Friday, February 16, 2007

This Post Made Possible by Katie P.

Not long before I moved, A Lover of Trotsky and Other Dead Philosophers alerted me to a news story in which a young woman somehow managed to fall behind a bookcase and die and not be found for two solid weeks, even though she lived with her family. At the time I squawked at A Lover of Trotsky and Other Dead Philosophers because that is not a story you want to hear when you’re about to move away from the safety of home. (Not that the safety of home did that unfortunate lady any good, but it could have been worse. If she’d been living alone, she could have been behind that bookcase for years.) A Lover of Trotsky and Other Dead Philosophers insisted that there must have been something strange going on behind the scenes of that story because nobody could possibly be stupid enough to get stuck behind a bookcase and die there, and even if they did, nobody could possibly be stupid enough not to notice that there was, you know, this funny smell in the house.

That may be true. I hope for the sake of the human race that that is true.

Nevertheless, just as I suspected, that story was exactly what I thought of as I undertook to rearrange my living room by myself one evening. I thought, “This is a very bad idea. This bookcase is going to fall on me and even though it is empty it is going to crush me and I am going to die and that message that Harry leaves on Sally’s answering machine is going to take on new meaning for everyone who knows me and I will be responsible for ruining one of the best parts of that movie and therefore I should not be doing this.”

But I did anyway, and look how pretty!


The arrangement may not be in strict accordance with feng shui, but I didn’t die doing it, so I count it as a success. By these standards I have also succeeded in hanging curtain rods and using a gas stove. One of the curtain rods is hanging by half its screws, and I did have a lot of trouble baking that one stubborn yam, but I neither fell out the window nor blew myself up, which means victory is mine. Taking this paradigm of success to its natural end, I must conclude that my life has been one triumph after another since I was born. There is still a possibility that I will die trying to get my armchair up the stairs and through the door, but, happily, that possibility has been forestalled by the fact that the chair probably will never arrive. It is so delayed that it is now practically mythical. I’ve been complaining about this a lot but it might turn out to have been a close call.

Speaking of chairs: Yes, those are camping chairs in my living room. They are not comfortable in the least but the cupholders do double nicely as remote control holders. However, since it appears that Turner Classic Movies is (inexplicably) not considered a major television network, and anyway the rabbit ears get reception about as effectively as the plastic Viking longboat on top of the TV, the chairs and the TV are really just for show. My stereo does not get radio reception terribly well either, and my computer is not hooked up to the Internet yet, so the real center of the technological action in my apartment is . . . my ugly old clock radio, which travels frequently between my bedroom and the kitchen counter, which location it seems to like very much.


The clock radio is about sixteen years old. It gets the best reception of any radio I’ve ever had. It is quickly becoming one of my most prized possessions, partly because of its reliability, and partly because there is very little chance I could get stuck behind it and die. The single drawback is that on account of listening to at least six hours of NPR every day, I am very well-informed in the area of current events, and it is getting harder and harder not to give in to the urge to take refuge under my bed. This will not save me from North Korea’s nuclear weapons, or the results of global warming, or even the early lunacies of the 2008 presidential election, but it will be nice and cosy-warm until one of these three things brings about the end of the world. That, or my bed crushes me and I die.

These cheerful thoughts are brought to you through the kind generosity of Katie P., who has made made the first ever technological donation to the Simon and Ivan blog in the interest of at least one hedgehog posting something between mid-January and the end of the world (which, as we have seen, is coming right up). Katie P., a loyal and appreciative reader, stepped in to save the day with an adorable wee flash drive. Since the Internet will not come to me, I must take my posts to it, and this makes it a lot easier. Thanks, Katie P.! You are a true friend to hedgehogs everywhere, which is why when I get fired for posting at work, it is on your doorstep that I will show up. Don’t worry, though. I will bring my clock radio.

14 comments:

Katie P. said...

Here is the offer. Any hedgehogs are more than welcome to stay in this midwestern wasteland. HOWEVER, it is specially request that if, in fact, Simon does get fired and moves here she bring her kitchen.

Simon P is in awe of Simon K's kitchen. Very in awe. She is bemoaning her lack of counter space. She is, however, rejoicing in her freshly made cheese...

Ivan said...

ok, agree with katie p. on the kitchen-- HOLY SHIT that thing is HUGE. I think your kitchen is the size of my entire apartment.

as for the rest of your post-- yams? you're cooking yams?! that's worse than okra.

Katie P. said...

You hedgehogs should consider podcasting. I could listen to these on a regular basis. Perhaps when you are famous you can hire actors or actresses to read the blog. And then you can sell it for lots of money to people like me. I was reading it outloud to people the other day. They were enjoying it.

Ivan, yams are far better than okra. Okra is scary. No way around it.

I am watching Jam and Jerusalem. For some reason it reminds me of the hedgehogs.

Anonymous said...

ooo i love the window treatments!!!! :)

Simon said...

WHO POSTED ANANOYMSOUMSLY?

Ivan said...

wow, she's angry-- reveal yourself, lover of the window treatments!

A Lover of Trotsky etc etc said...

When I saw the picture of your kitchen, I said to myself, "NARGH! Not only is that twice the size of my apartment (half of which is strangely consumed by the bathroom, anyhow), but you KNOW Vassar would have seven people living in there."

Also, I second the anti-okra in favor of yams movement (the AOIFOYM?). First off, what sort of word is okra? There's too much phlegm produced in pronouncing it. Second off, what IS okra? I know what a yam is and it is DELICIOUS.

Simon said...

I'm pretty sure Ivan has a recipe for okra because I'm pretty sure I gave it to her or did I just make that up in my head? Anyway it looks truly gross. However, yams are delightful, even if they do ALWAYS remind me of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart about which I remember nothing except yams and that it was really really deeply upsetting. If there was a point, it's gone now. I am on six medications I think. Just to explain.

Ivan said...

that's funny because the only thing I remember from Things Fall Apart is crickets. Maybe that's what you're confusing the yams with.

Katie P. said...

Has the yams vs. okra debate caused a huge falling out between hedgehogs leading to a lack of posts? Or is there something else happening?

Maeve said...

i remember beheadings. why can't i remember yams?

lovely apartment indeed!

Simon said...

I don't remember beheadings. I believe I deliberately forgot most of that book because it was intensely soul-crushing.

Ivan might have fallen off the face of the earth; not sure. I have just been sick and therefore not up to the task of writing. New posts will commence soon.

Katie P. said...

Ivan, I want to check that you are alive. Esp since I may have offended you by liking yams. Also, as an announcement to everyone, I have something very funny to spread to Viking lovers around us. I need to mail this object which means I need a mailing address. So if you would like a Viking mini-package, please message me on facebook or something and give me your addy. (Unless you are Simon, in which case I have multiple methods of tracking you down...)

Simon said...

Ivan, I too would like to check that you are alive. You're probably just busy with your movie stars and your salads, or maybe you are just overworking yourself again, but there is always a chance that LA has fallen into the ocean and you are swirling about in a life raft in the middle of the Pacific. Please confirm that this is not the case. If it is the case, I hope you will post about it when you get back.