Ritual Confessions

January 28, 2008

A first, plus — a la David Rochester — a bonus feature

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 6:14 am

In our new kitchen, there is a recess in one wall where the refrigerator is supposed to fit. Unfortunately, the stone countertop on the adjacent cabinet jutted out too far to allow the fridge to back in. We asked several knowledgeable folks, over the last month, whether the stone could be trimmed and were told it would be easier to replace it altogether. Yesterday my husband announced, “They’ve got to be able to cut this stone at Home Depot. They’ve got every tool in the world,” and he lifted it off and put it in the back of our car.

He approached a succession of workers at Home Depot and was given discouraging news by one after the next. No, there was no department within Home Depot that could perform this task. No, it was not as simple a procedure as he seemed to think. It required highly specialized machinery. It was an eighteen-step process. It involved a diamond-coated blade and a steady stream of water to cool this blade on its way through the marble.

A slavic-looking man who was standing nearby caught the drift of this conversation. He approached Nick and addressed him in Russian. They conferred a moment in their native language, and the man wrote an address on a slip of paper.

Nick later described the premises as resembling a “Mafia warehouse”. It was full of Russian builders. One of them (with a dramatic scar stretching from his left ear to the corner of his mouth) took Nick’s stone, set it on a nearby table, and took a tool from his belt which — according to my husband — was a standard item in any American’s tool belt; there were a thousand of them at Home Depot. He applied it to the stone and within minutes, he had trimmed it to the dimensions Nick had specified.

In the years I’ve known my husband, I have never heard him compare Russia or anything Russian favorably with its American counterpart. But as he replaced the stone atop the cabinet, where it now fit perfectly, and eased the refrigerator back into the space allotted for it, I could hear him muttering under his breath. Eighteen-step process, my ass… I spent more time talking to these fucking Americans than it took that Russian guy to get it done.

Bonus feature:

This morning, our cat Mac was curled at my side in bed when Nick brought Charlotte in to me; she needed to nurse. As he handed her over and I settled her in beside me, Mac was unceremoniously displaced.

“Poor Mac,” I crooned ruefully as he jumped down.

“He’s not poor,” my husband said. “He’s filthy rich.”



  1. YAY NICK! 😀

    Comment by thelittlefluffycat — January 28, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  2. 1) There are many advantages to being bilingual.

    2) Mac is indeed a creature embarrassed with riches.

    Comment by davidrochester — January 28, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  3. 1. You can’t charge a small fortune for a five minute job.

    2. Isn’t is funny how we never want to disturb the cat?

    Comment by Shawn W — January 29, 2008 @ 4:07 am

  4. Yes, I guess this shows that nothing is ever impossible.

    Don’t you just hate it when cats give you that “how dare you make me move” look?!

    Comment by Corina — March 14, 2008 @ 5:24 am

  5. I like bonus features. There’s a reason for that.

    Also, I was amused by your primary tale. 🙂

    Comment by Amoeboid Blurry Smile — March 14, 2008 @ 7:28 am

  6. When we moved from Portland back to Seattle, we had a pair of awful moving men who broke a leg on one of the chairs for our dining set (a very nice set carefully picked out by my wife). Over several years, I took the chair to several custom wood working shops. As the chair leg had been split at an awkward angle, the shop owners all assured me it could not be repaired successfully.

    Perhaps five years later, we had a small job done at a shop owned by a Polish man. I asked him about the chair as I picked up the work he had done for us. “Let me see it,” he told me. When I brought it in, he said, “Yes, I can fix it.”

    Unless you look at the chair very carefully, you can not even see the mend. This is not a Polish joke.

    Comment by modestypress — August 16, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

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