Today’s fixture is the Tiger v Iceland rematch. You will remember, I expect, that the original match ended in a draw and perhaps even a moral victory for the opposing team, not a situation to be relished. I refer, of course, to the Great Fridge Débâcle.
Following the failure of what one assumes to be a professional delivery company to deliver our fridge because they didn’t have the nous to check the parking restrictions in the middle of London, I phoned Iceland (the food store, as I am sure you know by now) to express my displeasure. They were very sorry of course. They rang me back later to say that delivery had been rescheduled for Saturday, after 10 am.
So here I am, washed, dressed and wearing my Special Shoes, waiting and filling in the time blogging. I am hoping to hear the trill of the radio bell announcing that the new fridge is on the doorstep rather than a phone call announcing that, once again, the delivery will not take place.
It is all the more annoying because today we were supposed to be going down to Margate. Usually, we set off bright and early in order to spend the day there. “After 10 am” is a pretty big window and when the fridge does eventually arrive (or fail to – let’s be realists), it may no long be worth going.
We can go tomorrow instead but in that case we won’t be able to do the other chore we have been saving up: the laundry. What with holidays and other distractions, the laundry has been piling up. My laundry basket, not my cup, runneth over. If we don’t go to Margate today, then we have to do the laundry, no matter how late it is by the time the fridge has been “dropped”.
10 am came and went. So did 11:30. At noon, Tigger made a quick lunch. Time passed.
Just after 1 pm, my phone rang. It was Delivery man #1. “We’ll be there in 15 to 20 minutes,” he said reassuringly. It was nearer an hour before the radio bell buzzed, but what’s 40 minutes between friends?
Standing on the house doorstep was Delivery man #2, hopping from one foot to the other. “Can I use your toilet?” he enquired, interrupting my greetings.
Some minutes later Delivery man #2 and Delivery man #1 appeared in the the house doorway dragging something that looked like an Egyptian sarcophagus. With a few bumps and wheezes they propelled it along the corridor into our tiny hallway.
“It goes round to the right,” said I helpfully.
After some heaving and huffing it became obvious that it would not go through the doorway. “You’ll have to unpack it then it’ll go OK,” said Delivery man #1 confidently. “It has wheels. So you can move it.”
Delivery man #2 handed me a sheaf of documents. “Sigh near,” he instructed, “and print.”
The signing ceremony completed, they departed, leaving us with the sarcophagus in the main hallway. Stripping the plastic, cardboard and polystyrene packing from the sides and top was easy. The difficult part was removing the packing from underneath. A 5-foot tall fridge freezer is a bit heavy.
This is the sort of situation in which Tigger shines. “Go up the stairs and pull the top of the fridge towards you. More! All the way.”
So there I was, crouching on the stairs holding on to a reclining fridge for dear life while Tigger, down below, tried to wrest a substantial polystyrene tray from under the monster.
“Right, can you lift it?”
“OK, raise it upright, towards me.”
Puffing I struggled to do so. Tigger had managed to remove most of the tray and all that remained was to pull off what was left at the back.
Now came the moment of truth: would it go through the doorway? At first it looked doubtful but at last it went.
We next did the only sensible thing in the circumstances: made tea and went for a lie-down.
But the day was not yet over. We still had to make a trip to the launderette. I will spare you the details except to say that it was busy and the problem was made worse by selfish people leaving washing in machines and dryers and going away, effectively removing those appliances from use.
Inevitably, tempers became frayed and disputes erupted. Two families nearly came two blows when one tried to grab a dryer by flinging garments into it and the other pulled them out. Stand-off!
Back home again, we switched on the new fridge. It doesn’t make a noise like a machine gun. That’a going to take some getting used to.