leg up in the air, most unbecomingly, in order to prevent its instant pulverisation, I suppose the ride was… all right.

One thing is certain however, Scotto and I really MUST stop watching movies starring horses.