Monday, October 13, 2008

Falco vs The Canoeist

It's been a fairly tumultuous few months in Casa Del Hanover. So tumultuous indeed, that there is a distinct possibility that the Casa, the Del, and even the Hanover may soon be coming to an end. That’s right, we are moving out, and we will be returning to burn the property we will no longer occupy. Well, maybe not the burning down part, but we will of course write naughty things all over the fence.

As of October, we’re up to significant rent increase number three, or perhaps four? I can’t remember, I lost count some time ago. Either way, it’s really taking the piss. Myself and Fandango Jones huffed and yelled in disbelief upon reading the fateful letter, doubly so after reading that their claim for raising the rent (again) was due to their need to ‘cover the cost of increased maintenance to the property’. Now, aside from the fact that maintenance costs are pretty much an accepted and indeed legally required aspect of being a slum, upstanding contributor to the private rental market – you know, right up there with sky blue, grass green, bogans liking footy, etc - , I’m wondering what, exactly these exorbitant maintenance costs are.

Perhaps they are the cost of the following items that we’ve reported as generally fucked to the estate agent over the last year or so:

- The radically unhinged tv antenna on the roof. Now, to be fair, I’m not sure if it’s the landlords’ responsibility to ensure we have crystal clear telly reception, particularly in these heady days of So You Think You Can Dance and other assorted tripe, but what I am sure of is their responsibility to ensure that no pedestrians are killed by large metal objects falling from our roof.

- The water pouring out of roof on rainy days

- The light fittings that no longer work as a result of rain pouring through them and surrounding bits of roof on rainy days

- The burn marks from the light fittings that no longer work as a result of rain pouring through them and surrounding bits of roof on rainy days

- The associated also no longer working electrical fittings that presumably suffered the same fate as the aforementioned light fittings. Such as the bathroom light (works intermittently), and other lighting circuits.

- The bathroom door handle (again), which is exactly zero percent effective as a handle, and approximately one hundred percent effective as a tits on a bull, as my father would say. That is, completely useless (both the handle and my father). But this is a different kind of useless than it once was. Actually, some would argue that it was far more useful during its prior temperament issues, where it would close and lock itself quite indefinitely, lest operation be forced with the assistance of a screwdriver. This time around, the door just won’t stay shut, which is a touch unfortunate for all involved.

- The bathroom sink, which has lost all connection with the wall it is intended to be attached to. This wouldn’t be so bad if it had some kind of cabinet device holding it up from the floor, however it doesn’t. Now obviously the sink is not floating by itself in mid air, but is actually supported by some sort of miraculous gravity defying plumbing. During our last house inspection, the agent was rather shocked – indeed astounded! – by the engineering feat.

- The newly constructed fence quite comprehensively failing in its attempts to be a successful fence. Primarily by not being even slightly secure, let alone particularly upright.

But wait. That can’t be right. They didn’t fix any of these things. They certainly expressed horror at some of these things, particularly the ones that involved possibilities of electrocution/severe bodily harm, but no; they did not arrange for them to be fixed.

In fact, the only thing they have fixed recently is our kamikaze oven, and what a debacle that was. For once, the debacle side of things came from our end, and not the handling agents’, but a debacle it remained. One fateful day a couple of months ago, I decided to do a Sunday roast. It’s pretty rare that I do this, mostly because I can rarely be stuffed using any more than one pot in the cooking process, let alone approach the intriguing science of operating our oven at optimum temperature. But I was in a good mood, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I acquired my pork, and sorted out a stuffing of feta (Greek, not that terrible Danish bastardisation), pine nut, fennel & thyme, which was duly inserted into a lovely cavity between the fat and the meat. I carefully prepared the skin to make a lovely and crisp crackling, lovingly seasoning it with toasted fennel & cumin seeds and a good dose of salt. I surrounded the fantastic looking chunk of meat with an assortment of vegetables and popped it in the oven, set the timer, and wandered over to my laptop where I gloated about my creation to a friend who was facing the grim prospect of trying to make a meal out of cheese and mayonnaise for dinner in a kitchen where a full blown housemate war had developed, leaving him with only a microwave and an empty cutlery drawer. I giggled at the thought of him drooling into his microwaved coffee.

Periodically I wandered back to the kitchen to remove the excess fat from the roasting pan and into a frypan I’d left on the stove. Eventually, the time came where the timer went beep a lot, and I enthusiastically removed the roast from the oven, and gave it a good stab with a knife, sadly discovering the inside to be rather pink and not particularly cooked. I stuck it back in the oven, turned the heat up a fraction, and gave it another half an hour or so. This was around 7.00.

