Posted 01-10-2004 at 20:12:08
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Many many moons ago, I had a water cooler sitting in my kitchen. One night while the entire household slept, the water cooler began to drip. It dripped all the live long night. It dripped a humungous puddle that crept insidiously toward the living room, where there is carpet. It soaked the carpet, and eventually, the wafer board that most older mobile home floors are made of.
At first the full extent of what this meant was not clear. Until one day I was walking across the once saturated area and found a soft spot. Testing it repeatedly, I realized that this was indeed a soft spot. Bummer.
Within weeks, the soft spot had become an honest to God hole under the carpet. About the size of a saucer. This hole laid in wait for unsuspecting guests or family members to step into it. It twisted ankles and tripped people and instigated more than one round of serious cussing.
The hole fed on these accidental 'missteps' and grew until it was the size of a platter. By then most of the family had learned to dodge it, but one neighbor who visits regularly, could not seem to remember it and stepped in it time after time. To her credit, it never really slowed her down. She merely muttered...
"*$#@!! hole!" And went on her way.
At some point in recent days, (and no one will take credit for this) the hole has tripled in size. The only thing that keeps us from falling through the floor is a row of carpet tacks and some seriously tacky and frayed earthtone carpet. The hole waits for one of us to forget and now not only trips us but will literally fling us into the kitchen floor face first. Which happened to me today.
As I lay crumpled in the kitchen floor moaning, whining, Fred, from the couch, says...
"Why don't you go around it. You know it's there."
I think I have held up admirably well with the hole issue. I stepped over it when it was saucer sized, I stepped over it when it was platter sized. Now that it is the size of a poster board I have lost my patience.
Without knowing quite how I got there, I suddenly found myself crouched on the floor by the couch, a double fistful of Fred's shirt collar in my hands and my nose was practically touching his.
"Hunting season is over, ya got me?" I growled. "This week, come he11 or high water, we rip up this carpet and fix this *&$@!! hole! I don't care what it costs, I don't care how long it takes, I don't care if I have to sell a kid!"
"Or what?" Blink blink.
"Or" I hissed, "in another week it will be big enough that I can pull back the carpet and shove your lifeless body through it."
"Pfft. You better smile when you say a thing like that."
I growled and bared my teeth.
"Good enough." Says he. "I'll bring home the plywood Friday night."
I relaxed my grip on his shirt collar, glad deep in my heart that he is going to be allowed to live. Assuming he comes home with a truck load of plywood on Friday. If not, by then, the hole should be just big enough.....