Friday, June 04, 2010

Fish and Chips for Tea

In the past my house has not been the focus of poltergeist activity so when a very loud, yet dull, thud reverberated through the place at around half past five last night, accompanied by a chorus of “what was that?” from the girls, my first thought was that the cat had knocked something off a bench. But even as I made my way to the kitchen I knew that was unlikely. As far as I knew, even if he dared to jump up, there was nothing out on the benches for the cat to knock down. Unless, of course, in a burst of nuclear mutant strength he’d pushed the microwave onto the floor (he hadn’t).
At first glance nothing in the kitchen seemed amiss-but there was something not quite right. A few seconds later I realised that I could not see the oven light. The glass was completely opaque. Steam, perhaps? Surely not food, quiche (the contents of the oven at the time) after all, is not known for its explosive qualities.
I turned the oven off and cautiously opened the door. There was a kind of gritty-crunchy sound as black glass scattered broadly across the floor at my feet. The inside of the door had sort of imploded. Naturally boy genius found this fascinating: hot, broken glass nothing was going to keep him away from that. It was no small effort to get him out of the kitchen but eventually I managed with promises of going to the shop to get fish and chips for tea.
The oven still being under warranty I reported the incident to Westinghouse. Apparently, though rare, this is not an unheard of situation. After ascertaining that nobody was hurt they have pledged to repair of replace the broken door by next week.
In the meantime boy genius’s interest in the oven shows no sign of waning. I’ve only had to hear him ask “oven?”, “where’s the oven?” about twenty thousand times in the past twelve hours. He even found the camera and took a picture.
I have long suspected the kitchen is out to get me. The ignomious death of our last oven just eight weeks ago had seemed proof positive. But the behaviour of the new oven has removed any lingering doubt. Unless of course this is the opening overture of a poltergeist haunting.

Monday, May 31, 2010

How Had I Never Heard of...Shaun Tan

I had never heard of Shaun Tan when the Professor of Pedantics brought home a copy of his book Tales from Outer Suburbia. I don’t know how it is I managed to miss such a talented local artist but I’m glad the situation has been rectified.
This picture book is aimed at older children but there is so much to be found in it for adults that I would recommend it to everyone.
His use of language is deceptively simple-delivering a depth of meaning and emotion well beyond the words. Likewise the illustrations are sketchy at first glance but on examination contain a phenomenal amount of detail. The stories are even presented in a delightful manner. For example, a poem about destroyed poetry is presented as an amalgam of torn pieces of paper.
Tales from Outer Suburbia is delightful, embrace your inner child and read it.