It's not about the house.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Fractured Furnace Tale

Once upon a time, there was a man named Andy. Andy looked a bit like a beer-bellied Alfred E. Newman, and he shared Newman's philosophy about most things:

"What, me worry?"

Andy worked hard, and when he wasn't working, he played even harder. Captain Morgan's and cranberry juice was Andy's drink (yuck), though in a pinch any other kind of juice would do.

Andy liked doing things for other people, so when Princess Prudence needed an extra Strong Body to move a furnace down her cellar stairs, he was the first man she called. But he was busy. Doing Something Else for Someone Other than Herself.

No one else showed up either to move the furnace down the stairs, and Prudence was pondering the likelihood of she and her Royal Consort moving the hateful thing themselves, when the Consort came up lame.

Prudence was overwhelmed. Consort had been in the process of gathering paperwork for something called a "biometrics" appointment with the INS, which was fast approaching. Now she would have to take over this responsibility, as well as the care and feeding of the Consort, and Things One through Six that she does daily anyway (plus, if all goes according to plan, Thing Six is on the verge of spawning Thing Seven).

So Monday night, after doing her own six Things and stopping by Consort's last workplace to clean it up and bring home all his tools, after making an appointment for Consort to see Bones and making several phone calls regarding Biometrics, after calling the Kid to tell him he'd be on his own moving the furnace because Consort was laid up and she was plum out of ideas, after calling Keyspan to tell them it might be longer than two weeks before the damn thing was installed and they'd just have to deal with it, and after feeding and icing and there-there-ing the Consort (but before cleaning up the dinner mess), Princess Prudence took to chambers.

Princess did not sleep well. She still didn't know how badly Consort had damaged his royal leg. She didn't know if the Kid would show up in the morning. She didn't understand what sort of paperwork she was supposed to be gathering for the government, let alone where to get it from or if it could be had in time for the imminent appointment. She didn't know whether, if she did it wrong, the government would send the Consort home. She didn't even want to know how much Keyspan would charge her for the furnace if they didn't get it in on time, and she felt as though she'd been lax lately on Things Two and Six. She fretted over all of this until finally, fitfully, she slept.

She awoke four hours later, dutifully on time, and worried Thing Two for a couple hours. Then, at quarter to Royal seven the Princess' phone rang. It was Andy.

"Did you ever get that furnace in?"

Why no, we didn't.

"Okay. I'm leaving now to pick up Royal Helper. We'll be there sometime after 9:00."

God bless you, Andykins. If any of the liquor stores were open at this hour, I would even deign to purchase Captain Morgan's for your liquid refreshment.

But I wouldn't give you any until after you were done moving the half-ton of Royal Scrap.

We called the Kid and told him two Big Strong Men would be here at 9:00. He said he'd grab one more and be here shortly after. It's now 10:38. No sign of Kid. Andy and Helper and I got the thing into the kitchen, where at least it'll be protected from the weather (for now, at least, until the roof gives in). I can't open the fridge or get down to the basement. I can't put my dishes away or sit down at the table. And I think I hurt my shoulder. But at least the freakin' furnace is in out of the rain...

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