Thursday, November 04, 2010

Empty Space

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.......


franzy said...

Now you listen to me.
You throw that shit in the bin RIGHT NOW. Litter Ninja or no, you must cast this foul poison from thy dwelling.

And mark my guidance:
Plunger coffee is fine.
You just have to know how to do it:
1. 2 heaped teaspoons per person, plus one for your homies. Always one for the homies.
2. Not boiling water - water that has just boiled and stopped bubbling.
4. Stir.
5. Lid on = heat in.
6. Let it sit, man. 2 minutes at minimum. Wonder the kitchen. Examine minutiae.
7. Plunge s...l...o...w...l...y. Treat your lover gentle.
8. Pour, stir in lactifiers and sucrefactants, drink.

The only downside will be that when/if the machine returns, the piddle of caffeine it puts out may no longer be enough.

drb said...

luckily, I am allergic to caffeine...

Elisabeth said...

That's a serious coffee addiction, worse even than your chocolate one by the sound of things. Have you tried Jarrah?

Vanessa said...

I love to watch you coffee addicts go about your day.
I am married to one with his own primadonna. When he and master x enter the kitchen for porridge together at 5.30am, master x points to the coffee machine and waits and watches while Daddy presses the magical button for his first hit.
Many of my girlfriends plan their day around caffeine fixes and it makes me laugh.
Good luck and I hope Mrs K has a speedy recovery.

Chestnut Mare said...

You scoff at plunger coffee, but then go & buy THAT stuff.... You are way smarter than that....

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

I only drink coffee sparingly (i.e. when abroad because the tea is so disgusting).

I suggest that you wean yourselves off coffee and embrace the nectar that is tea.

Whenever I drink coffee I turn into a hyperactive dodo and yabber like an idiot as I climb the walls and walk on the ceiling.

Coffee is overrated - tea is where the future lies.

You know it makes sense.

(Or try beer - at least if you do that you will forget why you miss coffee).




River said...

*snap* I'm drinking the exact same thing. I love them. When they're on special I stock up.
It's what I treat myself with once a day after work.
The rest of the time I drink what some would consider the sweepings off the factory floor. International Roast instant coffee.

Baino said...

Awwww I'm a plunger and I agree, i really miss those teensy espressos you get in France. I'll have to try Franzy's technique and see if it works as a suitable replacement for espresso. At least you're in the coffee capital of Australia . . .

Kath Lockett said...

Okay, okay Franzy. I'll get the plunger out but I'll be honest - it's the frothy milk I'll miss the most.

drb what happens when you drink caffeine?

Elisabeth I haven't yet but am tempted to take some to work next week

Thank you Vanessa. If Mrs K doesnt - dare I write this - 'make it', we'll be out shopping for another one pronto.

I know, Chestnut Mare, I know. It'll be plunger from now on....

Plasman, I love tea as well but it doesn't unfold my face and give me that figurative kick up the arse that coffee does. Tea is refreshing, coffee is a whallop.

River, your fondness for 'sweepings' is probably doing you a service because everything else will be delicious in comparison!

Baino, we are, but I'm scared of falling into the 'three bought coffees' a day trap and wondering why the bank balance (and work timesheet) isn't showing the numbers I'd like....

Romana said...

oh wow, how is the coffee depravation going? Also, I love a nice chunk of choccie with my coffee, do you? And if yes, please recommend an appropriate chocolate (please) :) Preferably one that is easily found in a town where Cadbury Snack is the biggest seller;)

Pandora Behr said...

Oh I so understand this. After a week in Spain and having to turn to instant to get something that doesn't taste like mud, boy do I get where you and LC are coming from. The only thing I've missed on this trip is my daily real coffee fix (which I got fine in Boston and Holland)

Jayne said...

Ooooooooo, I lurve coffee but it doesn't love me or my tummy.
Fingers crossed for the 21 days to fly by for you all.
And, yeah, go the plunger coffee or try those old peculators.

Wally The Walrus said...

Do you have a gas stove?

If you do you can try one of those stovetop "moka pots". We have one that I use but once a day.

Like Baino I got converted to the expresso in France. Actually in France there is only one way to get a coffee - if you ask, thats what you get. All these other strange coffee things are for evil foreigners.

Anyhow, after getting a bit of a French fix years ago, if I ever get a coffee when out, its expresso. A tiny tiny shot. The French do them quite a lot larger, actually. When I'm at home I'm a bit naughty. I do a load in the moka pot, pretty much expresso strengh - maybe a little knocked back but not much. But I make an industrial size MUG of it :)

I only need one a day. Sacrilege though. I do add a teaspoon of milk. To the mug... never to a real expresso.

Todays word verification: bumpha. I wonder if there is something in that.

Kath Lockett said...

Romana - Lindt's lindor balls. Dissolve instantly in the mouth when washed down with coffee (even the powdered crappy coffee).

Makes you realise what a powerful elixir coffee is, doesn't it Pandora :(

Jayne and Wally - we do have a stove top thingy - it's in our camping gear somewhere....(runs off to go look for it)....