Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's all relative humidity.

I have never done anything gracefully. Take for instance, aging.

Long, curly gray hairs are popping out in the strangest places. They're like rogue, senior citizen pubic hairs, only on my face. Not that I have ever seen a senior citizen's pubic hair, but a girl can always dream.

Their ghostly gray, and my failing eyesight, make these Betty White hairs tricky to spot. I'll be driving in the truck on a rare, sunny day, glance in the rear view mirror, and the next thing you know I'm weaving down the road, steering with my elbows, plucking my chin, or my eyebrow. I really need to keep a set of pliers in the glove box.

This humidity isn't helping. Even Dottie's hair is all poodley pubic like.

It would help if I were handy. Take last week – I was lying on my back on the living room sofa when I noticed all these big wet spots on the ceiling. Either someone was having a great deal of fun in my attic, or the roof was leaking.

Then, I went downstairs like Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, only to find water coming out of my circa 1972 furnace. I think I saw the same model on the Antiques Roadshow, so it doesn't owe me anything. But the timing sucks.

And if that wasn't enough, my beloved dehumidifier broke. I don't know how anyone lives in Havenot without a dehumidifier. I am obsessed with mine to the point I'd rather have a dehumidifier than a stove, or a man – unless he was handy with pliers and could shingle a roof, fix a furnace, and make perfect Yorkshire pudding.

I bought my dehumidifier the first summer I lived here when I realized all those photos taken of Peggy's Cove were fucking Photoshopped lies, because it's only sunny one day a month from November 'til late August.

Knowing the time had come, I tried to order a cheap model online, but I couldn't wait for delivery. I even played the "my child has severe allergies" card in Sears to see if I could get a discount and a quick delivery. Jack blurting out, "I do not have allergies!" didn't help. Kids can be such assholes when you're trying to pull off a big fat lie.

Being a recession and all, I decided to take the old Kenmore dehumidifier to Sears small appliance repair. I asked Jack to bring it up from the basement but he went all rubbery on me, so I hefted the thing up the stairs and on to the back of the truck myself, all the while tripping on the cord and cursing at life's misfortunes. By the time I was on my way to the Home Comfort repair shop, I was sweating like a fat girl at a dance, and sprouting hairs the texture of piano wires.

The parking lot looked promisingly empty, because I hate line ups almost as much as I hate Bayer's Lake and Celine Dion. I hefted the tired old moisture machine out of the truck and up the front stairs. I kept yelling at Jack to "get the door!" but for some reason he was thinking I meant the car door so he got all confused and did nothing. I managed to kick the wheelchair button with my foot, staggered into the repair place, and plopped the machine on the linoleum.

I looked up and saw my worst nightmare. One underpaid staffer and at least a dozen senior citizens standing in line with nothing else to do but get their toaster fixed and chat about incontinence, and the weather. The digital sign said they were on customer 95, but I think that was his age. I went over to the red number dispenser and pulled a paper number, only they were all stuck together so I got 113, 114, 115 and so on. I'd be there all day, unless a few of them dropped dead before lunch.

What happened next I am not proud of, but it did give Jack something to talk about at my funeral. (As if the "What are you looking at, asshole" t-shirt I'll be wearing in my coffin wouldn't be enough.) I decided life was too short to wait, so I grabbed my dehumidifier by the power cord and headed for the side door like a caveman. "Come on", I muttered as I kicked the wheelchair button and headed down the ramp. The dehumidifier's little wheels were trying desperately to keep up, but I was going too fast. It kept ricocheting, slamming into the wall and the metal railing.

I wheeled the dehumidifier out into the parking lot and up into the receiving dock. It was like playing crack-the-whip with a drunk five-year old on roller skates. The dehumidifier gained so much momentum the water collecting container blew out and tumbled across the parking lot. It finally crashed to a halt at the loading dock door where I gave it a quick pat and walked away, never looking back.

When I got in the truck Jack was laughing but he didn't want to make eye contact. Best not stare into the eye of the beast. Just then I heard a "ping".

Another hair.

I found enough room on a credit card to purchase a new dehumidifier. It's whirring down in the basement, next to the exercise bike and the tool box full of rusty pliers.

Oh, if you do happen to see me lying in a coffin, or on a beach chair somewhere, and you see a rogue, gray pubic hair popping out of a nostril or a beauty mark (cancerous mole). Give it a tug, will ya.

Bremners Plumbing and Heating (453-4800) came and looked at the furnace. Maders Roofing (492-2868) looked at the roof. 'Seems there was nothing wrong with either. Humidity maybe. Good news is, there was no charge for friendly, quick-response, old-fashioned service. Maybe I charmed them.