Friday, 27 April 2012

If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands

I met a wonderful madman outside school today. Little Miss Sunshine was in a huff because I'd just refused to carry her (the bloody shoulder still acting up, added to the fact that the Little Miss weighs a trifling 18 tons), when he started talking to her. Trying to cheer her up, he pointedly addressed her in a heavily accented French even though it obviously wasn't his native language — I guess he is the father of a child attending the same school, because a young boy was sitting in his car, cowering away. My heart went out to him, as I had the same sort of dad when I was growing up: loud, funny and outrageous, saying weird things to total strangers, constantly making a show of himself.

The car, by the way, was quite something as well. I had noticed it before and I loved it: it was very old and decorated with dozens of magnets, stickers and furry toys. Was it for the amusement of the child or that of the parent, I idly wondered. Meanwhile, your man had started pretending that the stuffed shark affixed to the roof rack was devouring his arm and was growling theatrically. That got him a smile from my grumpy offspring. Then she noticed a fluffy cat on the roof of the car and pointed at it with a determined look while miaowing for Ireland. Your man promptly gave it to her, adding that the cat was sad because it only had one eye, and drove away in his old weezing car. He had never said a word to me.

I was left there gaping, open-mouthed. At first, when the man had popped out, I wasn't sure if I should maybe grab my child under one arm and bolt. Finally, I mumbled an awed "Thank you" before he disappeared. As I said, that kind of behaviour reminds me of someone and I find it endearing, now that I have shed my cringing adolescent skin. Little Miss Sunshine is the happiest little girl ever with her new sooty and frayed one-eyed friend. This man is my hero of the day.

It certainly isn't my doctor, because my eyes are worse than ever. I was weary of him from the start anyway, as while I was listing my symptoms, he made several attempts at spelling "nauseous" before he gave up, leaving it at "nauceis". Honestly, aren't these people supposed to study for about a decade before they get their licence? A week on, I still decidedly have that vampire look with my bloodshot eyes. Maybe it's a professional hazard and I should stop translating teen fiction — though my current opus is about firebreathers and not bloodsuckers. Or maybe I am getting magical powers — one look and I can kill you instantly if you don't behave. Watch out, Mr Property Manager...
Ooh, darling, you have such beautiful red eyes

Before you ask, yes, the house is still leaking from various places and the latest development is that the air vent fell off in Little Miss Sunshine's bedroom. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as, typically, it was held in place with sticky tack. Behind the vent, I discovered a ragged gaping hole full of rubble, with a loose bit of rusty wire mesh fluttering in front of it. Basically nothing stops the howling winds and the crawling beasts from rushing into my baby's bedroom. I went crazy with sticky tape, then angrily typed a passionate missive to my BFF from the management company. I know he will just blissfully ignore it, but I am plotting my revenge. The wrathful forces of the County Council will soon be set loose on him. Wait and see. (Told you my ruby eyes are a sign of superpowers.)

As for the car, a wonderful mechanic fixed it for free, but it went on to fail its NCT test. Considering I only just bought it a few months ago, it is rather vexing. But I am looking into the bike issue and in the meantime, we can always walk to school (it would only take about an hour). Never mind the lashing rain, we are hardly going to melt. I will let nothing undermine my morale.

So all in all, a nice, uneventful week. I watched a harsh Canadian film called Incendies ("Fires"), reminiscent of a Greek tragedy even though it is about Lebanon in the last 3 or 4 decades, and I suddenly felt really happy in my life. Lucky, even. I think I might buy a lottery ticket (really need that damned bike).

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