Lingua Frank

This blog goes fishing in my memory hole for stories that I hope will provide at least marginal amusement for all.


This blog is really about memories from my life...retold for the pleasure or yawns of friends and strangers alike. Bon appetit.

вторник, мая 10, 2005

The yogurt maker...OF DOOM!

I like throwing things away. My wife will tell you that I do this with almost pathological zeal, clearing through rooms (or cars) full of stuff and tossing out anything that I don't have a pressing, personal, IMMEDIATE need for (I also get a sick pleasure out of ending sentences with prepositions). This little obsessive compulsion of mine has caused my wife to roll her eyes in exasperation more than a few times. Honestly, though, it's not my fault. I blame the yogurt maker. Let me explain...

Mormons breed. Thus, there were nine of us and three actual bedrooms in our house when we were kids. These living arrangements, worthy of a clan of Romanian sheepherders, tended to wear a bit thin on the Flanagans. My parents had one room, my sister another, the two youngest boys the third, and the rest of us were relegated to the musky, cavernous depths of our basement, or as the more creatively inclined among us were wont to call it...the catacombs. Down in the cement tomb of the basement, we shared one empty, unframed space with each other, countless arachnids, and approximately 47 million rotting cardboard boxes.
They contained scraps of material, old bits of tupperware, holey mismatched shoes, full sets of encyclopedias from the fifties that smelled strongly of rodent pee, cans of wheat (that's a whole other post) and every other ungodly bit of crap that my parents were somehow unable to part with (I told you I like that preposition thing). After all, my parents never went down into the basement (the lucky bastards).
(Would it be overly cute to mention parenthetically that my parenthetical comments tonight are out of control?)
Whenever asking to go out, I always braced for what inevitably was proposed as the impossible condition for my freedom...I had to find the yogurt maker. It wouldn't matter whether or not we had a bulk tub o'yogurt from Sam's Club in the fridge (which we usually did) or whether or not we really ate all that much yogurt (we didn't) request to crawl forth out of the dungeon for any reason called forth from my mother an inexorable NEED to produce dairy. Maybe it was a psychological/lactation thing more than sheer sadism. Either way, the instructions were always explicit, and were always shrieked to me with the same fervor: I was to look ONLY in the basement, because it was down there, dammit! (More than once I was accused of hiding it in some sick sort of power play...but I digress).
Maybe it's my distaste for confrontation that I inherited from my ever gentle father, but I would rarely protest. Instead I would shuffle down the creaky steps to the catacombs, and patiently unpack each box, look at each item, and determine whether or not the thing that I held in my hand was the yogurt maker. My (usually) internal dialogue went something like this: "Is this the yogurt maker? No, this is a water-damaged Spanish-language nursing manual"(seriously...though when I was twelve this was an equally intriguing and nauseating find).
After several hours of this ritual, I would gird up my loins and face the Maternus with empty hands, at which point I was always ordered to make a more serious effort. My protests that either the yogurt maker must not exist or be buried in the trash heaps of our revolting garage fell on deaf ears (deaf, I assume, from all the aforementioned screeching). I went through this literally at least a dozen times a year. I hated that effing basement and I swore that if I ever found the yogurt maker, I would destroy it in a depraved, humiliating way (the challenge being to find what exactly is humiliating and immoral in the inanimate yogurt maker community).
Ironically, years later I found it in the garage. I will have my revenge on that bit of yellowing plastic...though I await only evil inspiration to determine the proper fate. Any suggestions?


Blogger Fracasar said...

Jana has the same problem you do- she'll go through the house tossing things left and right that, come to find out, we need later on.
Did you ever see that movie "Office Space" and what they did to that copy machine? Is that good enough for the yogurt maker?

2:03 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

"Sean! Come home and find the yogurt maker!"

Man, you rock. You make your life sound so fascinating (not that it isn't). I wish I could spin a yarn like you.

Tell the one about how you were walked in on in the bathroom while filming JFK....

3:07 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Um, I know you're really busy buying a new house, but...


I've been waiting to see a picture of your new mansion pop up on this site any day now... I haven't given up on you.

I believe in you!

4:03 PM  

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