Let me introduce myself. I am Mama Bread Baker. I run a blended family of seven that consists of Chief Money Maker, five crumb snatchers, three dogs, and I. One thing you should know about me is that I like a clean house. The crumb snatchers once asked me why I liked cleaning so much. I told them it wasn’t the cleaning that I liked, it was the result. Unfortunately, the only way to achieve that result was to do it myself, with the aid of the crumb snatchers, or hire a maid with their allowance money. They were suddenly all for chipping in to help. With the cleaning that is, not their allowance, of course.
Chief Money Maker appears to be neutral on the subject, certainly not minding the organization I’ve provided since moving into his home. He also doesn’t complain when things get a little behind. He provides the yeast for the bread baking, and I bake it. It works well for us that way. His honey-do-list isn’t very long and he usually (take special note of “usually”) does what is asked. Mostly because he wants to partake in that fresh-baked bread! So when Chief Money Maker recently received a quarterly bonus he was agreeable when I asked to purchase a new vacuum. I immediately began my consumer research, excited about the opportunity to obtain a new house cleaning tool.
Meanwhile, because I’m Mama Bread Baker, our crumb snatchers come to me when things need to be fixed, and when they want something to eat. The primary issue the past two months has been the temperature on the second floor of our house where the five crumb snatchers live. We have separate units for each floor and I had been quite comfortable downstairs. But I soon began hearing cries of, “It’s so hoooooottt,” from the inhabitants of the upstairs. “Keep your doors closed,” I yelled back at them. I wondered how cool does it have to be to sit and watch TV and play video games anyway? I wasn’t really that concerned although I did relay the complaints to Chief Money Maker.
However, when the downstairs unit froze up during the week Chief Money Maker was in the Minnesota wilderness with absolutely no electronic connection to the civilized world, I did begin to agree with the crumb snatchers. Maybe there were some air conditioning issues that needed to be addressed. Yet for some reason, the 85 degree temperature upstairs was suddenly better than the 180 degrees downstairs and I didn’t hear “It’s so hoooooottt,” once that week. At least not from them. I said it quite a few times myself and usually threw in a few other choice words.
When Chief Money Maker arrived home from the wilderness, where the average daily temperature was 60 degrees, he asked me if I missed him. While drenched from head to toe with sweat generated by the Memphis summer heat, I hit him upside the head with the cast iron skillet and asked him, “What do YOU think?!” Shortly thereafter, with an ice pack applied to his head, he contacted a friend of ours who kindly replaced the coil for the main unit, to the tune of a large portion of the bonus money. He also mentioned to Chief Money Maker that cleaning the outside units once or twice a month would help minimize repair costs. Later, when the cries of “It’s so hoooooottt,” drifted downstairs again, I asked Chief Money Maker if he would clean the outside unit to see if that might resolve the issue. He replied, “Chief Money Maker do it soon.” Whatever! Mama Bread Baker was cool and happy once again.
I counted the remaining eggs of the bonus and there was still enough for the vacuum. Until the electric bill arrived. It was twice as much as I had expected, chipping away at more of the bonus. “It’s so hoooooottt,” was still drifting downstairs from the crumb snatchers. I showed Chief Money Maker the electric bill and reminded him he was costing us more money by not cleaning the outside unit. He replied, “Chief Money Maker do it soon.” And the unit ran constantly for forty days and nights as the children of the Thacker Reservation roamed the upstairs desert complaining as much as the children of Israel did to Moses. So finally, when I passed an air conditioning crew at a neighbor’s house, I unilaterally decided to schedule a call for them to come to our house the next morning.
When they arrived, Chief Money Maker explained the recently replaced coil in the main unit, and I played the recordings of each crumb snatcher crying “It’s so hoooooottt.” Two and one half hours later, we learned that it wasn’t functioning properly because it was DIRTY! I was so embarrassed. The woman that keeps a clean house had a dirty air conditioning unit! I wondered what the neighbors would think.
Then the bill for cleaning the unit was presented. The repairman must have known exactly how much bonus we had left, because his bill totaled it all. I watched the dreams of my new vacuum disappear as the air conditioning repair man drove away with our check. Mama Bread Baker was no longer happy. The only consolation is that the cries of “It’s so hoooooottt,” have been replaced with the sound of my husband vacuuming the entire house with my old vacuum.
Post script from Chief Money Maker: Me highly advise switching off the breaker to your outside air conditioning unit and hosing down at least once a month.
© 2011 CThacker