Sunday, August 1, 2010

Door Floofing 101

There is a problem at the Mansion. A problem which nobody wants to talk about. A problem which arrives every Sunday, shortly after noon, like clockwork.

The #1 son attends church, where he hangs out in the balcony with the other church techies, controlling sound and media and lighting and such. They all have their own little jobs to do. One of the dudes used to work in television in some manner, before he retired. They're always calling around if one can't be at church, divvying up the orphan job. It's not like this is a humongous church with services on television. It's just a local Methodist Church. Several times a year, they have a work day. That means the techies go to church when it isn't in session, and straighten out wires or de-bug programs or just spiff things up a bit. TV Dude buys them lunch. One of their brethren is leaving, having graduated from high school and entered the Navy to be an underwater welder. But that's neither here nor there. Church is not what we're here to talk about on this Sunday afternoon.

It's my mother. She brings #1 home from church every week. Mom comes in to visit for a few moments before rushing home in case the Cardinals are on TV. When she leaves, she leaves the door open. Not wide open. She doesn't push it all the way shut. I don't know what this is all about. It's the kitchen door, a regular metal door, with a window panel in the upper half covered by built-in mini-blinds. It's not a heavy door. It's not on a spring like a screen door might be, to automatically shut itself. It's a regular door, that works the same way Mom's front door works. You turn the knob and pull on the door to open it, and you push it closed until the doorknob prongy dealy slides into the metal hole thingamajig in the door frame and clicks shut. You all know how to close a door, right? You push it until you hear the 'click' that means it's closed. You don't just push it to, like you're going to carry in groceries, and can't twist the knob with armfuls of plastic bags from The Devil's Playground, so you only want to keep the cats out until you can pull on the knob and get back in.

Mom has left the door microscopically ajar for the last three weeks in a row. We don't actually know it until it's a problem. It's not like we do a door inspection when she leaves, or notice a sliver of natural light leaking into the kitchen. No, we don't know until Genius the orange cat goes strolling through the living room, or we hear that door breathing. I heard it around 1:00. There I was, comfortably ensconced in the Lazy Man recliner, playing WordPops on my Hero. And any fool knows that you can't stop in the middle of WordPops, because you just might be setting a new high score for yourself.

I knew I heard something in the kitchen. I thought it might be the return of Master Electrician H, who has been doing some wiring in the new rental house his Buddy bought. He's trading wiring for loads of gravel. Which we need like another hole in Swiss Cheesy H's head. Then I wondered why he kept coming in and out of the door, and why I didn't hear his clomping footsteps. But I didn't wonder enough to put down WordPops and go investigate, but instead talked myself into believing the it was Frig's ice-maker clicking and clacking.

When The Pony went out the front door to check on the animals, I happened to be on my way through the kitchen to the laundry room. And I saw the kitchen door floof out when The Pony slammed the front door closed. Because our Mansion is like one big hermetically-sealed life-chamber. Any upset in the air equilibrium must result in an equal and opposite reaction. Like when those silver spinny things on the roof try to suck out hot attic air, the kitchen door stays against the frame. But when a gust of wind comes under the front door tile entry area, past the Faulty Caulker H's weatherstripping job, the kitchen door floofs outward. Yeah. Just like that.

I am in a quandary. I don't relish ringleading an intervention. Mom's feelings would be hurt if I told her that she has left the door open for three Sundays in a row. I once told her that I could always tell when she had been here babysitting the boys, because she left a paper trail. A paper towel trail. At least one in every room, wadded up, on the counter, cutting block, kitchen table, end table. She took it fairly well, though, even if she exaggerated throwing away her paper towels from then on. So I might just tell her, "You know, Mom, at our house, we believe in closing all the doors when we go out of them." And then she'll say, "What do you mean? Did I not close the door? I pushed it to. It looked closed to me." And I won't mention the THREE WEEKS IN A ROW part.

Or I might just wait until next week, as she is leaving, and tell her it's a faulty door.

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