2007.04.18 Now I lay me down to sleep...I pray for a plumber

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

In the 2004 film, Napoleon Dynamite, lead character Napoleon often talked about the importance of having skills. Skills would attract girls, he figured. You gotta have skills.

“Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills,” he observed.

What kind of skills?

“You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills...”

I don’t have those kind of skills, but then I’m not trying to attract girlfriends. I did have a great epiphany the other day after dinner, though.

I was pouring a pot of freshly made soup into a glass container when I realized I’m very accomplished at this chore.

“I can accurately judge which of all our containers to use when I’m putting away leftovers,” I told David.

“Woo!” he said, feigning amazement at my ability.

I can match the right size container for the quantity of each kind of food I’m putting away.

“I think it’s the only skill I have,” I said.

David is pretty much abysmal at this. For example, if he’s putting away a pot of soup, his first inclination is to take a look at the outside thermometer. If it’s cold enough, he’ll opt to put the whole pot on the back porch rather than pack it up in Tupperware.

And if he does put it away properly in the fridge, he’ll choose the oddest assortment of containers, usually mismatching yogurt containers with tofu lids. In any case, he’ll find the weird ones, instead of using the Pyrex or Rubbermaid bought especially for this purpose. He’ll package the one pot of soup in three different oddball containers, so the next day when you’re hankering for a bowl of soup, it’s not obvious that there is any soup in the fridge.

I take pride in eyeballing the soup, to continue with this example, and selecting the container that most closely matches the amount of soup, without its going over and without there being a lot of extra room for more.

I shouldn’t knock David. He’s really a very helpful sort. When I told him I didn’t have any column ideas, he suggested the topic of death.

“When the time comes, you will welcome death,” he predicted. “It will finally be uninterrupted sleep. You’ll never be rudely awakened. You’re going to love it.” 

Was I complaining recently about the birds outside our bedroom window? The car with the thumping bass blaring? Or was I moaning endlessly about the alarm clock that he sometimes sets when he has to make sure he gets up on time, but then he gets up on time anyway and forgets to turn it off?

It’s the most annoying alarm known to humankind and makes me crazy when it goes off. Initially, it has a quiet “beep.” Then another beep. And another. But spaced far enough apart that you think it isn’t going to beep again. But then it does. And then it gets more insistent. Beep, beep, beep! And louder: beep beEP BEEP! Louder and longer. BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEEP! And closer together BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP!

And I cannot figure out how to shut it off. Sometimes I hit a button and it stops. For a few minutes. But just when I am about to fall back into slumber...“beep.” Beep. Beep. And here we go again. Once, I pulled the plug and that worked—but it worked like hitting the snooze button. And then the backup battery kicked in and kept it going.

I don’t know what it was that precipitated David’s death comment. There wasn’t even a funeral going on at Eagle’s across the street. He did mention that I don’t like to be awakened. And that is certainly true. I love sleep. I love being entirely out of it, completely in another world, a dream world, a warm cozy world of flannel and feathers with no responsibilities at all.

Sound like words from the mouth of a stressed out woman? A woman who came home to discover that her husband decided to find that leak in the bathtub once and for all while she and her daughter were on vacation? A woman who walked into a bathroom with a third of a wall missing, the shower surround ripped out and a floor torn up clear to the rafters?

“Uh, Aunt Mary and Uncle Ronnie will be coming,” I said as quietly as I could manage. “How long do you think it will take to get that bathroom back together?”

“You mean I have to hurry to get that project done?” he said in disbelief.

“Well, Maddie is graduating May 20 and her open house is May 19...”

Guess it’s time for me to put my container wizardry on the back burner and develop some plumbing skills.

    – April 18, 2007 
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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