August 2010

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Status Update

Number of newborn babies: 0

Number of hurt feet: 1

Number of sleepless nights: countless

We're still waiting for the baby to arrive, despite many early warning signs that he/she's about to pop out. Mrs.B has a belly the size of a small moon, and any day now I expect to come home to find she got stuck in one of the door openings. She has problems sleeping and every time she wants to turn over it's a whole operation that involves moving pillows and blankets and stuff. Her bladder is about the size of a walnut, so she needs to get up a lot to go to the downstairs loo. Both these procedures involve loud moans and sighs and mumbling to make sure I'm well aware of her discomfort. So I have a lot of sleepless nights too.

On the plus side, her foot is finally getting better. Last week she was allowed to ditch the crutches, and this week she could trade in her combat boots for more suitable lady-like footwear. Frankly, she looked hilarious on warm days, with her shorts or skirt and those big mountain climbing 4x4 tanks on her feet. But because I love her so much, I didn't snigger even once. I really am the ideal husband.

It doesn't mean her gait is entirely normal, despite the physiotherapist's best efforts. It may have something to do with that dinosaur egg that she's carrying around.

In theory, we still have more than three weeks to go until D-day, but we both hope that it will be earlier. Because, you know, you get to rest a lot with a newborn baby and a hyperactive toddler in the house.

War Of The Words

Apparently, to experts in the matter...

I write like
H. G. Wells

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

So if my style of writing looks familiar, you know where it came from.

I Don't Like Mondays

Monday mornings are a creation of the devil, everyone knows that. But last Monday really made the grade. It started with me having to organise a tow truck, because the car stubbornly refused to start. Not because I'd left on the lights, mind you. At first it played dead, then the warning lights did light up when I turned the contact key a notch, but when the engine was supposed to start it slammed everything shut. However, it insisted on making the windscreen wipers go, although they were not on.

So it took me all morning to call the garage, wait for the tow truck, drive to the place where I'd left the car and then get back home. Luckily, my boss was flexible and granted me half a day of leave, and by noon I was back behind my desk. The friendly people from the garage called in the afternoon to say it was repaired. They'd made an effort because I had explained to them I really, really needed that car in working order because my wife is disabled and ready to give birth at any moment (in the next five weeks or so). So after work I took a train and a bus and to get the car and drove it home.

You'd guess that would be enough misery for one Monday, but there was more in store. After dinner, when I'd rinsed all the plates, I went outside and discovered a small lake on our lawn and a small tributary river coming from the sewer pit in the middle of the terrace. The smell that greeted me when I lifted the lid was indescribable!

The problem was very obvious, the whole pit was clogged with a single mass of putrid muck. To be honest, I'd noticed that the water wasn't running away like it should lately, but things were so busy these last couple of weeks that I'd never got around to check out what was wrong. But now there was no other way around it: I had to get on my knees and scoop that goo out.

The rubber gloves I was wearing helped a bit, until I had to reach deep into the sewer and sludge from the sides of the pit seeped in. When I got all of the vomit inducing muck out, I tried whether the drain was still blocked with the garden hose, but alas, the water did not recede. So now I had to scoop all that water, that had turned into foul smelling sewerage immediately, out again. Then, with my face perilously close to the entry, I had to reach inside to reach far into the sewer and feel where it was still blocked, and then pluck out the chunks of ewchchyechblarf. In total, I removed two whole buckets of it, together with four buckets of raw sewerage.

Despite the gloves and washing my hands several times and taking a long shower afterwards, the smell still lingered in my nose until I fell asleep.

And that is how I spend my Mondays.


MC Getto Grand Master WolfMC Getto Grand Master Wolf


When things go wrong, I have been known to swear, you know just a bit. Well not a bit, but you must understand that I only do this when the blame rests entirely on that stupid inanimate piece of junk that won't co-operate. In extreme cases, my verbal assault may lead to physical abuse of said item and, ultimately, defenestration. I only do this with things, you see, not with persons. Well, not often.

There is an exponential relation between the reluctance of the item in question to do what I want it to do and the exclamations that follow. When a wrapper or a can won't open, mothers in our part of the city cover the ears of their children. When one time a cup fell on my head when I opened an overhead cupboard, I threw it out the open door into the garden.

Last Sunday however, I opened up a whole new frontier to the time-old discipline of swearing. As you know, I've been working on the bath-room and its adjoining room for almost two years now. Finally, we're in the final stages, with just two more major items on the agenda: flooring and installing the bathroom furniture. My father came over to help, and we started with preparing the floor: sanding away any splinters and blobs of plaster and then cleaning. Oh, and some floor boards were creaking, so best to drive in some more screws.

I was a bit nervous for this job, because underneath those boards are about a thousand pipes: water pipes, heating pipes, drainage pipes... not to mention the odd gas pipe. If I were to drive a screw through one of these pipes, it would mean a world of trouble, because I'd have to tear the floor open again. But on the other hand, I had taken my precautions by marking the exact location of the pipes (bad) and the wooden support beams (good).

Well... 'exact' location may not be the right way to put it.

I drove in a screw with the electric screwdriver, but immediately felt there was no real resistance. So I drove it out again... and immediately got showered by a gushing fountain of water.

I can't reproduce what I shouted at that very moment. Suffice to say it registered a magnitude of 9.4 on the Richter scale. Milk turned sour, the electrical power grid fluctuated and birds started migrating, even the ones that normally stay here all winter. Satan worshippers saw there Evil Master duck under their pentagrams, whimpering for hours and refusing to come out. Armed forces worldwide went into DefCon 4, accusing each other of launching a full nuclear strike. The foam on pints of beer nationwide disappeared suddenly and mayonnaise would shift. It was really ugly.

Meanwhile I had closed all the vents of the central heating system. Luckily, not too much water had escaped, but that was not the real problem.

Breaking up the floor was not a real option, and luckily I'd thought of another option: by cutting a - relatively small - hole in the ground floor ceiling I could reach that damn pipe and repair it.

So now we have a decorative hole in our dining room ceiling. That was my way of putting it, but Mrs.B is having none of it. First thing to do next weeking: repair the pipe and the close the hole, leaving no trace whatsoever about what happened.