Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bad things happen in [insert number here]s

This is not my printer.

If bad things happen in threes, I have just completed my second set. If they happen in sixes, I’m now done. If they happen in tens, I still have four more to go. (You get the picture.)

My stereo was probably the first thing to begin to break down. It hasn’t so much given up the ghost as become a house for one; if it’s not in use and not switched off at the wall, its inner poltergeist turns the power on and cycles through its various functions constantly. If it is in use, it’ll occasionally turn the volume up or down; I think it enjoys the fact that when it gets very loud, someone always marches in looking for a guilty Hazel. I’ve had it (the stereo, not the ghost) for around 14 years now, which seems ancient in electronics years, so I’ll probably need to think of replacing it soon. (Interesting: the stereo is mine. I may have married, but the things I brought to this union still feel very much like they belong solely to me. Alan will not grieve when the stereo eventually dies; (stupidly) I probably will.)

My glasses were the next to go. One of the arms had been superglued on since Alan stepped on them yonks ago, but recently it broke off again and the cheap superglue we borrowed was less super than glue, so the arm fell off again. This was a couple of months ago; I was in the buttons aisle of Lincraft, which was the last place I ever saw it. I’ve tried shopping for new frames, but Hazel is convinced that optometrists are dress-up shops, so my time there is less about me trying on frames and more about prying eyewear out of her disappointed, smudgy fingers. I plan to return without her, one day soon, so that I can bend to remove meals from the oven/lean over to kiss the kids goodnight/do push-ups again without having my glasses fall off my face.

Next to go was the internet: one day it worked fine, the next day it did not. When we were able to log in at all, our internet was offering speeds of around 0.04 megabits per second, which is tech speak for ABSOLUTELY RUBBISH INTERNET. We called Exetel, who told us to turn our modem off for five minutes, and then call them back in 24 hours if that neat little trick didn’t solve the problem. We called them back in 24 hours and they told us to turn our modem off for ten minutes this time, and then call them back in 24 hours if it our internet had not miraculously sorted itself out by then, with all the turning off and on again. Again, we called back. Exetel asked us to borrow someone else’s modem to see if ours was the problem, we did, our modem was not the problem. They told us to borrow someone’s phone to check to see if there was a dial tone on our phone line, we tried this, there was a dial tone. After further voice-raising and irritation, they sent out a technician, who found nothing wrong with our apartment’s cables or the box downstairs, and so Exetel charged us $220 for wasting their time. By this point we hadn’t had reliable internet for 2 weeks (which, of course, just so happened to coincide with the most stressful fortnight of my study) and so we called the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Exetel hastily organised a Telstra technician to visit, he looked at the cables on the street, yadda yadda yadda, we now have brilliant internet again. THANK YOU, TIO and Peter from Telstra. We love you. (And thank you to Exetel, for cancelling the technician charge and giving us a month of free internet - your customer service leaves a tad to be desired, but I guess we love you, too.)

Somewhere during this no-internet time my printer developed a taste for paper and tried to eat every document I printed, which started the next set of three bad things (or finished the set of four – who even knows for sure?). And then I dropped my iPod. It’s slipped from my grip a couple of times before, but on those occasions it’s made a clatter clatter noise as it hits the floor, which I’ve interpreted as iPod speak for “Oopsy daisy! I’m okay!” This time the noise was more of a sharp THWACK! which obviously meant “You’ve done it this time, you cow.” It’s not completely dead – the screen has a patch of pixels which do their own thing now, but it’s still readable, and it’ll still play whatever you ask it to, it’s just that it plays half of the sound through the earphones and the other half through the speaker, which is wholly annoying.

And lastly, or maybe fourthly (bumping the printer and iPod down the list), since this started during the internet fiasco too, I’ve had a cough which has left me hocking up multi-greened globs of phlegm (I’m so sorry) for four-and-a-half weeks now. FOUR-AND-A-HALF WEEKS! Besides my cough I’ve felt otherwise well, so I only went to the doctor at the end of the fourth week. He asked me, “Have you noticed any wees?” and I said, “….?!” and he said, “Wees? When you’re breathing?” and I continued to spectacularly fail at understanding what my cough had to do with urination (Sometimes I worry Ill cough so hard Ill pee my pants, I thought. Should I say that out loud?). He took my confusion as a “Maybe” and listened to my back with his stethoscope, which was just enough of a trigger for my brain to respell the word and catch me up with the situation (Yikes! That was close! Imagine that conversation:

Doctor: Have you noticed any wheeze?
Me: ...?!
Doctor: Wheeze? When youre breathing?
Me: Sometimes I worry Ill cough so hard Ill pee my pants.
Doctor: ...?!?!?!?!)

I’ve started on antibiotics, which have helped dramatically (although maybe I’d have started to get better this week anyway? Who even knows).

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I do cough so hard I pee. And that's BEFORE childbirth. TMI? I do get really bad coughs. and I wait a really long time before I go to the toilet...