Archive for the ‘Soledad – maid #3’ Category

Viva Las Vegas, where the saints are marching in

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

By Tiber

You may remember when Cook got angry and threw a pan that made a dent in the floor, Soledad, the kitchen maid, believed the imprint looked like the Virgin Mary. Dad thought it looked more like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.”

The image ended up being lost anyway so we never got that far with it.

But now, it’s happened again.

Cook got angry with somebody else and threw a pasta colander at the wall. (Or as she put it to Dad, she was “playing catch with some poor children and she just missed.”) Either way, this time, Soledad thought the watermark it left looked exactly like St. Joseph.

Once again, she wanted to make the kitchen a free place of pilgrimage. But since the Vatican has a gift shop, she felt it would be all right to sell St. Joseph souvenirs.

Unlike Soledad, we’re not Catholic but, obviously, we wanted to be respectful. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, since Joseph was not the “real” father, could you charge as much for his items as you could for a Mary?

Then again, Joseph seems to appear in a lot fewer places so maybe you could charge more just for his rarity.

Predictably, once again, Dad peered at the watermark and said that the imprint looked exactly like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.”

Dad has also seen Ann-Margret from “Viva Las Vegas” in his dreams, in cloud formations and in beer foam. Somebody said he was like Jimmy Stewart in that old movie, “Harvey” where Stewart kept seeing a large rabbit that wasn’t there.

At least Dad has upped the crazy in a good way.

If you’re going to constantly be seeing an imaginary friend, it’s a hell of a lot better to have it be  a really hot redhead than simply be a giant hare.

Laundering money

Friday, July 16th, 2010

By Tiber

Soledad is one of Mom and Dad‘s maids and a sweeter person you will never meet, always cheerful, always smiling.

With Dad’s current money problems, though, he had to tell Soledad he’d have to cut back on what he could pay her to do. She could continue to live here, of course, and with so many other people still living here too, she could go on helping out Cook and washing items like the sheets and towels. But no longer could he pay her to do the regular laundry.

My sister, Vanessa, was here visiting today and I saw Soledad take some clothes from her right after money had changed hands. Later, I confronted Vanessa and she said,

“Okay, okay, so I pay Soledad to do some of my laundry. She told us she was fine with it.”

 “What do you mean, ‘us?’”

Vanessa shuffled a little, which is very unusual for her.

“Who else is doing this besides you? Duncan? Kru? Well, not Erin or Iris Nell…Mom?!?”

I got a yes to all.

 ”And Dad?!?”

“No, no, he still sends his out. Come on, Tiber, it’s not as if Dad wanted us to go down to a stream.”

Now that I think about it, of course, I can’t even imagine Mom going down to the basement.

“So you’re saying that, lately, the only people actually doing any laundry around here are me and Soledad.”

“Pretty much.”

I think I’m beginning to see at least a partial source of Soledad’s perpetual happiness. She’s been running a successful underground black market using only soap and a washing machine.

And now she makes more money than I do.

I’m starting to see things

Monday, May 31st, 2010

By Tiber

As I wrote about on April 12, 2010 in “We’re All Floored,” when Cook threw, sorry, “dropped” a heavy soup pot on the kitchen floor, Soledad, one of the maids, did drop to her knees, believing that the resulting dent in the floor looked like an image of the Virgin Mary.

The trouble was, everybody else was seeing other people in it. Dad saw an image of the actress Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas,” though as I pointed out at the time, I really think Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas” is simply imprinted on Dad’s brain.

I just saw a dent in the linoleum which made me either  a) the most dull-witted  b) the least blessed or c) right.

Cook has been surprisingly respectful and since Soledad sees the Virgin Mary, she’s allowed her to rope off the area and make a little altar around it. Of course, the problem is, it’s right in the middle of the kitchen floor. And now Cook has to deal with Dad popping in all the time too. He claims he’s trying to see what Soledad sees but we all know who he‘s really looking at.

The whole thing resolved itself last night, though, when Cook, this time carrying a heavy soup pot full of broth to the stove, lost her balance and knocked over one of the little votive candles on Soledad’s floor altar.

