For quite some time, kvetch had been noodging me to get a bell, so I can ring for him when I want him. I’d been resisting, partly because
- I thought I’d get tired of hearing the bell sound
- I thought kvetch would get tired of hearing the bell sound (and therefore wouldn’t respond well to it)
But then something interesting happened. :)
One day when we were out in town, whilst my attention was directed elsewhere, I heard kvetch make this noise. It was something kind of like between a squeak and a moan. It’s the sound he makes when he’s feeling all submissive and serviceable and owned and excited all at once.
So naturally I turned around to see what was making him go all owned when I wasn’t doing it. And there he was, holding this sign, and looking at it, and making this sound, and beaming his face off.
He was beaming so much I could practically see his molars. :)
I don’t know if he could even articulate words at this point. He’d spotted this sort of retro metal sign thingy, and had it in his hands. He squeak-moaned again and held up the sign for me to see. Once I saw the front of it, I had to admit it was quite compelling.
He turned around straight away and bought it. It wasn’t too expensive, something like 7 euro. I just stood there and watched him buy it, beaming his head off.
And I smiled too. :)
- The Sign Of Serviceness
So anyhow, that sign had hung on our wall for a few months, with no bell to go with it. And I still wasn’t too interested in a bell with a handle that you pick up and wave around, because frankly, I thought that seemed too much like work. I mean, it doesn’t take much for me to announce “Hey, KVETCH!” for him to respond pretty sharpish. So why should I wave my arm around when I don’t have to?
And then a *ding!!* dinged in my head, and I recalled those bells in hotel receptions which sit on the desk, and you just hit them a slap on top, and they ding really loud.
And I thought to myself
- Now that is my kind of bell!
So I mentioned this to kvetch, and he immediately started searching for one, and sending me links to ones he thought might be suitable.
Choosing The Bell
After looking at lots of hotel reception type bells, I finally decided on one which
- looked like it had a nice shape for a sonorous *ding* sound
- had a chrome finish instead of brass (won’t tarnish)
- came sitting atop a wooden plinth (looked pretty)
- was conveniently available on eBay
- was a few euros dearer than the sign
The bid was duly placed, the auction won, the bell shipped, and fortunately arrived without too much fuss from An Post (don’t get me started on the nightmare that is An Post).
Customising The Bell
When I tried to ding it for the first time, I found there was a kind of strange issue with the mechanism, so that the hammer didn’t pop right back to where it should, and as a result, the button on top for dinging the bell wouldn’t pop back up again immediately after I slapped it.
But I worked a wee bit of magic with a strategically placed elastic band, and that sorted everything all out. :)
And now I have a fully functional bell I can slap whenever I want service. And incidentally, it sounds great.
- The Bell Of Serviceness.
(I am away from kvetch at the moment and don’t have the bell with me, but I plan to record the sound of the bell, and upload the file so everybody can hear how great it sounds. Just a teensy smidgen of patience will be required on your part)
Since we’ve had both the bell and the sign, kvetch has shown absolutely no signs of getting fed up with the sound of the bell. (me neither, actually, since it’s got such a nice sound) Even when I ding it accidentally, and it’s quiet enough that he knows that it was an accident, he still perks up, immediately focuses on me, and announces:
(that is his customary response every time I ding that bell)
Recently, as a kind of afterthought thingy, he’s been tacking on “(…and comfort)” at the end of his “Service!” announcements, because of what it says on the sign.
So now when I ding the bell, he immediately jumps to attention, and announces
- “Service! (…and comfort)“
followed by a smile, and 100% focused attention on me, waiting for me to tell him what I want.
(Can I just say, that rocks so heavily? Oops, silly question, it’s my blog, I can say whatever I like, and besides, I’m SWMBO!)
That rocks so heavily!! :D
- Mmmmmm, The Equation Of Serviceness.
Here, finally (15 January 2010), is that bell in all its audio glory, which I recorded away back in May 2009 and never got round to adding to this post.
You can also hear kvetch starring with the bell in his service rôle in this spleencast. It’s 13:20 long, and the part I’m talking about is at the 10 minute mark.