The Gauge and the Gambol

Here's how the day began: I was peering anxiously at Liverspot's engine temperature gauge* as I bumped down Farfara Way, wondering if it was behaving eccentrically (it wasn't), when I nearly veered off into a wooded ditch to avoid hitting a young buck who was standing in the middle of the road. Liverspot's never had the most responsive brakes.

What does she do in there with all those bricks of paper?

Here's how the day ended: I went off to schedule my English language tests for immigration - both written and oral - and to reflect on how embarrassing it would be if I failed them. Coming home, I slowly chased a deer back up the driveway, trying my best to imagine that a car could gambol.

* Yes, my car's name is Liverspot.  S/he's a 2001 Camry, and a particularly unappealing shade of brown, so I gave the car an avert-the-evil-eye name.  What of it?  (Although I can't say it's been particularly successful, since last Monday s/he left me by the side of the road in a cloud of smoke.  But that's a story for another day.) 

Luckily we have another car, a 4WD Escape designed to help us navigate our long, LONG, steep, and gravelly driveway in the snowy winter.  

How steep is the road to Farfara (our house)?  Every single new visitor who has ever come to our door - including every delivery man and one group of Jehovah's witnesses - has had the same first comment: "That driveway! I bet it's a nightmare in the winter."  "Tell me about it!" I always say, "I live here!  Wait, is that a Bible you're holding?".  

So we had to get an SUV to handle the driveway in the winter. (How did I go from being the person who didn't even know how to drive five years ago to owning two cars, one of which is an SUV? I don't like the direction this is heading - it begins to feel as if I'm, in Mère Sycorax's words, "up to my eyeballs in assholedom.")  It's grey, sleek, and comfortable, with a cool-running engine, impeccable brakes, and inexplicable multi-colored disco lighting for your feet.  I call it "The Barge She Sat In."

Farfara, Nova Scotia
30 October 2012

The Mousening

I just spent the last half hour in solemn confrontation with a mouse in my kitchen. It began with a rustling on the counter; I ran into the kitchen in time to see him scurry behind the toaster oven. "I CAN SEE YOU!" I accused at high volume, to his great alarm, "YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT I CAN SEE YOU RIGHT NOW."

That is when I decided to video-conference D in for the rest of the mouse battle.

"Ok," I said to him, when he asked what was going on and what he was looking at, "I've trapped a mouse behind the toaster oven, using the Tardis cookie jar as a blockade. So unless this mouse is a Time Lord, there's no way he's getting away."

I think our mouse might be a Time Lord.

I also quickly came to regret bringing my own backseat mouse-trapper to the battlefield. D  kept asking why I wasn't using a box with a stick tied to a string, as I erected increasingly elaborate Rube Goldberg contraptions.

Here's how the confrontati
on ended from D's POV:

D: "Why don't you fasten those two cookie racks together with a twistie tie?"

Sycorax Pine: "I don't know whether I have a twistie tie. Let me just see whether there's one in... AAAH!!!! AAAAH!!! AAAAAAAAAH!!!!!" The video feed shudders with in a clatter of baking tools and hideous screams.

D: "What's happening? What am I looking at? Why am I talking to our food processor now?"


D: "Where is he? What happened?"

SP: "Behind the dish drainer. Look, little friend, I just want to humanely trap you and take you outside so I don't have to call the exterminator to kill you. Can't we come to some sort of understanding?"

Mouse Time Lord: [!!!]


SP: "Look, if you aren't in the trenches, you don't know what it's like."

SP: "Do you approve of the account of the mouse battle I posted online?"

D: "Yes, but you are still leaving out a crucial part of the story."

SP: "That I was outwitted by a mouse?"

D: "That the mouse didn't escape via a TIME MACHINE, but rather through a weakness in your defenses. It's like being a Time Lord, but even more like just walking through an open door."

I concede nothing. 

October 27, 2012