The candle flame caught Cook’s pant leg on fire and she screamed and this time did drop the soup pot. And then she leaped into the pot itself to put out the pant leg fire, only to have Dad walk in a second later. Dad thought Cook was trying to poison him and I guess if you do see someone standing in your food, it might be something to consider.

That was finally cleared up.

And best of all, it was noticed that Cook’s accidental dropping of the soup pot this time had made a bigger mark on the floor which erased any resemblance to a face at all. Everyone agreed that now it just looked like a plain old dent in the linoleum and the kitchen could be used safely once again.

I came over to get Dad and when I glanced down, I froze.

“Oh, no,” I thought. “Doesn’t anyone else see that now that looks a little bit like the flag?!?”

Obviously, you’re not supposed to step on that either.

And yet…I knew for sure that if I called Dad back, his brain would go right for it.

“Wait just a minute! I didn’t see it before but now that looks exactly like Ann-Margret! In ‘Viva Las Vegas!’ Just from a different angle!”

So…under the circumstances, I decided it was better to see nothing.  

I see nothing. I say nothing. I just move along, move along.

We’re all floored

Monday, April 12th, 2010

By Tiber

Yesterday, Cook “dropped” a heavy metal soup pot on the floor. There’s a better chance that she threw it at someone but nobody’s talking.

Whatever happened, my parents’ maid, Soledad, was cleaning the kitchen floor today when suddenly, she fell to her knees. Cook thought she was breaking into some form of folk-dancing and told her to knock it off until she was through with the mopping.

But Soledad had seen a vision. There on the floor, at least to her, was the image of the Virgin Mary.

Everything stopped and kitchen utensil traffic cones had to be arranged around the site until the family could be called in to check it out.

Soledad, knowing that Dad’s running short of cash, was already running with the idea of money from the vision as soon as he arrived. She didn’t think it would be fair to charge to see the Virgin Mary herself but felt it would be all right to set up a gift shop and sell her likeness on merchandise.

The main trouble, though, was that no one else could agree on who the face on the floor really looked like.

Dad thought it looked more like Ann-Margret in “Viva Las Vegas.” Of course, Dad has also seen Ann-Margret from “Viva Las Vegas” in cloud formations, in his dreams and in beer foam so I’m not sure how reliable that is.

Duncan thought the face looked like Cleopatra in a hockey mask. Could she have played? Who can really say?

Kru insisted it was a Viking in a Panama hat, which if we did sell it in the gift shop would first require a rewriting of history.

What did I see? I saw linoleum with a dent in it. Either I am a)  the most dull-witted person here b)  the least blessed or c)  right.

Cook just wanted to know whether, if she ended up having long lines of pilgrims standing in her kitchen, she could at least ask them to peel some potatoes.

 

Smith & Wesson Oil

Friday, March 12th, 2010

 

By Tiber 

Since Dad hasn’t yet fired anyone who works for him and he can’t fire us, Cook is still preparing food for the over 20 people who live here in the house.

She again brought up wanting an assistant but here Dad drew the line, saying he really can’t afford that right now. And besides, as he reminded her, in the past, she never was nice to the ones he did hire.

Finding assistant cooks wasn’t hard. Keeping an assistant cook was. One did stay for a few years but then she claimed that Cook had assaulted her with a whisk. Fortunately, no one could find any evidence of anyone ever being “whisked to death,” so no charges were filed.

The next assistant soon complained of being goosed with a spatula and offered to show us the distinctive mark. Dad quickly declined a look at that and this cook departed also.

Candidate #3 stayed even less time. Someone heard yells coming from somewhere under the house. And this one we found in the basement, where she’d been pushed, down the old coal chute. Cook insisted it was just one of those “all too common and tragic falling down the old coal chute accidents we hear so much about.”

“Oh, come on, where in hell have you ever heard anything like that?!?” Dad demanded.

Cook paused and then finally said, “…Fox News.”

So instead of hiring anyone new, Dad has decided we can all do our own laundry and he’ll make Soledad, the laundry maid and easily the sweetest person in the house, Cook’s new helper.

Dad took Soledad aside and assured her that she would be fine since she was going in armed with Cook’s promise that she would behave.

My brother, Duncan, dryly observed that armed with a promise was fine but arming Soledad with a hockey mask and a bazooka would probably be a little better.