Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Asparagus

I love asparagus--warm with butter and almonds, cold in salads--so it was no surprise that the spring after my husband died, when asparagus were in season, I bought some. Back home from the store, I rinsed them and cut off the thick bottom parts of the stalks. I glanced down at them in the sink, and hesitated. My late husband had been very protective of the garbage disposal. There were lots of things he insisted should not go in. One of them was asparagus. But what did he know? Anyway, I was now free to do as I liked. I swept the asparagus stalks into the disposal and turned it on. Within seconds my sink was filled with green slime. The disposal had ground the asparagus up but refused to swallow them.

I called the plumber. I had found him a few months earlier when my water heater deveoped a gas leak. He came immediately, assessed the situation and returned the next day to install a new heater. He seemed kind and pleasant; in fact, he reminded me of my father. This time he came, took a look at the disposal, shook his head and quickly and efficiently put things to right. Then he looked at me sadly and announced that this was only the first problem. Major tragedies were ahead. Any day the disposal would stop up again, the dishwasher would quit working, the kitchen would flood. But he could fix it. All he would have to do was dig up my pea gravel driveway, dig a tunnel down the driveway, across the back yard and up the other side to the water line, and this could be done for a mere $16,000. When I shook my head and said I'd sell the house first, he tapped on his pocket calculator and offered me a deal: he'd do it for $8,000. Suddenly he no longer looked like my father. Suddenly I deduced what I must look like to him : widow, sucker. "I'll think about it," I said. "I'll watch the disposal and see what happens."

That was six years ago. Nothing has happened. But, of course, I don't put asparagus stalks in the disposal any more.


Lynda K said... [Reply to comment]

Wonderfully moving post and a great start to the A-to-Z Challenge! It's nice to see someone I read regularly also doing the challenge.

Thanks for sharing your story!


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