Sunday, January 18, 2009


Watching Alfred Hitchcock movies alone on a Friday night is never a good idea, but I’m a stubborn idiot who felt the urge to see ‘The Birds,’ so that’s precisely what I did. I was camped out in the living room area, where I spend significantly more time now that the entire flat is essentially all mine and because of its close proximity to the kitchen. Pausing to put on an avocado face mask in the bathroom (embarrassing to admit I actually do that sort of thing occasionally), I come back out to find both doors to the balcony wide open. Commence panic. Closing and locking them, I decide to make a cup of tea to calm myself. That and should anyone have snuck in, I can also use the hot water to scald attackers.

But the water had not yet boiled when I heard a door click and footsteps. Three terrifying seconds later I found myself face to face with two guys and a girl, all of us screaming in shock. Before I could get up the courage to ask what the hell was going on, the girl angrily said, “Where is my cake?” This was not what I had expected to hear, so I just stared at her stupidly. Here I was in a bathrobe and produce smeared on my face encountering trespassing strangers wanting random food. The whole situation was like a cliche scene from a Disney Channel movie. All I could say was the very lame, “Actual baked good or like, the band?” I had also considered telling her I’d buy her some if she please didn’t kill or rob me. “It was in the freezer,” she yelled. Oh yeah, there had been a half loaf of pound cake in the freezer, I remembered it now. But I ate that two weeks ago because it was nearing its expiration date and was obviously unclaimed. “You’re the British girl!” I exclaimed, it all finally clicking, “I thought you moved out forever ago.” She explained that she had moved all her things to her boyfriend’s apartment two floors up, but on paper she still lived here. “But the other day I remembered I’d left that cake and now I want it.” It’s been over a month since I’ve seen this girl, I don’t even know her name and now I’m being harassed for something as incredibly stupid as this.

“What’s that black shit on your face and why’s it stank in here?” asked one of the two guys, whom I can only assume were her boyfriend and um, some other guy. “Avocado oxidizes. And the microwave spontaneously combusted a few days ago.” I stammered. Both statements are true answers to his questions, but I didn’t exactly phrase it the right way. The other night I was reading and looked over to see noxious fumes emanating from the empty microwave. Thank goodness I had an already wet tea towel nearby to throw on it and cease the flames, then fanned most of the smoke out so I didn't set off the alarm. I sprayed lots of air freshener, but it’s a bit difficult to get that lingering scent of burnt plastic appliance death. So now my toaster has been kidnapped and my microwave has gone the way of a Spinal Tap drummer. Hopefully the stove top, electric kettle and refrigerator stay loyal to me.

“Yeah, the microwave did that to me once.” British girl said poutily, then she and her dudes left with that. Thanks for scaring the bejeezus out of me, making slightly threatening demands, and not previously warning me about faulty wired deathtraps in our kitchen! After a few minutes processing that whole debacle, I went back to watching Tippi Hedren being dive-bombed by crows.

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