Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

Excerpts from Conversations with Electricians

5 years, 3 months ago, in the early afternoon

Electrician: These ceilings are pretty tall. What are they, maybe ten feet?

Me: Something like that.

Electrician: Thus the step-ladder in the kitchen, eh?

Me: Natch.

Electrician: [:: looks at the foyer ceiling ::] What about the smoke detector? Can you reach it, even with that ladder? What are you, five foot nothing?

Me: Five foot five, thank you. And the answer to your question is, “Sort of.”

Electrician: Sort of?

Me: Sort of. In fact, just the other day the battery began to die, and I had to knock it down and swap it out. I managed just fine, I’ll have you to know.

Electrician: Wait, what? Knock it down?

Me: Yeah, I had to … okay, see — my husband is tall enough to reach the smoke detector using just the step-ladder, but he was out of town for his brother’s wedding, and the damn thing was beeping every five minutes. So I knocked it down myself.

Electrician: Knocked it down, like, with a baseball or something?

Me: With a metal spatula.

Electrician: You whacked at it with a metal spatula?

Me: Obviously that was not my tactical starting point. First, I simply tried to reach it with the step-ladder. Didn’t work.

Electrician: So you went and got a spatula.

Me: No. I went and got a pair of high heels.

Electrician: [makes this face: O_o]

Me: Yeah. See, even standing on the step-ladder I wasn’t tall enough to reach it, right? So I went into the closet, dug out my highest high heels, slipped them on, then climbed the ladder and tried again.

Electrician: I’m just getting this vision, of you in high heels on a step-ladder with a spatula. It’s … weird.

Me: In my pajamas.

Electrician: What?

Me: It was nearly midnight. I was in my pajamas. And high heels.

Electrician: With a spatula.

Me: Yes, a long metal one. So I was standing on the step-ladder in polka-dot pajamas and high heels, with a stainless steel spatula in one hand and a glass of wine in the other–

Electrician: Wait now. What? You’re making this up.

Me: I told you, it was midnight. I was having a nightcap.

Electrician: Jesus …

Me: So I whacked at the smoke detector like it’s a pinata, and finally, on the fifth or sixth try, I dislodged it.

Electrician: You frighten me.

Me: Sometimes, I frighten myself.

Electrician: It’s a wonder you didn’t break your neck.

Me: Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Electrician: But I note that the detector is properly affixed now.

Me: My husband did come home, eventually.

Electrician: Brave soul, that.