where the writers are
(Almost) Hosed. Again.

JOURNAL ENTRY, 24 May; AT OR ABOUT 41.85° N, 87.65° W. * WEATHER CLEAR, 65°, LIGHT WINDS NNW–

(entry): At last, after almost a full month, rescue! Flood-replacement washer/dryer arrived. Watched Three Men Named Juan wrestle combo below, I making sage comments they no doubt appreciated, since I voiced them cheerily in my mostly forgotten high-school Spanish.

Or maybe less-so, in the appreciation category: I may have inadvertently declared war on Guatemala (or worse), given the eye-rolling looks Los Tres Juans exchanged during our ten-minute International Relations Conference.

Willy-nilly, after announcing the appliances “all hooked up” (or “oop,” a word which subsequently made more sense), they piled back into the delivery truck.

At which point, the driver called out with his own cheer-inflected voice: “Drain hose too short. You need ‘nother.” And swiftly motored off.

T’was true. Strain as I might, the factory-supplied corrugated plastic host still fell inches short of the aching-to-mate drainpipe. Moving the washer closer was not an option, unless I myself ached to remove what is possibly a load-bearing wall.

Aforementioned hose looked familiar; a spare bilge pump hose I had stowed aboard Witchcraft might substitute. I trotted out to it (I only say “her” during storms and similar Desperate Moments, as I beg that “she” not drown me this time) climbed aboard and located the spare.

A match!

Pausing only to paw thru what I charmingly term my onboard “O SHIT! emergency-repair kit, I seized two stainless steel screw-clamps (sailors –particularly those who occasionally sleep aboard sailboats, or at least want to do so soundly– never single-clamp ANY hose), jogged back to the emasculated washer and performed the requisite reconstructive surgery.

Reattachment successful (if prognosis remains “somewhat flacid.”)

And now I stare at the twin, snow-white beauties, plugged in and eager, imagining their soft & seductive murmur: “Let me CLEAN something for you, Master…”

T’will happen, girls. Right after I peel this grape… and try to remember where I last saw the laundry detergent…

— Earl Merkel

 

(POSTSCRIPT, AS A PROPOSED SCRIPT:

ACT 1, Scene 1:

(Editorial offices of a magazine; in foreground an EDITOR scowls at typelines on his computer screen)

"That #^@%!! Merkel! Hey, do we still pay this clown by the word? Yeah? Okay, I'm sending this to Rewrite."

ACT 2, Scene 1:

(SLOW ZOOM IN TO C/U of magazine page.)

STORY reads: "My washer/dryer was delivered today. Had to hook up the drain hose."

(FADE IN: "-FIN-")

(FADE TO BLACK)

* * *

(POST-POSTSCRIPT, IN THE FORM OF REALITY:

(SFX: sound of cash register)

OFFSCREEN V/O:

"$2.38, payable to E. Merkel"

- 30 -

— EM

* * * 

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My latest thriller, Fire Of The Prophet, is now available on Apple's iBookstore  for pre-order (in advance of the May 21, 2013 pub-date). For a description (and to order it, of course) click here.

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