Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Gagging for a Gaggia

Love Chunks got his birthday present a month early yesterday. It was the first time in many years that he actually thrown out a few hints as to what he wanted, so I grabbed the chance to find it, buy it and give it.

Normally he sighs and says, “Look, I really don’t need anything. You don’t have to get me anything because if I do need or want anything, I just go and get it when I want to.” Fair enough but could you really imagine not getting your beloved a gift on their one special day of the year and waving your finger in their disappointed face, “Oh but you said you didn’t want anything.” In order to avoid this pitiful blight on my personality, I’d always try to get him something I thought he’d like – CDs, DVDs, books, t-shirts. Not exactly riveting, but not exactly offensive either.

Sapphire bounced up to me and said, “Daddy told me that he wants a coffee machine for Fathers Day.” Well good on him because she had only given me about twelve hours’ notice for that gift to materialise, so he had to make do with a handmade tulip card from Sapphire and a book ‘South Australia’s Best Bush Walks’ that I’d hurriedly bought from the newsagent. That book is now sitting on top of all the other books I’ve given him over the past five years – all still book-marked on about page 27 in a higgledy-piggledy pile near the bed. ‘Bored of the Rings’, ‘Stories about Men’, ‘Touching the Void’, ‘The Chaser Annual 2005’, ‘100 Hypotheticals’ and ‘Of Mice and Men – Short Stories by John Steinbeck.’

The Day After Fathers Day I set to work, googling my little heart out in search of coffee machines. It wasn’t long before I spotted her – a cute shiny box of a Gaggia for half price. Still a bit expensive for our household, but too good an offer to refuse. Three clicks later and the Gorgeous Gaga was mine - bar a short ride in the Toll Express truck.

She arrived yesterday, all stainless steel sexiness and boxed up tighter than Paris Hilton’s untouched dictionary set. Gaga was too heavy to lug across the uni campus to my freebie car park, so I surreptitiously parked the beast under the Kaf’s loading zone, crossing my fingers that Trevor the Coke Guy wasn’t about to pull in. My mind was buzzing with ideas of how to smuggle her inside and find a suitable hiding spot for a month until Love Chunks turned the big Three Nine.

All those plans flew out the window when I picked up Sapphire from school. “What’s in the box, Mum?” “What’s a G-A-G-G-I-A? Oh I see a picture, it’s a cafĂ© coffee machine isn’t it? You’re getting it for Daddy!”
“Err yes sweetie, but we’ve got to pretend it’s not in the back seat now while we go and pick him up from work and then I’ll sneak it inside later on, OK”
“Yep Mum, you know I can keep a secret.”
Five minutes later, in front of the weather bureau: “Hey Dad, DON’T LOOK AT THE BOX NEXT TO ME, IT’S A COFFEE MACHINE FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. Oh, whoops, sorry Mum.”
Ah it didn’t matter – LC’s beautiful blue eyes were glittering with pleasure…..

….until 7am this morning, when muttered swearing greeted me as I staggered blearily into the kitchen enroute to the shower. “Bloody complicated thing….I’m not sure where the hell this stupid egg cup thingy is supposed to go and what the $%#@ is this nozzle for – how the devil can it need four pipes for one pissing little cup of coffee, the &^%$er!” It was easier for me to smile brightly, give him a perky thumbs up and back out of the room – until I was clean, deodorised and dressed I was in no way prepared enough to assist.

A little time later, the kitchen sounded as though it was having a major phlegm attack: Gorrffff - Gorffffff - Gorffffff as LC gently coaxed out two cups of espresso and got Gaga to hawk up a lukewarm jug of froth. “Well…?” he asked eagerly, as I took a sip.
“It’s lovely, not bad at all, LC…. Maybe a bit on the cold side,” I suggested, with my voice raised at the end of the sentence so as to make it a question and not a criticism.
“Yeah, you’re right. Perhaps if I yank off the nozzle and ram it up into----“
“Or you could try reading the instruction booklet.”
He held it up to me, struggling with the weight of it. How can a gorgeously sleek silver box require a phone-book-sized manuscript to eke a hot drink out of it? That issue was left to LC to ponder as I farewelled him, Sapphire (asking for a babycino) and Dogadoo and headed out to the bus stop.

A couple of hours later, my mobile rang. It was Love Chunks, sounding rather more perky than usual. “Hey there Milly Moo - slurp - I’ve made a few more alterations and read through the book and added some better coffee and filtered water and now it’s perfect I’ve struck gold it’s delicious and the milk now is really piping hot and frothy and even Sapphire likes the hot chocolate babycino version I made her and soon Geoff the building design bloke will be here and I’ll make him one too and maybe Jack next door ‘cos I’ve been meaning to talk to him about the tree near our fence that should be trimmed back and – slurp – your bike is now set up so that you can ride it tomorrow after I make you a couple more cups of this fabulous stuff and maybe you could take some to work in a thermos or use the cold stuff for your really yummy version of tiramisu or even better a coffee cake – slurp ---“
“LC? Sweetheart? You might need to run all the way to Glenelg and back if you're going to get that caffeine out of your system– remember you’re normally only a one cup of instant guy, OK, or maybe a mug of green tea in the arvo if you’re feeling a bit crazy, OK?”

Heaven help Sapphire on her ‘School Day Off for the Royal Adelaide Show’ day with Dad today…..

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