Mrs Krups is crook.
She had decided that she no longer cared about cleanliness, being content to sit there sulky, increasingly bloated and occasionally wetting herself.
Love Chunks did everything to save her. Regular sponge baths, posh cleaning fluids, gentle steam rinses and words of encouragement, affection and pity; all slavishly taken from the Owners Manual. She resisted his advances and good intentions.
His concern sooned turned to anger when Narvey Horman's people were less than interested in following up the extended warranty for four more years that LC had purchased a year ago. "I don't think a blockage is mechanical Mr LC and we only cover mechanical problems on this warranty."
Surely if a machine that isn't working due to a fault now-commonly-accepted as being particular to that model is therefore considered to be suffering a mechanical issue?
Love Chunks' powers of persuasion - and evident anguish in his voice - must have softened the goon on the phone who suggested he take Mrs Krups to a specialist coffee machine expert in North Melbourne to be fixed.
Love Chunks was due at work and Sapphire was at school so with three days as a Work From Home Writer to go, I gently placed her in the front seat of our car, fully aware that she was worth far more than the vehicle she was about to travel in.
As we crossed the street - me treading over puddles and cradling her in my arms - I hoped that the sign on the far side of the building was not a modern-day prophecy:
Four other customers were ahead of me, also hugging their chrome-coloured caffeinated cuddle bunnies. Instead of the oils and clanking sounds of the mechanics we smelled roasted beans, heard the hiss of de-clogging milk steamer nozzles and the ineffectual doof-doof of Nova's hour without ads.
It was eventually my turn and Mrs Krups' papers were examined thoroughly. Where was she purchased? When? Could we provide a copy of the manufacturer's warranty? And that of the extended one? Had we contacted Narvey Horman for a job number? Had she been serviced regularly?
Love Chunks had done the hard yards: all the information was there and my arms sagged just a little under Mrs Krups weight as the counter girl tippy-typed all of the numbers, addresses and technical specs into her computer screen being sure to keep her black-painted fake talons pristine.
There was a nervous crunching sound behind me. Finding a space on the cluttered counter for Mrs K, I turned around. An elderly Italian man had flipped the lid of the grinder chamber on his DeLonghi and was starting to eat the beans.
I couldn't help myself. I had to ask: 'Are you THAT desperate for a coffee?'
'Yes' he said instantly, jaws still madly gnawing, eyes hollow and sad.
I imagined Love Chunks' eyes looking exactly the same when Talon Chick informed me that it would take three weeks. "Any longer and you can call us, yah? It probably means that we have to send away for some parts." What was this, a Lexus dealership?
Three weeks. No fully-blown, freshly ground, seriously bitter coffee to unfold our faces and kickstart the day.
Plunger coffee seemed so pallid as an option and instant wasn't even considered. But we needed something to bluff and blunder our way through the next 21 days: at least until we left the house and found a coffee shop on the way to work/tennis/the shops.
I heard his moan of despair from the other end of the house. "Oh Kath, how could you?"
Twenty one sleeps and forty two shop-bought coffees to go.......