Our heating is back! It was fixed yesterday evening by a large bottom partly dressed in pants and his assistant, Gary. Less than five minutes work on their part was reimbursed by us in the form of forty-five of your European bucks, a fact suffered greatly by two of the greatest skinflints ever to reuse a teabag, David and Burt. They have no qualms about dropping over a hundred Euros for the sake of a night out, will laugh it off after as being all in the sake of fun, but ask them to pay for small necessities- bread, toothpaste, toilet roll- and they will close up immediately and bicker pointlessly about how they bought toothpaste last year and they never eat bread anyway as it soaks up valuable beer in the stomach. Having safely seen the boiler maintenance men off the premises and declared loudly that they had known all along what was wrong with it, and if only they had had a screwdriver this whole thing would have been sorted out ages ago, they headed off up to Santry to play pool, leaving me to wander around the house on my own, brushing against walls with my fingers and gazing in wonder as they came away dry.
My plan of walking around my newly warm home naked, laughing, was cruelly scuppered by Aoife's arrival home (much to the relief of my neighbours, I'm sure). The proceeding two or so hours were very dull, revolving around the sorting of odd socks, scouring of pans and declogging of plugholes that are pretty run of the mill for most females of an evening. Actually, I can't pretend to know what most females do in the evening; off moisturising their elbows and picking out ankle-bracelets, probably. What I am sure of however, is that I spent yesterday evening doing unpleasant tasks while Aoife smoked and gave out about her job.
When the boys returned from poking coloured balls around with long poles, a situation arose. Though as completely enamoured of the lovely glowing heat coming from our radiators as we were, the boys had had a frank appraisal of their finances and decided that stern measures would have to be undertaken. Specifically, the cessation of all non-essential, money-using services in the house including and without equivocation all laser-light displays, monkey waiter service, nightly bottles of Moët before bed and heating after 6pm. What?! We just have the heating back, we complained, let us live in comfort for a while more! But no, the boys were stern. The heating was turned off immediately and vague theories expounded on the heat retention of newspaper when wrapped around the body. The boys were also well on their way to being drunk.
You'd think I'd have learned long ago not to argue with those with a slightly squiffy glint in their eye. Nay. While Burt waxed didactic to Aoife on the perils of an overheated home and the environmental disaster that was humanity's overuse of fossil fuels, David chose to examine the physics of the thing and demanded reasons why a house couldn't be heated sufficiently during the day and then merely release it's heat during the night.
'Because,' I spluttered, 'It's not a bloody solar panel-thingy, it's a house!'
'Ah! But what about the laws of thermodynamics!' he replied triumphantly. You can always tell a drunk by his absolute confidence in the utter bullshit he comes out with.
Momentarily displaced by his use of a multi-syllabled word, I struggled for a come back.
'You can't...you don't....asshole!'
I am not, unsurprisingly, the strongest at debates. Needless to say, the room went quiet. I shifted uncomfortably from one foot to another. Somethings are taboo, even in my house. The boys glanced gravely at each other and proceeded to mutter grumpily to each other.
'Did you hear...!'
'I can't believe she said-!'
'Of all the-'
'I'd like to know what gives her the right!'
They stopped their muttering to glare accusingly at me. Burt tutted softly under his breath. David reduced his eyes to the merest slits and shook his head. Faced with such an assault, I panicked. I lashed out with the only weapon I had.
'You owe me a fiver since Monday!' I sobbed and raced from the room. I don't seem to handle confrontation well. I may not end up in the front lines at the class-hatred fueled uprising I had planned.