Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Frenchie makes me laugh because in a lot of ways he's just like me. I remember a couple years being all outraged because the VCR (that I'd bought used from an ex coworker) had crapped out after 10 years. I'd vowed never to buy another again because stuff isn't made to last. Eventually, my roommate at the time who worked for some big programmable TV/DVD tech company brought some amazing NASA-built model home from the lab. Very nice of him. Especially since I can now hook up the DVD player my Mom gave me to the nearly 25 year old TV I coopted from my brother when he joined the Navy.*

Around Christmastime, the Frenchie's clothes dryer died on him. Down we went to his laundry room to check stuff out. Not only did we find a broken ball bearing in a sensitive place, we were also treated to a free dead bird in the exhaust vent. After both these issues were resolved, it was determined that the dryer had more serious issues. Since the Frenchie had paid a decent sum for it just 20 years ago, he was pretty anxious to find the parts and fix it himself. It took a bit of soul-searching and comparison shopping to get him to even consider my advice to "laisser tomber."**

Just after New Year, we were wandering around Versailles when something sparkly in a window caught my eye. "Pretty," I mentioned in passing. Wondered what proportion of my rent the trinket would set me back if I were to do something rash. Then...enlightenment!

"Hey, Frenchie," I asked. "What did you do with the old ball bearing?"
"It's in my desk drawer; never know when it might be useful."
"May I have it? And could we go to the mercerie to pick something up before going home?"

At the Versailles equivalent of Windsor Button, I got about 3/4 of a meter of waxed cotton cord in what the nice lady called khaki (actually, I think it looks olive-colored). Stopped at the bakery to get some bread and a galette des rois, then headed home.

It was my turn to cook, so I sent the Frenchie up to his office to find the ball-bearing and clean it. When he was finished, he gave it to me and I knotted it to the end of the cord like so:

Sorry for the glare, had to use the flash.

Told me that mine was better than the original, and not just because I saved myself several hundred Euro.

The original. It's nice, but who would pay nearly $500 for that?

I think he was tickled to know that his 20 year old dryer and its five-year-old ball bearing didn't die in vain. I'm tickled at all the compliments I get on my new necklace even before people know the story behind it.


* Hey, where would anyone plug in a TV on a sub, anyway? I'm going to be so out of luck when we switch over to digital signals in...'08? '09? because I just can't see myself going out and paying what they want for a new TV.

** Though he promised to buy a new dryer, I think he's still scouting out parts. Once a mechanique, always a mechanique, I suppose.

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