On TV, you see people bounce out of bed looking perfect. They’re not wiping off any drool marks from the sides of their mouths. There’s no sleep crust sealing shut their eyes. Their hair is messy, but in a perfect way. The girls wake up with a little lip gloss and eye-liner, while the guys have no sleep creases anywhere on their bodies.
I wake up looking like Steven Tyler. Saffy stumbles around the flat for half an hour without actually opening her eyes, while Amanda looks like a cat with ADD played with her hair all night.
Now imagine what we look like when we’re woken up at 7 am on a Saturday morning by the sound of drilling from the apartment above us.
First came a pitiful whine from Amanda’s room. From under my bed, my beloved adopted mongrel dog Pooch began barking. Then Saffy barged out of her room and screamed at the ceiling. “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Ohmygod! Shut up!”
She actually paused and waited expectantly as if the noise would actually stop. And when the drilling kept on rumbling, making our entire flat physically vibrate (“And not in a good way, either!” as she later complained to Sharyn), she looked vaguely surprised.
We threw on clothes and escaped to our local hawker coffee shop.
“Every day for three weeks!” Saffy groused. “What are they building up there? The pyramids?"
Amanda snorted into her kopi-o. “The pyramids were built in less time! I’m sure there’s some kind of building regulation that limits the renovation period. I’m going to look it up first thing on Monday morning and they’re going to be getting a letter from me!”
“Why do they need to work on a weekend?” Saffy moaned. She picked sadly at her tee-shirt that said ‘Twin Peaks’ and tried to comb her hair with her fingers. We’d all rushed out of the flat so fast we’d not taken much time to consider our Saturday morning outfit, but as Amanda pointed out, it wasn’t as we were at Ritz-Carlton.
“It’s bad enough that they drill and pound away on a weekday,” Saffy added, “but at least we’re not home, but to do that on a weekend is just plain rude!”
“They’d never dare pull that stunt if the Prime Minister was living in our flat!” Amanda said darkly. “He’d be onto them like a bad rash faster than you could say ‘General Elections’!”
The worst bit about the renovations was the sudden hail of cigarette butts that pelted down onto our window planter boxes. Well, maybe not hail. And there was probably not a lot of pelting going on – more like a light sprinkle, if I was forced to be literal – but some of the butts were still smouldering when they landed on top of the bourganvilleas and it felt Biblical.
So, that Monday, Amanda woke up especially early and steamed into the office to do some research on noisy renovations. A few billable hours later, she faxed a stern ‘desist or I’ll sue’ letter to the contractor and cc’d our condo management office, the owner of the flat and the Prime Minister. “You never know,” she told us later. “It’s an election year. My vote could be the one that decides if we get a new government!”
“But you’re in love with the PM,” Saffy pointed out. “Don’t you want him hanging around for as long as possible?”
Amanda blushed. “Well, yes, but I think he’s working way too hard and maybe he could relax a little bit if he wasn’t so busy sacrificing himself to run the country.”
Saffy later said it still astonishes her that Harvard ever gave Amanda a law degree. “Does she really think the Prime Minister reads any of his faxes? If it was that easy to get in touch with him, we’d all be doing it!”
A few nights ago, the head contractor knocked on our door.
Amanda opened the door and literally gasped at the sight of the six foot two man in tight tee shirt and even tighter jeans before her.
“Ay, we got your fax,” he began, turning red at the sight of Amanda standing there in her Victoria’s Secret nightgown. “Sorry, hor, we make so much noise. But we finish orredi. You need anything fix in here, I do for you FOC!”
Amanda blinked. Slowly, she took his card, cleared her throat and said she’d think about it. She shut the door, turned around and slowly let out her breath. “Oh my God! How hot was he? I know exactly what he can fix for me FOC!”
“Are you cc’ing the Prime Minister on that one, too?” Saffy asked.