Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Keeping cool under pressure

Our freezer has a mind of its own. And not always on the job in hand. Tonight as we're sitting watching television in the other room, the warning ding starts up on the freezer.
"You must have left the door open," I say, starting up. The noise immediately stops.
"I don't think so," Herself says, swirling the ice cubes about in her soft drink.
As soon as my bum hits the seat:
"Ding...! Ding...! Ding...!"
We go out and inspect what little there is to inspect.
The digital readout says -16C for the freezer and 1C for the fridge, like it's supposed to do. But the whole thing is ominously quiet.
I poke it. Herself moves bottles from the floor in case the feng shui is being upset. I open and close the fridge door. I open the freezer door. It has a disturbing slick look that speaks of malfunction.
"I think it's defrosting."
Immediately Herself falls back on 100,000 years of female evolution in the face of imminent calamity by asking as many questions within 60 seconds as it is possible to ask.
"What's wrong?
"Is it broken?
"Should we get another?
"Is the fuse gone in the plug?
"Shall I move another bottle?
"Should we start putting things in the other freezer?
"Is it safe to use ice that defrosted?
"Was it the weather?
"Was it the cats?
"Is it broken?
"Shall we buy another?
"Is the fuse gone in the plug?
"Why are you choking me?"
We ferry geriatric cuts of meat in their papyrus wraps to the small freezer in the ultilty room, in turn emptying from it the store of bread Herself squirelled away in there last Christmas when the snow levels meant we would obviously soon have 100 extra guests all eager for toast. In between trips, I press some buttons experimentally on the wonky freezer. It's now reading a balmy 9C in the freezer. I press a button labelled "Turbo Freeze" and a second later the motor starts to run again.

"It's fixed!"

We do a little dance then retrieve all the "we'll never finish that" stores that we just binned, plus Santa Claus's sliced pans, and shove them back onto the empty shelves. In a few moments, the temperature is 8C and we're on the way back to peaceful TV watching.

In ten minutes time, the dial indicates minus figures. Grand. Everything going in the right direction.

Half and hour later, during an ad break, Herself shouts from the kitchen:

"It's minus 25! It'll EXPLODE!"

I rush out and open the freezer door.

The Bird's Eye Polar Bear isn't so fucking chatty about the standard of my fish cakes any more. He's lying very, very still, a look of mild surprise on his clothy white face.

In fact, I didn't know that fish cakes could chatter like comedy false teeth, but the din is rattling all the salad dressing bottles in the fridge next door.

Bela Lugosi appears from the gathering white mist flowing about the kitchen, sinks his teeth into Herself's outstretched neck, then makes like a bat. I ignore the constant thumps of his dashing his head against the closed Velux ceiling windows in the dining room.

I undo the big fat freeze button and we head off to bed, content in the knowledge that the temperature is on its way back up.

I expect a tropical jungle to greet me in the morning.

1 comment:

Adele said...

I miss your musings more than I can say and hope that this finds you well!