Sloppy Coffee and Clumsy Fumblings
Mrs Krups has let us down again.
The first time it was my birthday and I naively thought that it'd be as easy as Maggie the magna's half-yearly service - a quick fiddle and back home again.
Alas no. Three weeks of to-ing and fro-ing from the Extended Warranty Wallahs and another couple to order the part in.
She returned home in good condition and was prepared to go back to work. Well, for a month. Our trip back from South Australia to Melbourne (yep, along with the three humans, the Christmas presents, a small rabbit and a dog, she also merited inclusion) must have literally rattled her, because when we plugged her back into the kitchen at Chateau Lockett, she defiantly whizzed all over the counter.
The second visit back to the Coffee Machine Centre took another four weeks; most of those spent liaising (or making many phone calls only to have none of them returned) with the Warranty Wimps.
The third visit was today, a mere two weeks after she returned. She initially seemed slightly quieter and a bit more defeated but had started dropping wet, sloppy pats of used coffee grounds in socially-unacceptable places which made the coffee weaker than a cup of hot water that was merely looking at an unopened jar of Nescafe.
The Warranty Wankers were unmoved. "Sorry Mrs Lockett," she said in that rushed and mumbled 'I couldn't care less' voice, "Your policy states that the product covered under our insurance needs to break down more than three times due to the same issue before you get a replacement model or your money back."
This time I didn't give Mrs Krups a small pat before they took her behind closed doors. I was dismissive and cold, whirling on my heel towards the gourmet food part of their warehouse, seething at possibly another five weeks without a proper Six-AM eye-opener.
Still, I pride myself on trying to see the positive side of things and was soon immersed in attempting to read the back of Italian talc boxes, German toffee slabs and figuring out that the French jars weren't holding albino Twistie snacks but were a creative interpretation of dissolvable anti-acid tablets and was thirty bucks for a pretty box of nougat really worth it and if so, why....
CRASH! My humble shoulder bag had brought down a stacked display of jars. Broken glass and sludge was all over the floor as I turned around to take a closer look at the product I'd just destroyed. 'Choc Ezy Nut-free spread.'
Ah. Perhaps it could be something I could review for GoneChocco, but I really didn't want....
"Are you going to pay for zat?" The assistant was at my side, smiling grimly.
"Er, I wasn't because it wasn't something I was going to buy, and I'm so sorry about this mess, but I have got some tea bags here and I've just dropped off my machine over there..."
He stared steadily at me as my voice trailed away. My hand groped for one of the few jars still intact on the shelf. "I might get this one." The word 'one' ended on a high note; more of a question seeking his approval and my escape.
He nodded. Things looked right in the world again but I had to do it.
I had to.
It was a question that needed - in my view - to be asked. "Um, I have a discount card for here. Can you please swipe it?"
He didn't bother to look at me this time, instead choosing to sigh loudly. "Is my first day on ze job. How do I do eet?"
I had no idea. "Hey, don't worry about it. I shouldn't have asked and I'm sorry again for the mess."
"Is okay. Enjoy ze spread."
Back in the car, I read the label. First ingredient: cheese. In a nut-free, chocolate spread that I'd just seen globbing slowly across a polished cement floor like an ageing brown bathmat. Great.
At Woolworths, my attention was focused on finding and buying foods that were slightly more practical. "Here darl, have a go at this, um, Antee Pasto here." The name plate said Cheryl and the pink lipstick slashed unevenly across the mouth said I'd rather drink the pickle juice than eat what it's preserving.
ACK ACK AAAAACK! The green olive - roughly the size of my fist - wasn't stuffed with red capsicum but a birds' eye chilli and my sample ended up being unceremoniously catapulted out of my shocked, coughing mouth and splatting somewhere in the open cheese cabinet nearby. Eyes streaming, I weakly pushed my trolley onwards, with Cheryl saying, "You get ten percent off if you buy three deli products this week, darl!" Ten points for optimism.
At the check out counter, an elderly lady was struggling to load her groceries onto the conveyor belt and keep hold of her walking stick. "Let me help you," I said, flashing her my 'I'm a Nice Person and Not a Robber or Rapist' servant-of-the-people smile.
She hurriedly looked away, muttered "I'm okay thanks," and promptly dropped a 2 kilogram bag of baker's flour on her own foot. We narrowly avoided clanging heads as I beat her to the bag, miraculously intact. "Here."
"Ta." Her posture made it clear that she wasn't comfortable facing or making eye contact with me and my smile faded. Ah well, let her fend for own fussy self then.
Fussy Flour Femme was forgotten a few minutes later when I was pushing my own trolley down the slope towards the car. It was spitting slightly and I'd forgotten my sunglasses. Damp and glare with a side order of unpredictable wind gusts made the trip dodging commuters just off the nearby train platform and impatient drivers looking for a carpark particularly challenging.
I cursed. Poo Bum Bugger Shit Fart; the stupid damn key wasn't working in the lock.
I tried again. Still no luck. Dumb, hopeless, poxy crappy key. If this was a sitcom I'd be tempted to let the trolley wheel away and start kicking at the bloody ...
Oh. It wasn't my car.
Mine was three parks away.
As the engine was warming up, the rear vision mirror showed that several angry red chunks of chilli were smeared across my teeth like leftover entrails. Instead of smiling, servant-of-the-people it was more akin to dead-baby-brains-for-breakfast. No wonder Flour Femme got across the carpark with such unusual speed.
It was time to slink off home and see if I was brave enough to open the jar of unwanted Choc Ezy.