Friday, December 16, 2005

Dredged from the Depths

Yesterday was D Day. After pondering the possibilities for months, it was time to Dredge.

My computer, you see, had been banished to the basement since I moved into this house nearly 5 years ago. Why? Sometimes it's difficult to guess how my mind operates, but I see several clues. When I moved in, there was a serious lack of phone jacks on the premises. There were 3: one in my bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in the basement.

The bedroom was out of the question for computer placement. Feng Shui principles prohibit electronic devices (especially computers!) in the sleeping area. The kitchen was out because I needed that jack for my phone/answering machine. My only option was the basement.

The house also lacks a reasonable number of grounded electrical outlets. Again, the basement featured one of the 2 available.

Besides, Betty's over-active imagination is hellbent on figuring out how to avoid advertising for thieves. I firmly believed that my PowerSpec PC (Micro Center's bargain basement special) would, if viewed through the window, become a target for any burglar who happened to be peeking in.

The problem is, I hate basements. Those who know me must wonder how I came to I choose this house, because one of its main selling points was its "FULLY FINISHED BASEMENT!!!!"

I hate basements. They harbor mice, spiders, mold, dampness and darkness. Secrets we're better off not knowing are hidden in them.

Two years ago, in anticipation of D day, I had the phone company install a new phone jack in the living room. ( I later came to find out that I could've hired a handyman to do it for a fraction of the price, but then again, the phone company guy was cute.) Back then, the plan was to create the possibility of moving the computer upstairs to the living room.

I had to think about it for 2 more years. Finally yesterday I called TA and asked him to help me move the behemouth computer desk up the stairs. I had already disconnected the computer components and hauled them upstairs.

While waiting for TA to arrive, I inspected the area I had prepared for the computer. With great alarm I noticed that there was no grounded outlet in the living room. I really don't know whether I had ever been aware of this issue in the past, but if so, the information had escaped me.

At this point I gave in. I allowed myself to be overwhelmed. I placed a frantic call to TA, who likes me a lot better when I squelch it. He said I could use an adapter. I argued vehemently against that idea until he convinced me to hang up so that he could eat his lunch.

I called every computer store in the city to ask their opinion on using adapters. The consensus was negative- it would probably set off the surge protector. I ran about the house searching wildly for another option. There it was, in the kitchen where my water cooler used to be plugged in before I realized what a colossal waste of money it was. It was my forgotten first floor grounded outlet which had been concealed by the now absent water cooler.

I'd move the phone/answering machine to the new living room jack and place the computer in the kitchen where, if I ever looked up and out the windows, I'd be able to enjoy the best views in the house.

TA showed up with 3 minutes to spare before he had to leave. When he saw the desk stripped of its components he gasped. "This thing is HEAVY!!!" It's very large and made of a very dense wood and metal. It probably weighs the same as my car.

Not having had a whole lot of experience with moving furniture, I started to fear the task at hand, but it was too late to back out. We couldn't figure out who should be in front. Clearly he was stronger, but we didn't know which position was more demanding. Running out of time, he decided to take the top.

At first it seemed OK. We moved up a few stairs without mishap; then everything changed without notice. The desk stopped moving. TA told me to back up. Back up?! I was barely hanging on. The monstrous desk was trying with all its might to push me back down the stairs and crush me!

At this point my shoe fell off, which did not help matters in the slightest. TA was showing signs of strain and alarm. As the desk started to win the struggle, I had a momentary spell during which it felt as if the life had drained out of me.

When I regained consciousness, the desk was stabilized at the top of the stairs. TA reported that he had strained his back, and I tried to conceal my shaking as he bolted out the door.

The computer happily hums along here in the kitchen where I can watch the snow fall if I look up. My screen is now illuminated by natural light rather than manmade bulbs. The Child and the Chihuahua can no longer tear the house up while Mama holes up in the dungeon. D Day was a smashing success.

Now I'd better call to check on TA's condition.


Sideways Chica said...

Dear Betty,

I can't wait to read all of the wonderful posts you'll "cook" up for us in that kitchen of yours. I thoroughly enjoyed the story...

Ciao for now...


garnet david said...

Fun story and well told. It builds to the end. I chuckled lots, which I need to do more of these days. Thank you Betty. I'm glad you like the new location, even if it meant going through some extra whirling!

ME Strauss said...

Your stories are so light and filled with energy. I so enjoy reading them. I'm delighted that you have a new place to write and can't wait to read what you write next.

Betty said...

Now that the computer's in the kitchen, I'm a lot less interested in tofu/amaranth concoctions. The Child and the Chihuahua are rejoicing!

Betty said...

The fact that you chuckled makes it all worthwhile.

Betty said...

Thank you! I imagine I'll be spending a lot more time on the computer now, and maybe there'll be some evolving going on....

Patry Francis said...

It will be interesting to see if your writing changes now that you're in the sunlight!

Betty said...

I was wondering the same thing!

Anonymous said...