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Sunday, April 21, 2013

privacy | plugs | power

I know I'm always going on about how bad a week we've had but most recent one is the current favourite contender for the Worst Week of My Life award.



The next door landlords decided this would be an excellent time to extend their property by adding a garage for the tenants. These properties of ours, however, are minute and unfortunately that means the additions will go right up against the boundary wall separating our lives.

I was contacted by the owner of the house next door last weekend. At least she had the decency to warn us of the invasive activities that were about to begin.

On Tuesday two men started removing said prefab concrete barrier. The One sent me a photo at work showing the beginning of the destruction of our privacy.

I wish it was only that small section that was removed but by the following evening at least eight more sections had been confiscated, shaggily and shockingly replaced by a wobbly roll of wire fence. The One thoughtfully covered the kitchen window with a tablecloth to try and keep the prying eyes out.

We can see right into their lives and they can see into ours. It is like having x-ray eyes, and it is not such a cool superpower after all.

It is just wrong from every direction.

Keeping our dogs from tearing their two mutts to shreds is a full-time nightmare.



Anyway, at 17:00 on Friday afternoon I was still at work, racing to put an Important Client’s work to bed as ordered to to by the boss. A thunderstorm had been approaching all day and I really wanted to be home when it struck.

I wish I was homeward bound
Home, where my thoughts escape me
Home, where my music’s playing
Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me

I pulled out all the stops and was able to leave just as the first fat raindrops fell. Traffic was a joke and I got a little drenched but I reached home before the worst started, snugly wrapped up inside when the deluge began.

On top of the gallons of water that plunged earthward there was a severe hailstorm. A lone snail was caught in the downpour and we discovered its remains in the morning, surrounded by a wilted garland of sombre hailstone-maimed leaves.

By special arrangement we allow ourselves to smoke in the bathroom when we really can’t go outside. The missing wall means we can’t even smoke under the carport when it rains and still keep our dignity intact. There we were in the bathroom, each quietly puffing away and listening to the pelting rain when the lights suddenly went out as a bolt of lightning struck the neighbourhood. 

We accosted the distribution box and found we could switch on the main switch, earth leakage, lights, geyser and stove but as soon as we flipped the plug switch the safety one tripped the mains. We could also clearly see that the neighbours were't having any trouble with their electricity; in fact, we could hear exactly which programme they were watching on their television.

Our basic knowledge of household electricity allowed us to explore a vast array of combinations of switching on, unplugging and disconnecting appliances/plugs/lights/wires but we were unable to address the problem. Being safety-conscious, we diligently kept the mains off when jiggling with the wires. Unfortunately I badly cracked my kneecap when I blindly walked into a chair in the dark.

During our fault-finding mission we discovered to our great and utter amazement that the ceiling fan in the lounge was functioning again.  Months ago it had stopped working, less than a week after its installation. Yes, the fan inexplicably fans again. 

So we had lights, warm water, food and fans. No plugs, though, so no music, no television, no computer and no fridge. No kettle and no coffee. I couldn't even bally charge my phone's flat battery. It was as quiet as the grave, save what we chose to listen to from next door.

Each of us took a deep breath and then, to keep from losing it, we calmly got a pair of tweezers and proceeded to pluck every single tick we could find off the three dogs. I stopped counting when it became obscene but we flushed a host of ‘em down the drain with hot water.

Anna had a lot of the tiny varmints between her toes and under her feet but we got rid of each and every last one of them. 

The first thing we did when we got up yesterday morning was to flip the tripping plug switch, all of us holding our breaths. Much to our joy, nothing tripped. Must've been some wires as got theirselves a little wet.



It was just another horrid week at work. Corlea's replacement started on Monday but whatever of the stuff found its way into the fan, all of it still headed in my direction. I forget how many times I had to appear before the boss to try and defend my actions.

She had a hissy fit on Thursday evening because she had been kept waiting for an Important Clients proofs. After she'd told me on Monday that she only required the goddamned things on Friday. I find it useless to try and argue with an irate person. They are irrational.

During the one-sided sortie she also informed me that droves of clients were phoning and e-mailing to complain about my slow response to their queries. Apparently I was losing her all the clients she had been nursing for seven years.

I was also called a crocodile whose head she wanted to smash.

So I was ordered to delegate my power and give some of my jobs to other people because it was unfair that I hogged all of it.


Something is clearly wrong when the only thing The One and I fight about these days is my parasitic job.

In solidarity with victims of unfairness everywhere, both of us shaved our beards. Don't fret, the beards are not completely gone. We're going for the full beard for winter.

Written by I