Monday, July 28, 2008

Friggin' Kite Eating Trees

I suppose everyone can relate to Charlie Brown. From the kite eating tree, to the losing-est baseball team, to Lucy pulling the football at just the last minute, we all get to feel that 'nothing's going right' feeling. Well, you are all just posers because, as the line in the X-mas special goes, "of all the Charlie Browns in the world, [I'm] the Charlie Browniest".
My wife asks me why I'm so cranky all the time. "Not right now, per se," she says "but just in general." I gave her one of those blank stares; of course I am cranky, it's one of those things I need to work on: temper and quick frustration threshold are two of my worst traits. " I don't get to have ANY fun, and even when I try, it turns into a disaster!" Then I proceeded into a tirade that I did not perceive to be all THAT funny, but she receives with convulsive hilarity:
"You wanna know why I'm so cranky? You wanna know?" I said in my Kramden-esque voice. I had purchased online last week what I thought was the perfect mid-summer game-booster, something called a Bax Stop, an inflatable back stop for the games the boys have in the cul-de-sac, a game that's combination, stick-ball, wiffle-ball and baseball. They use a big fat plastic bat and a tennis ball; but they always have to use a player as catcher; this inflatable contraption would have put an extra player on the field, and settled balls and strikes to boot. I would be hailed as the grand summer saver, making the summer classic...classic-er. The Bax Stop was not only an incredible bargain at less than half the price it normally sells for, it came with a bonus electric pump making it the deal of the year... as well as being the hit of our little world.
I would suspect you have an idea of where this is going. I inflated it fine, but I spent the better part of 1/2 an hour trying to figure out how to tie the net to the backstop, only to discover that I had missed a critical piece of string that 'tied' the whole thing together. 10 minutes later, the net intact, I make the grand presentation to the gang. Appreciative ooos and aaaahs in front of our driveway...just as I had planned. "Let's bring it over to OUR driveway and get a game started." one of the neighbor's kids said. My good feeling work done for the day, I retire to the garage to find a plumber's 'snake'; Liv has thrown an unidentified object into our toilet, and no amount of plunging has sped up the flow. I need the snake to see if I can push whatever it is through. Ultra-dad AND Bob Villa in one day...could it be possible?
10 minutes pass; no snake in sight. Then Dilan calls from the font door, "Daaaad? The Bax Stop's got a hole innit! I think Jason stepped on it." Across the street I go, with the insider info and accuse Jason without benefit of jury. He bursts into tears, a sure sign of a guilty verdict. Meanwhile, my once virile Bax Stop has become viagra-less; the boys had tried some duct tape, but the patient was not responding. Back to the backyard for the Bax Stop; I retrieve the only two bandages that come with the unit. I open the duct tape that was already's not looking good. A seam rip a centimeter long;. One patch and the medical students surrounding me proclaim "It's still leaking!" I put the second one on..."It's leaking on the OTHER side of the patch now!" Much as my medical knowledge hates it, in desperation I call for the duct tape (actually packing tape). Four strips later I declare the patient dead, with objections from the medical peanut gallery. Monday morning surgeons ensue detailing what we should have done, one asks "You gonna call the company? It's defective!" An hour ago, I was victorious in my Superdaddom; now I just get rid of the 'dad' part and that's how I felt.
Back to today, I keep throwing one liners at Linda, to continue her gasping for air in laughter. I realize that despite my nominal failure, I CAN make some good out of my tragedy. I renew my resolve; I CAN make some good this weekend (I WILL kick that football this time). I resume my search for the snake in the garage. I find lots of other fun things (two year old Easter candy, a pennywhistle etc) but no snake. I DO however find a reasonable facsimile: something I bought 4 years ago, a vent brush, for cleaning dryer vents. Right size good length...I'll give it a try. Unfortunately, the cord does not have a wire's hollow plastic. And in my bathroom, I have a brush eating toilet bowl. Hello Rotor Rooter? Bob Villa has eluded me again, replaced with Tim usual.
UPDATE...$147.00 later, the mystery object is discovered. A Dora truck was lodged in the bowl deposited by Liv during one of her disceet excursions into the bathroom. As our local Rotor Rooter rep said "Too small not to go down; too big to get through." At least I know that my efforts were in vain and we would have needed to call a plumber whether or not there was a brush stuck in the bowl. All the kids were certain that the Rotor Rooter truck in the front meant that Jason and Grant were visiting from TAPS.


Maddy said...

I'm a slave to a bargain and good advertisement too! But I claim supreme grumpiness thereafter.

Chaoticidealism said...

Your post made me smile. I would have been grumpy, too. Probably more than grumpy, actually. The sort of grumpy that means you had better go to your room before you insult someone or break something! :)