Oh Lord have mercy on us all because The Mom bought the most hateful tap in all of Christendom.
Whilst at home, I shuffled downstairs each morning to make coffee. This involves, obviously, putting some water in the thing so that it works. It’s a stove top espresso maker, so the orifice into which one must decant a few drops of water is tiny. All this must be done early in the morning, and without having had the benefit of a coffee to steady one’s nerves and resolve. I know, first world problems, but problems nonetheless. The Mom’s neighbours got one of those nifty new pod-based coffee things and though I mock them endlessly, I see the value in being able to stab at one button and blearily await the arrival of The Life Force.
Right. So there I am at the kitchen sink. I’m wearing track pants, a wife beater, and the bathrobe The Mom bought me when I came home to live with her post-PhD. It has a hood, and the hood is up. I have not turned the lights on because the sun’s coming up and the lighting in the kitchen is too bright for The Mom and I first thing or last thing in the day.
I address the tap.
The tap sits there, lurking in the dark, thinking evil, evil thoughts.
I undo the coffee maker. I push up my sleeve and bring the water thing nearer the tap, I edge closer, millimetre by millimetre, When the thing is directly under the tap, when it should be filled with water freely flowing from the devil tap, nothing happens.
With my other hand, I reach out and BAM! The tap swings into full force, but of course it startles me because it’s early and I’m confused at that time of day and my entire arm is now soaking wet.
There is no water in the thing that makes coffee.
I make a sound like Chewbacca would if he were hurt.
The Mom knows this sound and stays away.
“Coffee!” I shout. “Tap!”
I am shouting this at the faucet. It remains unmoved. Cold, stainless steel, sleek, modern, subtly implying by virtue of its existence that you are no longer necessary. It can switch itself on and off as and when it chooses. You must prove yourself worthy of the tap.
I approach again. This time it springs into action with such force that the water overflows. I have to dump some out, and I dump too much out, and so I have to start again.
But this time I’ve had enough of the Fancy Tap, so I revert to the other, smaller one that Crazy D maintains is the one with the salty water in it, and the one The Mom maintains is actually drinking water. They switch this up every few years to keep me on my toes. I don’t really care – mostly because i’m not dead yet so obviously it can’t be that bad.
I spurn the fancy tap and go in for the little one. The fancy tap, though, it does not take kindly to this, and comes on when nothing and no one is anywhere near it.
It will not switch off.
“Off tap!! Off tap!!”
I realise this tactic of shouting at inanimate objects is never going to be effective, but I do it at the internet and the TV and so it’s become sort of a twitch or habit.
“Off tap! Please, tap!”
“Mom, the tap has gone fucking mental!” I bellow at the top of my lungs.
Unused to hearing me utter full words before coffee, The Mom rushes to the scene. She taps the tap on the head and it stops.
“Tap whisperer,” I sneer.
“There’s a sensor on the top.”
“No talking now please!” I say, waving the undone coffee maker.
“You know, there’s Brita water just there, on the side.”
Glaring at her, I use that and in about thirty minutes become something closer to a human.
“Why?” I ask her.
“I thought it would be a good idea.”
“I know, I live here.”
“It has to go,” I said.
“Can’t, it’ll ruin the fancy new counters.”
And so, we are now stuck with the devil tap. But I have some ideas. I’m going to get a raincoat that’ll fit everyone and leave it in the kitchen. Fucking tap won’t think that’s so funny, now will it?