Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Orthopterous Blattidae

I like to keep my 'eye' on property sales.  I like to keep my 'eye' on auctions, too.  I wasn't always like this.  Experiencing the ups and downs of business leads you to really think before you buy anything at all.  Not like before we inherited debt.   One of my favourite auction sites covers so many things, but my favourite sections are the Hospitality and Catering (wonder why?) as well as the AFP (Australian Federal Police - the items that are stolen, recovered and not claimed).
Snowmaster has a good reputation for commercial kitchen equipment.  To my delight, I spotted two underbench 4 door fridges for auction from some unfortunate person / people's liquidation sale.  I cannot disclose here what amount we actually paid them for, but let me just say, a fraction of the cost of their true value. 

The Machinist and son had to go and remove the fridges from the closed-down cafe, in one of Canberra's upbeat malls.  They were there at least three hours, as each buyer had the responsibility of removing their own purchases on a set day between set times.  My men were prepared; angle grinders, hammers, trolleys, plyers, screwdrivers - and a large amount of male grunt.  It was hot and humid and my men were sweaty, but verile.  Thank-you-very-much.  Their male grunts turned to groans, however, when they started moving greasy, filthy, sticky kitchen equipment around to uncover colony after colony of -

COCKROACHES!

Any of numerous orthopterous insects of the family Blattidae, characterized by a flattened body, rapid movements, and nocturnal habits and including several common household pests.


"Babe, if I had a dollar for every cockroach we saw, we could pay off our mortgage"

For the past three days, 4 family members (including the Grands) have been cleaning the two underbench fridges.  I won't go into how filthy they were, else you might catch something just by reading about it.

Grandpa had the task of removing thickened food grease from the fridge motors - armed with an old pastry brush, a screwdriver, a knife and dry steel wool.  He unscrewed several electrical boxes within the motor to uncover even more life; survivors of severe dowsings of Mortein*tm.

Granny, passing yet another can of pest spray to me:  "Make sure you have no crawlers on you, Grandpa.  That's it, shake you pants.  Those creepers make me ill..."

The result of all our high pressure spraying, bleaching, scrubbing, and pest control is a couple of new-looking, highly shined, fresh smelling fridges, which, when adorned with the Machinist's creative metal art, will become The Daily Pie's front counters. 

Resourcefulness!

8 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

This pie shop really does seem to be coming along. I will have to plan a trip to Australia to check it out.

ADRIAN said...

Glad to see you had the sense not to offer advice from the doorway! most ladies couldn't have resisted that windup.

geraldgee said...

Methinks that cafe deserved to go bust?

Ken Devine said...

What a brilliant story. I can't wait for the big day! Will you consider a temporary board to display messages of goodwill from around the world?

Alex said...

cockroaches what a name. Could they not have come up with a better name? How about Footroaches.

matron said...

I take my hat off to you and your family for tackling that epic cleaning job.I have seen a few of these horrors my self,not the roaches but grease ridden unhygienic catering equipment,it is no joke sanitizing them.I am glad you managed to do it and that you now have a usable hygienic bargain.

English Rider said...

I think it's called sweat-equity. Well done.

The Machinist's Wife said...

Alan - wouldn't it be lovely if you could come over and check it out. You never know...

Adrian, I'm glad I wasn't there. The Machinist says that if I had of seen all those roaches, we wouldn't own those fridges today.

Gerald - I suspect the cafe went bust because of health issues. It's like they just walked out and left it all. Even a board with their shopping list on it says to buy "Mortein"

Ken, again, thanks for the encouragement. We have a Facebook page. I know not everyone is on FB, but we're learning to get around it.

Alex, you're right. What a silly name. Where did it come from, I wonder?

Matron, I find great satisfaction in the clean product, and have my tools of trade; old toothbrushes, knives, wire etc. Old grease has a horrible smell, and it's a pity that some cafes and restaurants are not strangers to it.

English Rider - I love your name for the hard labour of well - hard labour. Sweat equity. Yes!