22. Alternating deficiencies

We take turns, him and me.

One day he is ‘hard’ of hearing
I call It selective deafness,
The next day, it’s my turn to say “pardon, what did you say?”

One of us is suffering and complaining about knee pain, 
the other one of us just soldiers on with shoulder pain until the job is done. 
Alternately, we commiserate and share, 
“Pass the anti inflammatory ointment please” 

The builder and the apprentice (aka the go-for) 
have long and meaningful conversations about tools. 

When is a drill a bit or a drill?
Do you want the power drill, the battery drill or the bit that goes in it?”

Deficient explanations alternate with unclear requests. What’s a ‘go-for’ to do?

“Where is my ( insert any type of building equipment/ tools in here)?
Let’s start with the builders pencil.  It is always ‘where you left it'
Or maybe that ever elusive tape measure, or the hammer, or the pliers- “ no, not that one - I meant the multi grips- um no….. Get the Size 8 crescent.  And just where is my chisel? "

Is there ever a stupid question? 
Or is the only stupid question the one that isn’t asked? 

At the end of a long hard day building, 
we sit and analyze the alternate deficiencies of each,
Over a glass  (or 2) of wine and a bottle (or 2) of beer. 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.

8. Pancake pandemonium

Progressively Pandemonious Pancakes 
Straws had been drawn, choices made. The date set for the progressive dinner. Each couple had their dinner course to prepare.  We had been allocated to make the dessert course.

What can we make that will look impressive, taste delicious and yet is easy to make? We decided on Hungarian Tipsy pancakes.  The recipe seemed simple yet spectacular. We set to and followed the instructions.

Make the mixture
The ingredients are few
Just a gentle whisk will do
Give the batter a rest for a minute or two

Then take hold of the handle of the pan
Carefully melt the butter until it is just sizzling,
Ladle the batter gently in and swirl the pan to cover the surface 
After a minute, the pancake will start to colour
Shuffle it towards the edge of the pan, 
then flip with a quick flick of the wrist,
Toss that pancake. catch it in the pan 
(or scrape it off the floor) and repeat

The pancakes were light and fluffy with just the perfect amount of colour and  delicate lace edges. It was time to fill them with a delicious combination of sliced banana, apricot jam and a sprinkle of chopped nuts. They looked spectacular on the oval serving dish. It was time for the progressive dinner party to begin. 

After feasting on shrimp cocktail starters, wild pork and roast vegetables washed down with copious quantities of bubbly wine and beer, it was our turn to shine bright. Into the tiny kitchen we squeezed ourselves, brandy bottle and matches at the ready.

The idea was to flame the stack of stuffed pancakes and carry the flaming dish into the dining room to earn gasps of delight and wonder from the assembled guests.

Hmmm – well that was the plan.

Many attempts at lighting the brandy were unsuccessful. Several methods were tried but alas to no avail. Dead matchsticks were strewn across the bench and onto the stack. Tempers flared but the pancakes didn’t.

Belatedly ‘someone’ suggested – maybe we have to heat the brandy first.  So we put a little splash of brandy into a small pot and heated it on the gas stove. Carefully I dipped a teaspoon into the pot. I set a match to the heated brandy. Yay-  that worked but then in the heat of the moment, excitedly and without thinking,  I put the flaming teaspoon back into the pot.  That was so not a good idea. The pot burst into flames. Pandemonium ensued.

“Quickly – pour it onto the pancakes” he shouted. The flames doused instantly. We tried again – same method, same result. And again…. at which point we were giggling hysterically and falling about in fits of laughter. 

“Oh no – just look at that mess.” Feeling a bit like crying whilst laughing, I decided that enough was enough. We carried our burnt offerings into the dining room.

The serving dish was a pathetic mess.  There were piles of dead matches amidst brandy-soaked soggy pancakes. They were stuffed but not in a good way.

The party guests erupted into gales of laughter. Some were brave enough to sample our sozzled, sizzled stack. Others not so brave.  

“Oh well” the host said.  “Our pig dogs might enjoy them”   
The party guests trooped out into the backyard to watch. Yeah nah. Those rude dogs just sniffed and spurned the stuffed pancakes.

 We decided to drink the remaining brandy instead.

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.

DAY 13. Call the plumber; I’m stuck

The drain is clogged – true story!

A slow drain with no gurgling noises to be heard at all.  The quickly rising water level in the kitchen sink was a teensy bit worrying.   So I tried a few obvious solutions. I googled and watched the youtube videos. I read all the questions and answers – and found out what plumbers hate!

Enough googling and procrastination. It was time for action. 

First attempt:  the baking soda and white vinegarYeah Nah – that didn’t work too well this time although it has in the past.This kitchen sink was still really slow draining.

I had a cup of soothing green tea.

Then I tried the no frills brand drain cleaner. Following the instructions, I poured 250 ml down the sinkhole and waited the required 15 minutes before running cold water as a chaser. Still not great.  At this stage it was nearly midnight so I repeated the process, put the timer on and read a  couple of chapters of my  book.  Flushed it through again. Not much better. 

I had a glass of wine.

What a pain of a drain. What can I do now but call the plumber as something is stuck –  and I think its me. I gave up and went to bed.

Then the very next day…. I tried once again. This time I gave that lazy drain a jolly good talking to, threatening dire consequences if it didn’t sort itself out. Out will come the plunger and then out will come the tools. 

I had a cup of coffee.

Then I filled the sink with hot soapy water, boiled the jug, pulled that plug and let it all out in a rush… and voila. A slight gurgle then a glugging sound followed by a loud and proud burp. Who knew drains burped?  It had finally became unstuck and so did I. 

I had a celebratory cup of tea.

Let me just say that getting a plumber to drive 60 kms from town is a daunting task – and the mileage bill  alone could have been quite horrendous.

Just call me Mrs Plug the Plumber. 

This is is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’