What’s with the doorbell?


A vast expanse of lush, green grass is a beautiful sight when you are a tourist; not so much when you are a tenant with a manual lawnmower in need of sharpening.

Today was neither rain nor thunder, even a little sun. So after I came home from work and ate half a liter of yogurt, I went out to mow lawn again.  After a couple minutes the landlord arrived unannounced, with his uncle (?), mother and grandmother.  They were, they told me, just looking at the shed and carport and such, to see what they could throw away.

That is ominous. When you start clearing out the shed, it means you are planning to sell the house.  Given how many houses the family already has, this is not really surprising, but it is a letdown for me. I love this place and I hate moving.  Oh well.  I should start throwing away more things myself, to prepare for my next move, I guess.  But hopefully it is still some way off.  The “pigsty project” has been hibernating through the summer, and I have only thrown away actual garbage.  It is time to start getting rid of the two crates of comics that I was absolutely sure I would read again but have not blown the dust off since I came here three years ago, at which time I had not looked at them for some years either. Also,  shirts missing buttons.  Also, trousers with visible holes. Yes, I can wear them at home.  But you only need one pair of trousers at home where no one sees them, because, obviously, no one will see that you have only one pair when no one sees them.

Anyway!  Since these people were hanging around, I mowed harder and longer than I do on an average day.  I try to do some each day, as a kind of exercise, except when the weather forbids it.  This summer there has been more days with some rain than usual, which I deeply appreciate.  But it also means the lawns get a bit furry even by my standards.  The landlord and family prefer them with crewcut at the most.  And I suspect lawns are very important to them, since the house is surrounded by such vast expanses of the stuff.  Thus, to forestall an immediate eviction caused by contempt for the court of lawn, I worked hard for half an hour, and was drenched in sweat.

(Normally I don’t care what people think about me, but these are not people, they are my continued living at this nice place. Besides, usually I don’t need to care what people think because God sees me. But God loves grass, as evidenced by how much he has created of it and how he makes it grow; the landlord family hates grass. So usual rules do not apply.)

The thing to do when drenched in sweat is to take clothes off and take a bath, in that order. However, in the interval between “clothes off” and “take a bath”, the doorbell rang.  This was the landlord’s family wanting to give me a message.  I reasoned, however, that they would probably not want to do so while I was naked, so I put on some clothes, at which point they were about to drive away.

Usually people do just that, drive away after ringing my doorbell.  This is not because people like to prank me by ringing my bell and running. It is because in 2 out of 3 times (or so) people ring the bell when I am either asleep, bathing or on the porcelain throne.  This is out of proportion to the time I spend doing these things.  It is as if the doorbell has some kind of indicator light that I can’t see, signaling to those outside that I am not in a position to answer.  Except it is reversed so that they mainly ring it when I am otherwise occupied.

Not always though.  My old Christian friend who comes over a few times a year to pray with me and borrow my scientific magazines, somehow he manages to get through.  Likewise the kids selling lotteries for local clubs. At least sometimes.  I guess sometimes they may be among those who give up before I open.  Hard to say, since I can’t see them either. And of course there are probably some ringing when I am at work as well, possibly when I’m out on a walk.  Overall, I must be pretty hard to find. At least if you think a minute is an ocean of time to wait.  In which case, don’t come to me and ask why time flies so fast and where did the years go. The years went while you were driving like a speed maniac from house to house, ringing the door bells and running away faster than I could button my trousers.

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