At 9pm, I returned, flicked the door open, and glared angrily at my roast (now cut into portioned slices in hope that it might actually cook before midnight) as I dragged it out of the oven. I placed it on the stove, drained a bit more fat off, and yelled at it rather enthusiastically as a small prod revealed it to still not be cooked - It was getting close, but it definitely wasn’t there yet. I thrust the pan back into the oven, still yelling threats at both it, the surrounding vegetables, and indeed the oven. This task performed, I looked at the timer, considered setting it again, and decided against it as I yelled a bit more, and tossed an errant fork noisily into the kitchen sink. I checked the oven door was shut properly (this was a significant part of the problem, no doubt), and as I stood up again (still yelling), I managed to knock the entire pan of drained pig fat straight up into the air. All over the roof. All over the wall. All over the fridge. All over the floor. And of course, all over myself.

The yelling stopped. But for only a moment.


FUCKING BUGGERY BASTARD PIECE OF SHIT FUCKING KITCHEN ARSE! I stated, as I moved forward to pick up the pan, now on the floor.

OH YOU FUCKING PRICK! I yelled, - as I discovered that movement, barefooted on the greasy hardwood floor was now virtually impossible - sliding.

ARRRGHH!! I screamed, stamping rather ineffectually in the general direction of the pan, trying not to fall on my arse spectacularly.

It was safe to say that by this point, not one person in the house could claim to be unaware that I was by now, the textbook definition of angry. And perhaps tanty throwing. I can only imagine that they were huddled in the lounge room exchanging furtive glances and eye rolling, when VG loudly announced that she was going to open the door and that I was not to throw anything at her. I probably yelled something about how I couldn’t throw anything at her even if I wanted to. But she came in, looked at the general scene of chaos and enquired as to what the hell had happened.

So I explained. Mostly by yelling some more, and right about the point I explained that IT’S NINE OCLOCK and our food is NOT COOKED, therefore the oven is a PIECE OF SHIT, I gave the oven door a punctuating shove.

And then the door fell off. Not the whole door mind you, just the handle, the glass front, and some other random bit of adornment.

But don’t worry. This story has a happy ending. Fandango Jones was the next person to enter the kitchen, quite concerned for VG’s welfare after mistaking her now hysterical laughter for a crying/screaming combination, which I suppose was quite a reasonable assumption given the circumstances. The icing on the cake was the mop disintegrating while attempting to clean up the kitchens’ rather major oil spill. The roast was cooked (the oven door ended up having to be wedged closed with a slab of beer), and the occupants of the house made generally satisfied noises while eating their dinner, if only to stop me from launching it out the window.

Which brings me neatly back to my second point in this Casa Del Hanover moving malarkey. We need a place with a larger and less trapped kitchen. Some storage space and other such trivialities would be nice too. Primary on our wish list is our dire need for a spare room. We’ve always been a house fairly accommodating of house guests (read: couch surfers), but I think we recently discovered our threshold in such endeavours after a six month stint from my friend and yours, Mr Aunt Hillary/Special Shane. Our blue couch is now a grey couch. It is also a smelly couch. But most important of all, it is now an empty couch – and in a house where storage space is a fanciful notion once perhaps described in fairytales from another lifetime; where clearing off a table means carefully balancing one stack of shit onto another stack of shit, an empty couch is the most amazing of items. I’ll fill you in on the endeavours and adventures of Couch Boy some other time, however the fact remains, that post-move we will never again have to house someone in our lounge room. Hooray!

So, if you know of anywhere in the Brunswick/Coburg area with three bedrooms and a shed to put a Krus in (I’m really not kidding), give us a yell. There will be ice cream and donuts and flowers and maybe even hotdogs raining from the heavens on you. Hmm. You might need to invest in a hard hat.


The Rantolotl.


Krus said...

I intend to burn the shed down when we leave. I may even remember to move my things out before the burning.

CJ said...

Really Krus, do you think it will be necessary to move them? Moving will be so much easier with just the clothes on your back and what you can hold in your arms as you run from the collapsing shed. Though on second thoughts...seeing I think the whole thing is made of asbestos the bastard is unlikely to even smoke significantly...

Fandango 'asbestos suit' Jones said...

That shed is entirely unnatural; it will surely outlive us all, much like a cockroach through a nuclear holocaust.

On the matter of hotdogs raining from the heavens, I'd suggest some sturdy eye protection to complement the hard hat...

Anonymous said...

Fantastic story! Everyone at work is now looking at me strangely as I have been laughing so much at my computer.