The last time I heard from Aunt Daisy, things were going well at her farm. She’s using the Cowgirl Code as guide. Marisol had softened her attitude. She was drawing and painting in the sketchbook Daisy bought for her. She had even asked Daisy to show her how to make biscuits. I’m sure I’ll get an email when there’s more progress.
But things are not going that well at our casa. Max and I love watching movies in the evening but our DVD player had suddenly developed a reluctance to play. Was it a critique of our choice of movies? Max said it just needed a little tweaking.
I said, “I’ll call our tech expert.”
Max may be great at carving vegetables and catering parties but he’s never been good at solving mechanical problems.
“Let me see what I can do first,” Max said.
Uh, oh. Max may be great at carving vegetables and catering parties but he’s never been good at solving mechanical problems. Once, when we were first married, he wanted to fix an iron that quit working. After several hours of taking it apart and then not knowing how to put it back together, he put the pieces into a paper bag, threw it away and bought me a new iron. Since then, he’s the first to call a handyman.
So when he said he’d fix the DVD player, I was skeptical. One thing I know for sure, though– he has more patience than anyone. For example, when he unwraps presents. First, he unties the ribbon and if it has a tight knot, he uses a chopstick to undo it. Then he rolls the ribbon up and ties the ends. He picks the tape off the wrapping paper being careful not to tear it. Next, he spends time carefully smoothing out the paper. At the end, I throw it all out anyway, but that doesn’t stop him.
Last Christmas morning, I gave him five gifts and he spent the whole day unwrapping each one step by step. While he was unwrapping the first, I made coffee and pancakes. During the second, I made hamburger hash for our dog Salsa. During the third, I took a shower and washed my hair. While he was undoing the fourth, I took a nap. By the time Max got through unwrapping the fifth, the sun had set and I was making dinner.
I wanted to scream, but I respect his ways. After all, his patience carving vegetables got him five Golden Radish Awards.
When calm, but non-mechanically minded, Max unplugged the DVD player from the TV, I crossed my fingers.
He took it apart and spread everything out on the kitchen table – box, wire, screws, nuts and bolts. Then he studied the instructions booklet.
I said, “Shouldn’t we first give it anesthesia?”
“Sylvia, this is my patient. I’ll heal it.”
“The instructions are in Spanish. Won’t that be a problem?”
He shot me a look over his reading glasses. “There are diagrams and I’m visually gifted.”
I rolled my eyes and walked away. Good luck, DVD player! You were a good friend.
Max spent the morning looking first at the diagrams and finding each piece shown.
“I’m putting everything back the way it should be according to the drawings. It just needed a simple cleaning. No problem at all. It’s as good as new,” Max said triumphantly, heading for the TV, DVD player in hand.
He spent until sunset hooking it up. Then he rubbed his hands together, smiling. “This DVD player is cured! Let’s have dinner then we’ll slip in the disc of the new movie and away we go!”
We ate dinner. Max was so sure of himself, I hoped that his hard work would pay off and we’d have movie night.
I made drinks and popcorn and nestled into my movie-watching chair. Confidently, Max turned on the TV, the player tray slid out and he snapped the disc into place. Then he pressed “Enter.”
The player did not play but produced an ear splitting whirr, the screen went green, then flashes of blue and up came a rock concert in Japan which quickly switched to a cooking show in Russian, then green screen again, flashes of blue and a then a news broadcast from Mumbai.
I turned to Max. “It’s not playing the movie, my dear, but at least we know things are going well in Mumbai. Who wants to call the technician?”
Four hands shot up!