Backwards, upside-down, and topsy-turvy

We call our house the “Liar House” because it looks adorable on the outside but inside, living there, you realize quickly that except for being haunted, it’s about as welcoming as the Amityville Horror. To explain:

There are three kinds of outlets in the house. They are:

1. Outlets that don’t work

2. Outlets that work but that don’t hold a plug

3. Outlets that work and do hold a plug

We’ll call the first group -O. We’ll call the second group O-h, and the third group O+h

Now then, there are also holding tactics, consisting of tape (t), furniture (f), and small animals (a), which admittedly, don’t work very well unless they’re sleeping. It should also be noted that a is only a theoretical tactic, as yet unused in the household, but for the purposes of our exploration here, will be included in the analysis. Each tactic has its advantages and disadvantages. T, for example, does not require any remodeling of the room but may give way at any moment, or may dislodge paint on the wall. F, on the other hand, can be aesthetically more pleasing than gobs of tape, but may also require the user to be perfectly still for an extended amount of time (see deep vein thrombosis).

A typical scenario goes something like this: 

If –O, then identify new O


Other scenarios may be more complicated, however:

O-h+a=O+ha until (af)(a+t)=O

In the above example, the animal holds the plug in the outlet with its body until it decides to claw the furniture and the owner(s) must bind it with tape to the wall to keep it in place. Future removal of tape is likely to be a significant disadvantage of this approach.

So no, the outlets don’t work so well. The refrigerator oozes a slow drip of water down the back interior wall such that we periodically have to take out the crisper drawers and mop out a small lake from the bottom. The dishwasher is nonexistent, as is the garbage disposal, so we keep an old cottage cheese container next to the sink to collect the small bits of food from the plates as we’re washing them. Large snowfalls seem to beget more waterfalls in the kitchen down a side wall, not unlike the fridge drippings. Our bathtub periodically backs up and spits back chunks of black detritus, or worse, sewage. And yes, we know it’s actual sewage. We have noses.

It’s been an interesting living experience, to say the least. Any given day might be shower-free, or we could skate across the kitchen floor because the fridge has overflowed again. But it’s nice at night, when we warm ourselves by the 62-degree heating ducts, knowing that some part of the house (right next to the boiler, probably), is availing itself of our $265 heating bill’s efforts. Yes, here in Walla Walla, things are a little reversed, if that’s a possible concept. There is one liquor store and yet more than a dozen wine tasting rooms. There is precisely one each Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and KFC, which is nice. There are two Rite Aid pharmacies in town. I think there may be more cattle in the county than people, but I’ll have to check on that. 

The businesses are holding their own for the most part, although a couple restaurants have closed since the big drop in the economy last fall. It’s not so much that Walla Walla has escaped the downturn, so much as it is that W2 is already pared-down. It’s not a flashy town, it has its snippets of hipness in an Austin is weird kind of way. But at its heart it is utilitarian, and what people needs survives. Even if Walla Walla aspires to be a resort for the Richie Riches of Seattle, Portland, and northern California, it is primarily supported by the residents here.

I am one of them. I make the city survive on my endless purchases of mopheads and Draino. So be it. 


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