The oven packed up. Why does this always happen when you have chopped up enough vegetables to sustain an anaerobic digester for a week? That’s what happened. At the point of realisation, I switched the top oven on, but that didn’t work either. Vegetables cooked in the microwave. I said to the assembled hungry hordes known as Angela, “I’ll just dish up over the bin.”
The Flatmate had no trouble getting the oven to work. She turned the knob. The oven got hot. I turned the knob. Nothing. I went on-line, found a cooker repair man, bit the bullet and booked a call out for “an intermittent fault.” I never liked that cooker. It’s like an unreliable boyfriend who swears he’s hot but isn’t. I’m eight years into the relationship now so I’m what you might call “invested”.
Enter Vic. That’s not his real name. I’m sparing all our blushes.
“It’s working fine,” he said. “getting hotter by the minute.”
“Then why won’t it work for me?” I whined.
“Show me what you’re doing?”
I turned the cooker knob, explaining that my system was fool proof because I had stuck raised dots on all the dials, on the settings I use, because I can’t see the symbols.
“That’s the plate warmer setting,” he said.
“It can’t be, ” I protested.
“And that one’s off,” he said, pointing at the top oven.
He pressed his nose against the cooker in an act of forensic inspection. “Ah. I see what’s happened. I can see where the stickers used to be. Looks to me as if they’ve got knocked off and someone has stuck them back in the wrong place.”
“The Cleaning Genie,” I thought. I bet that’s what happened. I bared my teeth.
“Soooo,” Vic said as he scratched the back of his neck, “What’s up with your eyes then?”
“It’s just the way I’m made,” I said. “No big deal.”
“I’ve got floaters” he blurted out.
“What do you mean when you say ‘floaters’?”
He got out a piece of paper and started drawing wiggly lines that move across his field of vision. “Then there are the wobbly bits,” he said, and then there are the black holes. “I can’t see nothing in the black holes.”
Have you seen an ophthalmologist?” I asked.
“I’ve been to #Vision Express.”
“What did they say?”
“Nothing.” He shrugged his shoulders.
“You should probably go and get that checked out,” I ventured. Then we had a chat about the difference between an optician and an ophthalmologist. After that I stuck my foot in it. “None of us are getting any younger,” I said. “Things can go wrong as we get older.”
“How old do you think I am?”
“Forties,” I said conservatively.
“I’m thirty-seven. You’re frightening me.” Ooops.
“Go and get it checked out and put your mind at rest.”
“I’m not bad looking.”
“You could go today.” He didn’t look happy.
“That’ll be £65,” he said. “Cash.”
I had to scrabble about to break a £10 note. He wasn’t settling for sixty.
“Have you got my phone number in case you need a repair doing in the future.”
I started to enter the number on my phone. “Oh give it here. I’ll do it. You on Facebook?’
Before I had a chance to answer, he handed me the phone. “There you go. We’re friends on Facebook now and I’ve liked myself.” I don’t know how to operate the oven let alone Facebook.
The Cleaning Genie is history. She left white vinegar spray on the sofa last week. I sat on it. Watching TV is like being in a chip shop. She might want to think about an eye test too.