Pinky's Book Link

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Would you hold an Eighteenth Birthday Party?

I like to live on the edge, push the envelope, and play by the seat of my pants. That’s why I didn’t bother with any party preparations until 9:00am on Saturday morning even though we were expecting roughly 70 teenagers to descend like bats at dusk in ten hours’ time.

I’d planned it in my head though. Vacuum filthy house, clean toilets, hose back patio, shop for party food, set up seating, wash hair and pour a drink… in that order. 

I’d brought up five wild and woolly kids you see, I rarely get in a flap.

Mrs. Unflappable Poinker, they call me.

Imagine my elation when, as I turned the vacuum cleaner on it blasted a hot hurricane of thick dust into my face. I checked for the bag inside; it had gone AWOL. Not only had the bag been removed but so had the plastic device whose job it is to hold the bag in place. Thrown in the bin with the bag by a negligent teenager I surmised. Again. Twice in the space of a month had Mr Nobody thrown the baby out with the bath water.

“Scotto!!!” I screamed calmly. “We have to go to fudging Godfrey’s to buy another fudging vacuum cleaner!”

I’ve had a few abusive relationships with vacuum cleaners over the last twenty-five years. At least one VC has been thrown across the lounge room causing electric sparks to cascade over the carpet because of its substandard suction ability. I’ve savagely bashed more than a few extension tubes on the floor like a shrewish, mad woman whilst attempting to extricate an obstructive article consequently cracking the offensive tool. 

I've had a colourful vacuuming career.

So it was with nervous trepidation when Scotto pointed out a bagless Hoover model on sale for $69. 

“You won’t have to buy bags anymore, Pinky!” he promised. “And they’re not cheap are they?” He was playing on my thriftiness.

We took it up to the counter.

“How often do I have to wash the filter thing?” I asked the salesman.

“Every time you use it,” he said as I rolled my eyes to the back of my skull. “But the filter is made of paper so it’ll break down after a couple of washes so I suggest you buy a spare one while you’re here.”

“And how much is a new one?” I queried.

“Twenty-nine ninety-nine,” he smiled. “Or you could upgrade to a more expensive model where you don’t have to change the filter and pay it off on a monthly basis.”

But, Pinky Cheapskate Poinker took the inferior model, knowing in her heart it was going to wind up being angrily flung from her bedroom window and smashed down on to the driveway one day anyway.

We finished the rest of the shopping and I set about my cleaning chores. My new VC and I made a pact as we hoovered our way through the house. If it managed to get through the entire house without clogging or overheating and conking out, I promised not to yank it roughly by the cord and sadistically drag it along the ground every time it fell on its stupid side or got stuck behind a corner.

The whole time diligent Scotto cleaned and hosed the backyard and I swore and ranted around like Cranky Consuela, the birthday girl, Lulu, was out shopping with her girlfriends.

When she finally arrived home with the sisterhood at about 5 o’clock I tapped on her bedroom door. “Um, Lulu. You know how you promised you’d help us clean the house for your party?”

“Yes,” came the muffled reply.

“Well… we’ve finished cleaning and you didn’t help us.”


“Do you think you could possibly blow up some balloons and stick them around the place?”

“What! I have to blow up balloons for my own birthday party? That’s lovely that is.”

     "Party? Does this mean I'm going to be locked in the laundry... again?"

In case you’re interested, the party went smoothly and the police didn’t even have to come once... which is more than I can say for the last party Scotto and I held here. The kids partied quietly and disappeared off to the nightclubs at 11:00pm.

                                     The wrist bands.

                                       Pinky with Lulu and her besties.

                                            Lulu's boyfriend, Jock.

                                              Lulu and big bro Padraic.

N.B: I brought the new VC out for another spin this morning to clean up the aftermath and although we're not friends we're tolerating each other, for the time being.

And there was a considerable mess... which we cleaned up...

while Princess Lulu slept.