Many decades of bitter experience have failed to teach me their lesson. I am still unable to shake these linked illusions regarding household appliances:
- household appliances cannot possibly malfunction, stressfully and expensively, just at the wrong moment;
- should such an incident occur it will be dealt with by either my (dead) father or my (ex) husband;
- they will not bother me about the malfunctioning household object since I am a lady and a poet and exist on a higher plane;
- they will not try to explain to me in mind-numbingly tedious detail the reason for said household object’s malfunction;
- they will fix it, which will take five minutes rather than three hours, and will not expect money for having done so.
However, in the real world, first my electrical wiring collapses in upon itself, live wires start interacting with one another (and blah blah blah…) so no central heating or hot water all winter. Then my loo seat breaks and has to be replaced by a novelty dog-reading-a-newspaper loo seat – in Latin, I notice, with English headlines. Then, the wiring having been fixed and long, deep, hot baths with wilting paperbacks once again a delightful prospect, the boiler starts making hideous clanking noises and goes out. I restart it numerous times. Same thing happens every time. Would you believe it?
Dead father and/or ex-husband inexplicably fail to materialise in my kitchen bearing spanners and boxes of tissues/consolatory chocolates. I am forced to call a plumber. Sacré bleu! The plumber explains it thusly:
‘Well, yer boiler is ‘eating the ‘ot water. Right? And the ‘ot water is getting up to yer pump in the cupboard on the landing. Right? But yer pump’s not working. Right? ‘Ence it’s getting red ‘ot and ‘umming and the landing smells of ‘ot rubber. Right? Then yer pipes set up a dreadful clatter because the water’s not goin’ on round the system. Right? It’s stuck at the pump.
‘At which point yer boiler says ‘Ere, thassnot right! and closes ‘imself down, ‘ence all the red lights. Issa good thing really. Safety mechanism.’
So – my boiler is male and can speak, and he has a Cockney accent. Who knew?