Friday, August 21, 2015
That Damn Kong
We had another over-the-wall Kong incident yesterday evening. I'd just gotten home from work, and Olga was dancing all over the house, eager to play outside. So we took the Kong into the back garden, where I threw a perfect underhand grounder that shouldn't have caused any problem -- except that it hit a piece of tile that surrounds an area where we pile leaves and brush near the back wall. That tile flipped the Kong into a huge, arcing bounce that just cleared the top of the ivy-covered barrier.
I was so annoyed.
Fortunately we had another Kong at the ready, so I just gave it to Olga, and stomped around muttering that I was not under any circumstances going to go through all the trouble of walking around the corner, ringing the neighbors' door bells, fishing around in their shrubbery, etc.
After Dave came home and we'd watched some TV and had dinner, I felt a little more energized. (A glass of wine helped.) So I walked next door, rang some bells and got the exact same kind woman who helped me the last time this happened. (How many times can I ring her bell before she becomes not-so-kind?)
So, the Kong is back in our possession. An £18 loss has been averted. It would be nice to figure out a way to keep this from happening, but short of adding another two feet of barrier to our back and side walls -- or not throwing the Kong in the back garden at all, which really isn't a practical solution because the dog would explode -- I'm not sure we can.
In other news, did I ever update you on our appliance travails? The saga ends well. We got a brand-new dishwasher, which after some delay was installed while I was in Florida. And the washing machine, which had been acting up for a while and stopped running entirely while I was away, was repaired just after I got back to London. The repairman immediately knew the nature of the problem and, as precisely as a surgeon, extracted a tattered t-shirt tag that had wrapped itself around the water pump. Now the machine works fine! Go figure.
My solar keratosis -- that little pre-cancerous spot on my forehead, a very common problem for pale people who have spent time in the sun -- seems to have vanished entirely. I'm supposed to apply the medicine for two months, and it hasn't quite been that long since I went to the doctor. But I can't even find the spot now! I dab on the lotion in roughly the same location each day, but at this point it's really just a guess. I'll be glad when I can stop.
I read a fascinating article in The New Yorker about a couple who adopted 20 children, many of them already older, many of them special-needs kids. The results were clearly mixed, with some winding up in prison and many getting pregnant. It made me think about people who hoard animals -- not that children are animals, but I think the parents' impulse to rescue is similar -- and about the fact that at some point, helping so many actually reduces their ability to care for those they already have. There's a law of diminishing returns. You know what I mean?
(Top photo: A boat on the Thames, in early July. Bottom photo: Upside-down Olga.)