Zippy, still hearing the call of the wild at age 16, does not need a wine fridge to survive.
Goddammit, it’s been months since the initiation of my relocation to the Texas Hill Country. The move has not yet been completed. This is because the house, which has been under construction for three years, remains adamantly opposed to my occupation.
For example, the cistern water is of a highly questionable character (I’m being generous here. If I described accurately the semi-liquid substance emitted by my spigots you would have to stop reading and hurl. See The Magic Christian for more information). Windows leak, doors freak, faucets overshoot sinks and soak people square in the crotch (funny until it happens to you), flipping on a porch light causes a county-wide blackout, etc.
Even still yet now today a hora, as years drag into decades and I begin to wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled, there remain holes to be drilled, filters ordered, bondo applied, Bobcats rented, seeds sewn, seams caulked, snakes removed, water samples sent off to labs, messages left on sub-contractors’ cell phones so they can leave messages on my cell phone placing the blame for their fuckups on other sub-contractors, and, naturally, bills to be paid.
In the meantime I’m camping out in the new house, come hell or high water. Fortunately the wine fridge — an anomaly, it’s the only non-German appliance in the joint, and consequently the only one that works — has been properly installed and is humming along like a vintage Bentley. At some point in the distant past, when my obstreperal lobe was running on all eight cylinders, I cleverly stocked this excellent fridge with a bunch of snazzy boutique wines my father left me. I hate to think to what abysmal depths of despair I would have sunk had I not seen to this critical detail.
I allude in particular to an episode of telephonal infamy. In this episode, the phone company — a vile entity known as Verizon — put me on permahold for about 86 and a half hours. This permahold was necessary so that I might experience the maximum degree of angry frustration when they at last informed me that it would be three months before they would get around to installing a land line. Bright young auntie that I am, it began to dawn on me that this delay would leave me to fend off the creeping discomfiture of boondockian isolation with nothing but my wits and my cell phone. The ruralized performance of which cell phone I can only characterize as shitty.
I won’t comment on my wits.
You’d be surprised at the frequency with which a phone can come in handy when you’re living in a half-built internetless house out in the middle of West Rattlesnake. It turns out that, out here, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the degree of phone call urgency and the ineffectuality of your cell phone. Your mom calls to jaw about Erica Kane getting booted off Dancing With The Stars? No problem! You got 5 bars. But the minute a pack of rabid wild hogs corners you on the precipice of a 60-foot bluff, forget about it. You’re goin’ down, and no one’s gonna find your vulture-pecked corpse for weeks. Thanks, AT&T!
Cell phones: at or near the top of my list of things that people cling to desperately despite the fact that they don’t fucking work. Also on that list: wrinkle cream, Jesus, and anything that purports to get the skunk out of a skunked dog.
Seriously. You can mix up hydrogen peroxide, lemony-fresh dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar and tomato juice, and soak that mutt all day long, but take it from me; if you think the dog smells even an iota better after all that, you’re delusional. Nothing but time gets the skunk out of a skunked dog. At least, nothing that won’t kill the dog.
So if it weren’t for that wine fridge — and the fact that it’s fucking excellent out here — I would have pulled my own head off by now.