The Trouble with Texts
Or, what the repairman knows
My sister-in-law, Gloriosa, is getting a new dishwasher.
She says she is being environmentally correct.
But it actually is because of s-e-x.
I got to explain. Poor Gloriosa has had a rough time ever since Mardi Gras, what with two of her kids coming down with a stomach bug; her husband, Proteus, getting the gout; and Baby Flambeau cutting teeth, or possibly fangs, and chewing on whatever she can grab, including the cat.
Every night Gloriosa calls me up and wails that things can’t get worse. And then they do. Last week her dishwasher went kaflooey.
That next day, I happen to go to bingo with my mother-in-law Ms. Larda and would you believe, I win two free lunches at Commander’s Palace.
This gives Ms. Larda an idea. She says she feels so bad for Gloriosa, she will babysit if I will take Gloriosa out to lunch. Ms. Larda actually gets along fine with Flambeau. Kind of like a snake charmer.
We tell Gloriosa and she is so excited. She’s going to shave her legs for the first time in months. We decide I will drop off Ms. Larda, and Gloriosa will pass the baby off to her like a little howling baton, and jump in the car with me.
I ask when to get there and she says it depends on when she gets Flambeau to nap long enough so she can shower. She says she’ll text me as she goes along, so me and Ms. Larda can time ourselves.
At 11 a.m. she texts, “Baby asleep”’(with a picture of Flambeau, passed out like a little wolf cub.)
At 11:05 “Shaving legs!” (picture of a hairy shin).
At 11:10 “Shaving armpits” (picture of a hairy armpit).
At 11:15 “In shower!” (picture of shower curtain).
11:20 “Wearing this!” (picture of her bra, drawers, and dress laying on the bed, ready to put on).
11:40 “Makeup gorgeous!” (Picture of her smiling face)
And noon my phone rings. ‘Where are you?” she asks.
‘On my way!” I say, and I hurry and pick up Ms. Larda and make the switch, and me and Gloriosa go to our therapeutic girls’ lunch out.
We get us a nice table by the window, and start on the special 25-cent martinis.
Then Gloriosa remembers something. “I better text Ms. Larda that Larry the dishwasher repair guy is coming. She actually recommended him. He’s from down in the Parish,” she says.
Just then the waiters plunk down our seared Gulf shrimp crusted with rosemary and other delicious stuff, and we forget about Larry and everything else.
We are mopping up the last bits of sauce with French bread, when Gloriosa says, “Can you believe I was so excited about this lunch, I texted you every step of getting ready.”
“I didn’t get no texts,” I say.
“Sure you did,” she gets out her phone, frowns at it, and almost levitates out her chair.
“I wasn’t texting you! I was texting Larry!” She shoves the phone at me. “Does a picture of my armpit count as sexting? Maybe he’s on his way to my house! Maybe he’s a serial sex pervert! Would a hairy shin set him off ?”
We tell the waiter to box up our desserts (bread pudding souffle), and rush off. We pull up in front, and Ms. Larda opens the door with Flambeau perched on her hip, gnawing a beef jerky stick. At least that’s what I hope it is.
“Larry was here,” she says. “But he left.”
“Did he get my texts?” Gloriosa asks.
“Texts? He did keep squinting at his flip phone. He don’t see too good. He said he don’t have the equipment for this job. He’ll send his son tomorrow.”
Gloriosa calls Larry. “It’s a miracle! The dishwasher works again! Don’t send nobody tomorrow; nobody will be home but the pit bull!”
That night she tells Proteus that the dishwasher is too old to get fixed, and they better buy one of them new eco-friendly ones. She says she just wants to keep things clean.