You never know until the hour arrives what you'll do when someone comes to take your air conditioner pan. That probably needs explanation.
Things start -- well, over the past year, as Singapore has attacked the mosquito menace with campaigns like ``Do The Ten-Minute Mozzie Wipe-Out''. (Its theme is ten minutes is all you need to wipe out mosquitoes.) The immediate action starts Friday, when I was home during lunch to hang my laundry. While Red Dwarf was on, someone knocked. I got organized and met a clipboard-wielding woman wearing a National Environment Agency T-shirt.
She explained she was there to check on mosquito breeding grounds, and asked if I had any standing water. I don't. Then she asked if I had any plants. I admitted I don't, but that I felt bad about that. (Well, I do; it seems like I should be able to sustain a plant.) If she cared about my plant feelings, she hid it, and thanked me and moved on. I thought it was odd to go around at lunchtime when, even allowing for people home for some reason, most residents wouldn't be there. They'd be better off arriving after dinner.
Tonight, I got home after dinner, and took a quick shower. I was putting my clothes on when I heard an unfamiliar `bing'. Then it came again, and again. Apparently I have a doorbell. Behind was a man explaining he had to take my air conditioning pen. I made my usual ``What?'' face, and he repeated his intention, explaining it was for the mosquitoes. Then I belatedly got it: he wanted the drip pan under the air conditioner, and he had several men with tools to back him up.
They wanted the pan more than I did, so I let them take it, though I wondered if I was the victim of a practical joke. But they went on to the next apartment and got in to take that pan, too. For a while after I heard the rattling of their work taking out pans. If it's a joke, they put a lot of work into it. I just feel like I should have asked for a receipt.
Trivia: The second and third Martian canals observed by Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli were the Phison and the Ganges, found 4 October 1877. Source: Planets and Perception, William Sheehan.
Currently Reading: Pogo Even Better, Walt Kelly; Edited by Selby Kelly, Bill Couch Jr.