Saturday, October 25, 2008

Star Struck

No, not the kind that populate the night skies.

And not the kind that congregates in a land far, far, away.

The star that struck the man of the house with the power of incapability is not as jazzy or as razzy as the above.

It can usually be found on the lower left-hand side of an implement that millions use with little or no instruction. Otherwise know as this.

Man of the house (Moth) lives in an apartment building in Washington, DC, which doesn't have a doorman or concierge or even a neighbor who will open the door to visitors. If one decides to stop over for dinner with Moth, one calls on the phone in the foyer, and then Moth has to press "*" and then "9" on his phone in the apartment. A buzzer sounds and the visitor opens the door and is on the way to food, drink, and conviviality.

Except Moth doesn't get it, yet. Though he's lived here for over a year. He can't coordinate the two steps. Sometimes he presses "9" first, then the star symbol. Other times he presses the "pound" key. Just for good measure there are times when he presses "*" then "9" and the "pound" key. It usually ends up that I have to go downstairs and unlock the door. The reason I have to go is because Moth says that since I am only the Visitor of the house (Voth), that chore falls to me.

Moth is not a dull-witted person. Really. He is quite knowledgeable about many things; he gives lectures, he writes, he edits. He. Just. Can't. Or. Won't. Press."*". First.

So his oldest son came to visit. Brilliant man. Thinks, writes, lectures at university. Moth went out to walk the dogs and forgot to take his keys. Again. When he returns, he calls on the phone in the foyer. Oldest son is the only one awake and he answers. Wakes me up because he doesn't know what to do.

"Just press * and then 9."

I doze off.

"It's not working. It's not working! Why the hell is it not working!"

I go downstairs in my pajamas to open the door for Moth and the dogs.

Here's what I think:


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