I have to tell you about the other afternoon and its hilarity. I was sitting in our living room updating business with  Corey from Macy’s, the local funeral home. Daughter Janet was back and forth from office to kitchen overseeing 11-year-old Bella who was baking cookies, and 4-year-old Giuliana who was water coloring at the counter. I see the contractor coming down the front walk, so excuse myself and go to the door to let him in. He hits the Big Ben chiming doorbell button just as I open the door. Partway in he stops and turns back because, OOOPS, the chimes choke and stutter a few notes then DING DING DONG (pause) DING DONG DONG DONG…DING DONG DING DING (no semblance of a chime factor)…at which point the contractor backs out, hits the button again hoping to correct the hiccupping bell. That restarts the tuneless dinging and donging, only this time without the pauses. Janet yells from the kitchen, “Shoot it!” I ask for a gun.

Corey is taking all this in with dropped jaw, no doubt wondering what kind of cracker box family he’s gotten into. Contractor and I look at each other in unison saying, “Is this gonna go on forever?” Actually all of us are afraid by this time that the crazy wireless chiming will have to be sold along with the home, and that not a minute too soon. Then mercifully, after a couple more dings and pauses, the bell goes on hold….really? for sure? I return to the seat by Corey, leaving the contractor standing in the entry waiting for permission to go into the guest bathroom to replace the broken toilet handle. (Is there some poetic sonic here too…the background sound of rushing water?) I nod to him.

I didn’t even notice when the contractor slid silently back out the front door. But when Corey left, he got severely monitored to make sure not even a thread of his black suit touched or even came close to that dingy  button.

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