Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alarmingly Advanced Charades

My miming career has sadly not taken off the way that I had hoped.  Instead, I hope to launch "Charades: The Game Show" and hope that my active use of charades as a means of bridging the language gap in Italy will be good practice for sculpting the future charades savants of the world.  What brought about this life altering revelation, you may or may not be asking yourself right now?  Well, friend, sit right down and I'll tell you a little story about my 5 hour evening with three alarm technicians.  Not quite as kinky as it sounds, I promise.

Yesterday was my day off.  I spent the morning at the gym, getting a pedicure, buying things I don't really need (read Christmas cards.  Yeah, I know it's October) and getting groceries.  Our landlord had called us on Sunday night to ask if one of us could be there to let the alarm guys in on Monday at 2 (showing up at 3 was a big improvement for these guys who are normally 2-4 hours late).  I'm also pretty sure that our landlord's wife thought that we didn't understand him, as she was yelling English words in the background to help with the translating process, and encouraged him to send us a text saying exactly the same thing.  Regardless!  There I was, wrapping Tom's birthday presents (his birthday is at the end of November but he always seems to find his presents so if I wrap them early, all he finds is a box in pretty paper!  The old girl is learning!) when the group of alarm techs rocked up.  Each time they come, Paolo, the original alarm guy, brings one extra person with him.  They were up to 3 this time.  Paolo, his unnamed friend and a new guy, who was obviously the youngest, least intelligent and most "fluent" in English.  "Ok, let's go!" was his favorite by far.

We played the "How the hell do we say your name" game for a bit.  We settled on "Leeeen" as a sufficient pronunciation and they fiddled about in the other room, moving furniture and occasionally asking for a ladder (which I now know is 'scala' in Italian) or if the fierce allergic reaction they are having is because I have cats.  "Si, due..."  Whoops!  There is something about my house and my cats that seems to involve near death for workmen and my 4 year old nephew...

Five hours and endless games of "guess what I'm trying to ask you to do" charades later, the alarm was working, I had recorded my voice saying "Someone has broken into my house, please help" about 20 times and taught our technicians that "sand" is not the same word as "listen" in English.  They kept pointing to my phone and saying "sand. sand."  The guys finally left, after I gave them pumpkin bread, water, they watched me make dinner and moved my furniture all around the apartment.  I've not been so exhausted from charades in years!  Just you wait until my game show, people will leave there covered in sweat!  You'll be sure that you were watching an episode of "The Biggest Loser."  Count on It.

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