Friday, February 22, 2008

My Family And Other Irritants

It snowed overnight.

Mrs Stevie, resplendent with bruised face1 and suffering2 from a bad back for Lo! these many years decided that the best policy was not to awaken me so I could wield the mighty Troll3 against the forces of nature. No, she would "go it alone" with a snowshovel, and thus guarantee a weekend of pain and misery for all.

Of course, we still had the prospect of driving several on the 5-inch thick blanket of snow to Huntington Hyundai to pick up the fabulous Steviemobile, but just as I was getting everything together Mrs Stevie drove off in her car for points unknown.

I expressed bafflement to the Stevieling.

"Where in Azathoth’s name is that demented woman going?" I shrieked. "We're supposed to be getting my car back from the extortion mill that is Huntington Hyundai!"

"She's gone to take Bil the Elder's phone battery back to him" answered the child. "Don't bother calling because she told me she is incommunicado!"

Mrs Stevies eldest brother, Bil the Elder, owner of the fabled iBrik, possibly the most useless piece of computer electronics ever to rest on the face of the Earth, had a cell phone malfunction last week in which the charging socket disintegrated. He brought it round to my house, no doubt under the mistaken belief that I would ever in a million years undertake another repair job on any of his technology adjuncts. I allowed him to use my 11-bux-off-the-interweb battery charger and apparently he took this as a permanent arrangement. Once again the urge to use Finesse4 is almost overpowering me.

Mrs Stevie had charged his phone battery overnight using my charger, and was now returning it. This would not normally have induced such a rage in me, except that time was getting away if I wanted to catch a train before noon and Bil the Elder lives on the way to Huntington Hyundai and we could have saved time by stopping at his apartment en route.

I was puzzled by the "incommunicado" bit though. We have expensive and at the moment increasingly inconvenient comms infrastructure in place to negate just this sort of situation. I polled the Stevieling for more information.

"Why in the name of Shub-Niggurath has she gone off without her cell phone?" I screamed. "Where is the sense in that?"

"Dunno" replied the child and withdrew from theater

And so I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And called Bil the Elder on his cell and got his voice mail since he obviously still didn't have his bleeding battery back.

Mrs Stevie eventually hoved into view, and I gently probed her for information.

"Why the hell didn't you take your cell phone with you?" I screamed, veins audibly popping from my brow with barely suppressed, yet righteous, rage.

"What are you babbling about? I had my phone!" the vile harridan insolently spat back.

"Then why were you refusing to use it?" I enquired at volume 11 and at frequency levels rapidly approaching those employed in the manufacture of silent dog whistles. My vision was becoming red due to the number of blood vessels that had burst in my eyeballs on account of my apoplexy.

Mrs Stevie whipped out her phone and peered at it in the short-sighted squint she uses to look at stuff carefully and to curdle milk.

"I'm not seeing any missed calls" she snarled.

"Why would I call? You told the Stevieling you were incommunicado!" I howled, every hair on my body erect so strong was my rage.

"I told her Bil the Elder was incommunicado!" she frothed.

At this point we agreed that although the Stevieling deserved to have all her TV rights revoked, her computer privileges rescinded and other stuff we were too angry to come up with at that moment, the hour was late and we had to get under way.

We went out to the car, whereupon Mrs Stevie said "Wait here for me" and ran back to the house and shut the door. The Stevieling and I sat in the car as the snow deepened on the windshield.

Suddenly, Bil the Elder's car swung into the driveway, parking so as to prevent us getting out without maneuvering. This is his trademark. No matter how much space there is in our 5 car driveway, he manages somehow to park so as to use at least three cars worth of spaces.

"Is my sister here?" He called as he got out of his almost-parked car.

"In the house. What do you need?" I asked.

"I need to talk to my sister" he helpfully answered.

"She's in the house. Please don't block us in like that" I said, with just a hint of the rage I had so recently suffered.

"I won't be long" the blockhead said, and walked up to the (closed) front door.

Where Mrs Stevie let him languish (and us too, of course) for about three or four minutes.

When she did emerge, their conversation was extremely short. She got in the car, Bil the Elder backed onto the road in front of our driveway and obliviously span his wheels to give the road in front of our house, already an accident magnet, a mirror smooth polish before disappearing into the falling snow. Mrs Stevie began cursing in the low, continuous way she has, and I managed to glean that the problem was that Bil the Elder's flatmate had not told him his battery had been returned. He had driven all the way over to our place to get the battery that she had driven all the way to his place to give to him.

I thought we were off to get the Steviemobile, but Mrs Stevie obviously thought we weren't late enough and so decided to drop off the Stevieling first in a fifteen minute digression in the opposite direction to the car dealership. This brought on a case of the snarls from me, and I think she began to understand my tolerance for any more dicking about was at an end. We drove to Huntington Hyundai.

I recovered the car, after paying a bill that exceeded the estimate by 100 bux and thereby causing several of the less important internal blood vessels of my heart to spontaneously rupture, then I drove to the station, where I found that Mrs Stevie had contingency plans in the event I thwarted the Battery Delay Ploy and Operation Drive The Wrong Way For A Quarter Of An Hour: She had somehow managed to get the 8:51 train cancelled.

Fortunately, most of my fellow commuters are a bunch of weak-kneed milksops and they used this, and the snow, as an excuse to go home. This meant that despite the dastardly Mrs Stevie/LIRR collusion, there were still seats when the 9:33 appeared.

At 9:45.

With the mandatory 15 minute layover in Jamaica (Not The Good One) and some piffling delays along the short section of track 'twixt Jamaica and Flatbush Avenue, I got to work around 11:30.

I was the only one here.

  1. From a fall in the car park outside her office two nights ago
  2. Unquietly
  3. The Snowblower Of Supreme Spiffiness
  4. My claw hammer

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