ca•lam•i•ty (kəˈlamədē) Noun: calamity; plural noun: calamities An event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.
It was a Tuesday morning 14 October 2014, a day not unlike any other day, the sun came up in the East, the lizards were crawling along the wall, and Mayang just brought me a cup of fresh brewed coffee. It was just another ordinarily day in the Archipelagoes of the Philippines. Or at least that was the warm fuzzy feeling that the fates had lulled me into believing.
But I ask you; “How was I to know that a major-major calamity was lurking in the background, ready to strike and ruin my idealistic day. Hell who could have known that a disaster of the first magnitude was skulking in the back ground ready to reach out and throttle my peace and quiet?
I know you have not read about any earthquakes or typhoons hitting Dinalupihan Bataan, it is far bigger than that. I pray that it will never strike any LiP readers at anytime or any place. Oh the humanity… I mentioned this on Facebook, but people thought I was joking believe me this was anything but a joke to the lady of “Casa Mayang.”
There I was on the “Puter” posting spam and or tripe on Facebook, when two tiny feet came running down the hall with one hand posed to scratch her head and so excited that she forgot that she also spoke English. I felt my blood pressure spike; cold sweat ran off my brow, for I knew whatever she was attempting to tell me was not going to be good news.
The eternal flame has gone out. Oh dear God, at Arlington National Cemetery? That being my first thought. No the one that burns 24-7 on the counter in our kitchen. “THE RICE COOKER HAS DIED” I could not have dreamed up any problem larger than that. The scope of my thought process could not even encompass a tragedy such as that. I was shocked into total silence and frozen with fear. I was on the verge of jumping up and running in a circle shouting; “Aye, Aye, Aye” at the top of my lungs, but I remembered my grandson sleeping in the next room, and wanted to shelter him from the trauma that could have caused him years of therapy.
There I stood caught on the horns of a dilemma, But what could I do? I process no electrical skills; a Rice Cooker is beyond my purview of expertise. I have no doubt that somewhere close to my house there was a “Guy” who held the knowledge and talent to repair a rice cooker, but I had no time for that, the emergency was staring me in the face, and my dear wife needed an answer NOW!
Then the light bulb moment we all pray for in situations like this, goes off over my head. Paul do you remember one Boston winter down in the “cellah” (Boston speak for basement) of the family home in Dorchester, watching your Dad building you that sailing pram? That one question you asked your father that stuck in your subconscious from all those years ago. “Dad why do you have two of most tools in your tool box?” “Son; incase one of my five sons borrowed one and failed to return it, or incase one broke.” In other words if you really need it you should have two!
Then I remembered that years ago when the American Home Rice Cooker was purchased I had purchased two, to the confusion of my wife. The spare was stored away in our catch all section of my Mancave, waiting for just such a calamity. As I peered into the heavens I said; “Thank you Dad, another calamity averted.”
So; that my friend is another slice of my uneventful life in this land of enchantment known as the Philippines. (Do you have a spare Rice Cooker?) I will buy another one today, just in case this happens again. The deceased Rice Cooker was carted off by an In-Law, to the above mentioned repairman to serve rice again for many more years to come.