Saturday, 14 July 2007

Princess, Ida and Flo

Saturdays – washing, cleaning, shopping – boring as hell but better than the Monday to Friday gig. Every Saturday morning I hear this screeching, cha-chunk-thud thud sound coming from downstairs in my laundry. My washing machine is on its last legs and it is letting me know it in the most dramatic and loudest way possible. Everything I own is either dramatic or heavy – possibly a bit like its owner. Anyway I have had the washing machine for 15 years – nothing lasts forever does it? It probably does not help that several years ago I ran into it with Princess. Who is Princess? Princess was my old car. The car from hell. Princess was the bane of my existence. She would stall at all the most dangerous and major intersections, she constantly had a heart attack going up any incline and every time I turned the engine on it made this truly impressive squealing sound which drew attention from all. She was the drama Queen of cars. When I finally parted with Princess the transmission was so shot I could not reverse and I prayed like hell that the car dealership who took Princess would not try and reverse it out of the lot before I had a chance to scarper. I wrote about Princess in Seducing Celestine. My new car is called Ida for no particular reason other than it looks like an Ida to me.

My family has a penchant for naming inanimate objects. Why? Because we can. Amongst my treasures I have a life-sized statue called Alphonse, a ghastly bright pink cement flamingo called Monique, a ram’s skull called Terry and a 50 kilo cement chook called Flo. As a kid I always liked the look of The Addams Family house. Flo is a family heirloom and used to belong to my mother. When Mum died I had to have Flo. I strapped her in the front seat of Princess and drove down the highway with Flo at my side singing loudly – me not Flo – sort of like Thelma and Louise but Brad Pitt wasn’t there and Flo doesn’t say much. Naturally I got pulled over at a Random Breath Testing stop. The officer who pulled me over was most surprised to see Flo and I guess I seemed like a natural choice to blow in the breath test machine. I never ever drink and drive as only bloody idiots do so other than leaving lipstick on the blower thing I was good to go on my merry way with my cement companion. Am I odd? Possibly but I like being so.

Anyway back to the washing machine. It has this lop-sided, scraped look going on. Very edgy and post modernist I believe. I park my car under the house. The laundry is under the house. Add stress and voila! Car and washing machine meet – a true case of opposites attracting. It’s actually the only thing – touch wood – I have ever hit with a car. Although Princess was a complete bitch of a thing she was also indestructible so there was not a scratch on her. A male acquaintance of mine said “Why did you drive into the washing machine?” My answer “Do I need a reason?” Men are funny aren’t they? They can have a zillion car accidents but no, not a woman. Yet we like to keep them around as they make us look good and they can be useful.

As I finished this blog the washing machine went to God. I am just hoping that the fridge, bought at the same time, does not go out in sympathy. They just don’t make stuff like they used to Grandma.


Anny Cook said...

No they certainly don't make things like they used to. Planned obsolescence it's called. Everything is designed to break down after a certain amount of time--usually right after the warrenty runs out. It sounds like it gave you a few good years of service. RIP

Phoenix said...

Did the washer have a name after fifteen years? May it rest in peace.