Monday, April 03, 2006

Why I need a wife and other musings from an island paradise

Well to be honest I don't really need wife, what I need is someone to save me from myself and I'm just not sure who would be willing to other than a wife. Now if I had bucket loads of cash, I could probably hire a personal assistant to do the job, but I don't have bucket loads of cash — although I do have a poster roll (you know one of those cardboard tubes that poster's come in) that is almost full of pennies, nickels and dimes — so I'm left with the wife theory. I say theory because I imagine what I think a wife does and what a wife actually does are probably very different, and I wasn't even thinking sexually.

I'm in Hawaii at the moment, and I realise I won't get any sympathy from you when I say it is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. And when I say that I'm not talking about the fact that they've just had 40-odd straight days of rain, or the fact that a pipe burst and several million tonnes (or maybe tons, what difference does it make when we're talking about millions of them) of raw sewage was dumped in the ocean near Waikiki beach. No, instead I'm talking about the fact that I'm here for work, case in point it is seven o'clock on Sunday evening and I'm in the lab — admittedly I'm in the lab typing this and not actually working at the moment, but I was ten minutes ago. I feel it is going to be something of a long week.

Although work isn't all bad, and I don't want to give the impression that it is. For instance, yesterday I got to see a truly great comedy moment. One of my colleagues plugged a cable between our battery box (can you guess what's inside) and one of our other boxes. When he did this great plumes of smoke were emitted from each connection. It was very impressive! It's not very often that you get to see great plumes of unintentional smoke in the physics lab. The truly funny thing about the story is if you had asked around the collaboration who would be the guy most likely to cause plumes from our experiment, most people would have picked the gentleman involved yesterday. The even funnier thing is though who would have been the popular choice, yesterday's smoke was not entirely his fault. It made me laugh anyway, it might lose something in translation.

Okay, so I appear to have got distracted away from my initial point, which is basically that I shouldn't really be left in charge of myself. I think this trip illustrates the point very well.

Exhibit A: my plane tickets. Now I spent a long time trying to decide which days to fly and which airlines and all that. In the end I flew out last Wednesday on American West (now US Airways), there was nothing particularly unpleasant (beyond the usual 10 hours on a plane amount of unpleasantness) about the flights themselves it was more the timing of them. You see, I picked the cheapest ticket I could find, a ticket which had me arriving at half past midnight. What I didn't realise when I booked the ticket was that arriving so late the car rental places would be shut and I'd have to spend the money I saved on a cheaper ticket on an expensive airport hotel room. Not very well thought through, although I did at least realise I would have a problem before I flew and wasn't taken by surprise upon landing.

Exhibit B: my hotels. Now I say hotels because last night I stayed in my third different hotel this trip. All the more impressive as I've only been here four nights. The first change was somewhat understandable as it was the change from the airport hotel to one nearer the UH campus. The second change was somewhat less understandable as it was to save $7 a night for the remaining 6 nights of my stay here. It is particularly un-understanable as it's not even my money and $42 dollars extra on trip that's costing over $1000 is probably not worth the struggle. Which brings me to...

Exhibit C: car parking. On Thursday night it rained. Now I don't just mean a-little-bit-of-moisture-was-falling-from-the-sky rain. No, I mean the-world-was-ending-and-God-was-punishing-until-the-last-second rain. In this weather I had to check in to hotel number two. A sensible man would have pulled up in front of the hotel, checked in and then paid to use the hotels parking, thus never having to venture out in the inclement weather, after all parking is only about $10 a night and at the end of the day it isn't his money. I chose a slight course of action. I drove around Waikiki looking for on-street parking. This didn't go to well, in part because I could barely see the street and in part because there just wasn't any parking. So I ventured a little further afield, got lost parked in a spot near a big building (on the grounds that I thought I might be back near Waikiki) and then wandered around in the rain for ten or fifteen minutes trying to work out where in the blazes I was. Eventually I did manage to find some on-street parking that was only seven or eight, rain soaked, blocks from my hotel.

Exhibit D: the morning after. On Friday morning I woke up at around 6:30 in the morning. Feeling a little bit tired, and a little bit hungover. It was then that I began to realise I had parked by a parking meter that would become active (I now have an image of a parking meter running up and down the side of the street, but maybe that's just in my head) at 7:00. Did I: a) say fuck it go back to sleep; b) get up and go check whether there was a meter and either move the car or put money in it; or c) lie in bed wondering what to do until ten past seven then get up have a hasty shower, before hurrying to move the car and go to work, only to discover that there wasn't a bloody parking meter (or maybe it was running up and down the street).

Exhibit E: last night's dinner. Last night it was getting late and I was a little hungry. I wasn't very hungry as I'd had both breakfast and lunch, so I just wanted something light. I decided to go and have some sushi. Apparently (in my head) the cute little I Love Sushi restaurant two blocks from my hotel wasn't up to scratch so I walked a few more blocks to a 'antique Japanese' restaurant I'd been to before. When I sat down at the bar area, there were only a couple of other customers in the restaurant. For some reason this put me off ordering sushi, I think my logic was they might have put it away or it might be going 'stale' or I have no fucking idea it was late and I was stupid. Anyhow, I ended up ordering something could neither pronounce or spell and was basically a big greasy Japanese omelet with pork and cabbage and cheese topped with mayonnaise. So not entirely the light sushi meal I was aiming for. At least they had beer.

Now my theory is if I was with someone, and I just mean if somebody was physically present with me, I wouldn't have quite so many of these strange ideas that result in me wandering around lost in the rain or eating mayonnaise covered omelets. Of course, I'm probably wrong on that count.


Anonymous said...

I suspect that you may be wrong. You appear to be working on the theory that when you put two idiots together, you get less idiocy, or even an average of the two people's idiocy. In the overwhelmingly vast majority of cases, that doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

I just think God's punishing you. Rude words make the baby Jesus cry

M said...

Think that is a bit drastic to get a wife just to organise you!

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest traveling with a colleague. Or maybe a girlfriend. Wife is a bad idea. Trust me on this one.