Friday, September 06, 2013

Spell check doesn't recognize "'kryptonite"

This spring, my son was drowning in mosquito bites. His body swelled into termite mounds before deflating into bruises before lingering as yellow-green splotches. We took him to the pediatrician where ointments and jungle-worthy repellent were prescribed.

Other than slathering him with mosquito kryptonite, I couldn't do anything about the insects  that targeted him at recess or during classes held outside (in my head, the insects look like cartoon villains and have white napkins tied around their necks, rubbing their hands together like Dr. Evil), but gosh darn it, I could protect him in the sanctity of our house.  I could step-up and knock off this European open-air nonsense and put in some damn screens.

I distinctly recall that in the Little House on the Prairie series (books, not television), the Ingalls  family opened the door during a blizzard  and there stood Mr. Edwards. He had walked from New York to Idaho or Wisconsin or wherever in order to bring them Christmas gifts. And those gifts were a bag of real sugar and panes of glass for the windows. Proof that even in the days of yore, Americans liked a little somethin' somethin' as a barrier between the indoors and the outdoors.  Because not only would those panes of glass protect them from the weather and the wolves and the claim jumpers, but those windows would also protect them from The Mosquitoes. Because seriously, can you imagine anything worse than laying on your straw-stuffed "mattress" that you have to share with your sister while eating your fake sugar and crossing your fingers that someday you won't die during childbirth, and in addition having to suffer the indignity of being drained by mosquitoes?

So to protect our family, I first searched the Internet for those infomercial screens, the ones where the mom walks through the patio door carrying lemonade and not one of her lazy kids jumps up and says: "Hey Mom! Let me take that! You always do everything for everyone, so we've all chipped in and are sending you on vacation to the Bahamas!" and after none of that happens, the screen doors magnetically close behind her. Unfortunately, the reviews of those screens were pretty damning, which is really a shame because I think they were throwing in a free pitcher of lemonade with every purchase.

And then I remembered that right here in Italy was the Italian answer to Home Depot!
( )

Unfortunately, I couldn't recall how in the heck I had previously found my way there, so I went to a different yet similar store that I believed to be Italy's answer to Lowe's.

While I was at Italian Lowe's, I  decided to pick-up some WD40. I don't know that I have ever had an occasion to use WD-40, but it seems like the kind of thing one should have on hand.

Carrying WD-40 also kept the pesky salespeople at bay, because when you see someone with a can of WD-40 it clearly signifies that they know what they're doing. After wandering around aimlessly because I didn't know what I was doing, I saw a display that consisted of a curtain rod with overlapping screen door sized screens. It was exactly the type of thing I had been hoping to find. I drove home (only  got off at two wrong exits on the roundabout!), found my Ikea allen wrench,  and prepared to put those babies together.

However, it turned out that the display in the store did not at all hint at the fact that one had to use a jackhammer to install the curtain rod bracketing into the wall. I had incorrectly assumed that the curtain rod would be a tension rod. Which then gave me the idea of going to the store and buying tension rods. Mustering all I had learned in 6th grade home economics, I started carefully sewing the screens together.

"You should just use a stapler, " said Mike as he and John played Mario Party 9 and ate potato chips.

And you know what? He was right. So I did use a stapler. It totally worked and was way easier. And it's not like I duct taped them. Now that would be tacky. Staples are much more sophisticated.

infomercial worthy

Our dog enjoying the the beautiful weather.  With the screens hung, she can't figure out how to get into the house so now she lives on the balcony.

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