To have got the whole Barnacle family together would have been impossible... wherever there was a square yard of ground in British occupation under the sun or moon, with a public post upon it, sticking to that post was a Barnacle. No intrepid navigator could plant a flag-staff upon any spot of earth, and take possession of it in the British name, but to that spot of earth, so soon as the discovery was known, the Circumlocution Office sent out a Barnacle and a dispatch-box. Thus the Barnacles were all over the world, in every direction--dispatch-boxing the compass.
Charles Dickens- Little Dorrit
Imagine: Somewhere in a small town, in the basement of a square, brick building, there is an office. This office may be dusty. It is lit by one florescent bulb that glows midair, suspended by bare wire. Floor to ceiling, corner to corner, boxes and binders rise in stacks; sheets of paper, crumpled otherwise, slip to the floor. In the center of the room we find a table, a pad of paper, and a telephone. In a metal folding chair beside the table a woman sits. She has come down the steps, removed her coat, and folded herself into the chair every day for 17 years. The phone never rings.
A few days ago I had dealings with a bread maker. I don't work with appliances--although a nice blender has made my life a happier one--but this wasn't for me. We both knew it, the bread maker and I. I knead dough by hand, I give it privacy, let it rise. This machine was for my father. Together we would conspire to fill his life with bread!
0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. Blinked the bread maker. I unplugged it. I plugged it back in. I pressed all of it's buttons. I pummeled it's sides (searching for hidden switches). What happened to our cahoots? All those cahoots we were in?
0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00. 0 00. 0:00.
Then I saw it. An 800 number. Yes, the Royal Pro Bread Making Company has a helpline. Since 1992 they have been waiting to help us, all seven of us that still own and operate Royal Pro Bread Making Machines.
She is there somewhere, in the basement of a courthouse, or a cabinet factory, or a meat packing plant. She is next to the boiler room and every time the furnace bursts into life, every time someone opens a new vent, or a window, her bare bulb buzzes on and off. Her card table shakes. She props up a foot to keep the telephone from bumping itself onto the floor.
She knits what will be the world's largest snow cap. She estimates that by 2020, 2,730 people will stand in a football stadium, and with all of their heads they will wear it. The tassel alone will measure two yards in circumference. Glory, then, shall be hers.