Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honk If You Understand

Do you ever infuriate yourself?

It sounds difficult to do and yet, I do manage to infuriate myself quite a lot. I get angry at myself for forgetting things. I get angry at myself for being too clumsy and for not being clumsy enough! I get angry at myself for being too quick and for not being quick enough! I get angry at myself for being too slow and for not being slow enough!

You get the idea. I sometimes find myself so aggravating, I positively exhaust myself.

I’ll eat too fast and then bite my tongue. I’ll carry too many items and drop one of them. I’ll bang my elbow on door jams and stub my toe on stairs. On it goes!

I don't ask for these idiotic outcomes and yet, I get the feeling I'm not doing enough to guard against them.

In one incident which seems to have gained legendary status in our home, I was hurriedly rinsing utensils in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher. Out of the corner of my eye, in the midst of all the clattering, I was fairly sure I saw a butter knife fall through the slot and down the drain. It was too dark to see down there. Questioning whether a knife could even fit through a drain slot, I slowly lowered one of our butter knives into the drain slot and then, accidentally dropped it down the drain!

To this day, two butter knives still sit in the kitchen drainpipe.


Last night, I got home after midnight. It was dark. I was about to put my key in the door when I noticed an insect of some sort on the door frame, near the keyhole. Not fond of spiders, I took out my smart phone in the hopes of identifying the bug. The glow of the screen allowed me to determine it was a moth. No problem. As I turned the screen off, I somehow started the car alarm honking. It was blaring loudly, over and over!

The quiet neighborhood echoed with the sound of the infernal car alarm.

I know my own car remote pretty well, so I pressed the alarm button to stop the honking. Pressing my remote started my car alarm blaring! It had actually been my wife’s car alarm that I had triggered, but, since we both drive vehicles made by the same automaker, the alarms sound identically obnoxious. Now I had the alarm on my wife’s SUV honking, along with the alarm on my car!


As neighbors began to turn on lights and peer out windows, I ended up dropping my smart phone on the cement stoop. I first turned off my car alarm and then, in the dark, stared with great concentration at the remote to my wife’s vehicle. We haven’t had her vehicle for a long time and, while it does hang on my keychain, I’m not as familiar with her remote. On top of that, in the darkness, the alarm button on her remote seemed to be pretty much the same color as the “lock”, “unlock” and “trunk” buttons!


It took me what seemed an eternity to finally stop both alarms from honking.


Naturally, the mishap woke my sleeping wife. My son, who’s a night owl anyway, greeted me in the hallway with a giant, patronizing grin, miming applause.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting It Done

Last night, it was windy.

Our assignment for the six o’clock newscast took us to Garon Arena in Montreal North for a live interview with Penguins goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury. He was at the arena to do the ceremonial puck drop, launching the “Equipe McDo” 2012-2013 hockey season.

Our microwave truck operator, Sylvain, was pretty sure the wind gusts were still within the microwave mast’s tolerable limits. After pulling wires from the truck to the spot inside the arena where Louis, our cameraman, had chosen to set up the interview, Sylvain was preparing equipment outside the truck. He had left one of the truck doors ajar with the key in the ignition. As he worked, the howling wind pushed the door closed, locking him out of the truck!

He burst into the arena and announced there would be no “live” because he’d locked the keys in the microwave truck. There wasn’t enough time to have someone at the station drive the spare key to our location, plus, traffic was pretty heavy. Sylvain called our boss to say the “live” wouldn’t happen.

As he hung up the phone, I suggested calling CAA and getting them to unlock the door. That made Sylvain remember taxi cabs offer a “door unlocking” service. He called a cab as the seconds ticked closer to our assigned broadcast time.

When the cab arrived, Sylvain worked on one side of the truck, as the taxi driver worked on the other door.

They finally got the truck unlocked and, as the 60-foot mast swayed in the wind, Fleury walked in, signed autographs, posed for pictures, did the live interview and went into the arena for the puck drop.

Once again, Sylvain holds it all together (See blog "Merci, Mille Fois" April 1, 2012) and makes it happen.

No sweat.

Our camerapeople do a swell job and, hey, my sincere thanks to cameraman, Martin, for warning me my zipper was down as we stood out on the sidewalk at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Peel one evening in mid-September, waiting to do a live report.

Sure, now I triple-check when I change shirts, but why couldn't he have noticed earlier!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dud Duvet

It started with me thinking I was doing a good thing. It ended with me kicking myself.


Fall’s colder temperatures prompted me to pull our duvet out of storage. As I spread it over the bed, I noticed the top edge was dirtier than the rest of it. After all, that’s the area hands clutch in order to pull the duvet higher, for added, cozy comfort! It’s also the part of the duvet most likely to be exposed to wandering dog paws!

No problem. In a burst of wondrous initiative, I decided to pull the duvet off the bed and bring it to the dry cleaner! Later the same day, oozing an industrious tone, I told my wife I’d brought the duvet to the dry cleaner. She sounded surprised, wondering why I hadn’t simply stuffed it into the washing machine. Aghast at the image her suggestion had conjured up in my mind, of feathers cluttered in one corner of a lopsided duvet, I told her, industrious tone still intact, I didn’t want it to lose its shape.

Then, quite matter-of-factly, she told me it’s not a feather-filled duvet, it’s just a regular machine-washable comforter. I insisted, with industrious tone quickly fizzling, it’s heavy like a real duvet and hot like a real duvet. She reminded me again, it’s not a real duvet.

Who the heck’s picking up my memos?

I just picked up the dud duvet at the dry cleaners this morning. It cost $33.16, which I could have used to buy three boxes of detergent and two boxes of fabric softener sheets!


When I told her how much it cost to dry clean the dud duvet, Susan seemed to find it funny. With industrious tone shrivelled and no longer detectable, trying to come to terms with my cluelessness, I told her on the phone last night, by deciding to dry clean the dud duvet, I was trying to to a good thing. She replied, sweetly, “You did do a good thing; you just did the wrong good thing.”


Friday, October 12, 2012

Not A Creature Was Stirring

The station thoughtfully sent out a memo, reminding everyone our Christmas photo would be taken this afternoon at 4 o'clock.

I thought of it at one point today while I was driving from somewhere to somewhere else. As I thought of it, I thought, "I'm going to forget"! Then, I thought I should rehearse it over and over in my head; "Christmas picture. Christmas picture". That way, I thought I would surely boost my odds of remembering to grab a festive hat or scarf from our stash of Christmas supplies at home!

By the time I got home, the thought had, evidently, disappeared in a puff of grey tinsel matter. In my brain, not a creature was stirring.

Consequently, I ended up leaning against the wall behind my boss for the photo, with a Global Christmas stocking clinging strangely to one side of my red polar fleece.

It's amazing; even though I thought about it and then thought I'd forget, I couldn't help myself! I love Christmas, but there I go, letting myself down!

I thought so.