Bizarre hot flash anecdote of the day:
The time: 3:30 in the morning. Spinster aunt was awakened from moist and fitful sleep by hot flash accompanied by usual aura of hopelessness and impending doom (by the way, the Spinstitute for Post-Hysterectomy and Oophalectomy Studies is researching this fucking doom-aura: please contact the department if you, too, have been rudely separated from your reproductive organs and regularly experience the Despondent Melancholic Aura along with your hot flashes).
Anyway. Unable to go back to sleep, I flipped on the TV. The show was PBS workhorse “This Old House.” Some strawberry blonde dude was converting a purlin into a hex-jig, or installing a new blart box in an old neffit; I don’t really remember on accounta I was in a stupor at the time. All I know is, I watched through swollen, sleep-deprived eyes as the strawberry dude effortlessly pulled heat-sensitive galvanized conduit through a wooden alloy breezeway and had the new helicopter landing pad or low-voltage window-washer all up and running in about three minutes flat. Impressive!
The next thing I knew, the phone was ringing. It was my mom, who thinks nothing of calling me at 7 in the morning with results from “Dancing With the Stars.” However, this morning her news was even less dire: some shady ‘collection agency’ was threatening to kneecap her unless she could convince me to call’em up and give’em a blank check. My mom did not grasp the scamminess of this dealio. So would I please call them?
“Chin up, Mom!” I said. “Don’t let’em take ya without a fight!”
The next thing I knew, there was a young assistant TV producer named Tristyn on my doorstep.* This was fairly unusual. I have erected fences and laid land mines and taken other antisocial measures specifically to keep assistant Tristyns off my doorstep. But still, here she was. Having sprinted the mile or so from my front gate, she was moist. Would I mind giving her the gate code so the rest of the crew could get in?
It all came rushing back. It turns out that last month, in a moment of weakness, I foolishly agreed to let some home improvement show come around to videotape footage of my rainwater collection system, which system is apparently endlessly fascinating. I had forgotten all about it, because along with hot flashes and fucking auras of doom, my memory banks have been battered, deep-fried, and served with blueberry mustard on accounta all the chemo and radiation. But the zero hour had arrived, and here, of a bright spring morn, were a bunch of TV-people, infesting the Spinster Compound with cameras, lights, on-air talent, and, yes, a 40-foot crane.
Tristyn introduced me to the crew. They were were all very pleasant (Tristyn had even brought me a coffee), which immediately made me suspicious. I found myself giving one of’em the old eyeball with particular intensity. He was handsome and outgoing. He was genial and sparkly. He had strawberry blonde hai– hey, wait a minute! Things had taken a sinister turn indeed. This was, in fact, the same exact dude from the PBS hot flash incident a scant 4 hours before!
Now that television personalities have begun squirting out of the TV into my living room to exude good-lookingness, congeniality, and a convincing interest in my roof gutters, I am going to have to take security up a notch around here. I have instructed Phil to install a robotic machine gun, and of course, to double up on the Gilligan’s Island-style camouflaged spring-loaded net traps. The gate sentries have orders to shoot to kill any 40-foot cranes.
Well, that’s the end of the anecdote.
*As a patriarchy-blaming side-note: young Tristyn was the only woman in the production crew. It was her job to run herd on 5 adult males, and to mediate between them and the outside world. Naturally it was she who had been sent on foot to traverse the mile of rough terrain between the gate and my front door, and who later was dispatched to the nearest town to pick up lunch, a hour’s drive away. While she was gone everyone stopped working and lapsed into a coma. She schlepped a giant notebook full of production and travel-related paperwork and intimated to me that her head was about to explode.