Friday, March 16, 2007

Come Groovin' Up Slowly

Todd looked into the sink, annoyed.

Todd: Can you find me a set of allen wrenches?
Tata: Maybe. I'll take this side of the house. You take the porch and the basement.

A few days before, we didn't hear Dad calling from the living room, which scared the crap out of everyone. The next morning, we presented him with a hotel desk bell with which he could summon us and maintain his dignity. Apparently, Todd's annoyance and DIY plans psychically communicated to Dad's sickbed because as I put my hands on the wrenches, Dad's bell rang urgently. Todd sprinted to the living room. A minute later, Todd reappeared pushing Dad in a wheelchair to the affected sink. Todd had been ready to take the disposal apart for repairs. With a few impatient gestures, angry directions and a brief instructive lecture, Dad repaired the disposal. Todd stared, breathless. The whole episode did not exceed 8 or 9 minutes. Dad has what apprears to be an almost magical power to fix things, but of course, it's not a magical power. It's a half-dozen decades of working on machinery and equipment and cars and people used to do this themselves but don't so much anymore, so when Dad growls, slaps something and turns it expertly, a thing runs again, whatever it is. The problem for the last week has been that Dad doesn't realize how much he knows, and so when his four capable children had to occasionally step back for a second and figure out how something functioned, Dad became very, very impatient.

Dad: Can't you get the goddamn slide projector working?
Todd: If I push this button, will the tray fit the slot?
Dad: PUSH THE GODDAMN BUTTON! I could drop dead before we see Helsinki!

That night, Daria tugged on the dishwasher door and out rolled a cloud of icky, fishy odor. Inside, she found cloudy standing water and bailed it out, while Dara and I gagged helplessly and heckled. When the last of the water had gone down the drain, Daria and Todd pondered a broken dishwasher, clogged pipes and suddenly, we all knew at the same time.

Us: Freaking disposal!
Tata: This might not've happened if I hadn't poured out that crappy chowder and the bisque.
Tata: Yep.

The next morning, we were all sitting around Dad.

Daria: We have a funny story to tell you.
Dad: [laughs nervously]
Daria: Your dishwasher's not broken, and we're very pleased to it's not broken because we thought it might be.
Dad: Why did you think that?
Daria: Because of the stinky water in the bottom. These two threw me under the bus. Didn't help at all.
Tata: Well, someone had to handle nausea and we couldn't delegate.
Daria: I scooped out every drop of that disgusting mess, then we followed the pipes and - bingo!
Dad: It came from the disposal when we fixed it. I can't tell you how many hours I spent under that sink with a flashlight when we first moved here.
Daria: Exactly! So this is all her fault!
Dad: [laughing in earnest]
Tata: I was cleaning out the fridge and dumping liquids into the sink without watching which sink.
Daria: But did she help clean up her mess? Nooooo.
Tata: I didn't recognize my mess. You can't exactly dust for liquids.
Dad: [howling] Did you hear what your sister just said? "You can't exactly dust for liquids."
Tata: I paraphrased that fair and square.
Dad: Run the disposal once a day, crazy people.
Us: Yes, Dad.


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