This is the short story I recently read aloud to a public gathering. It was not a random act on my part, but part of ‘Tale Spinners’, a literary initiative of Neil King and Richard Avery, AKA Other Lives Productions.
Loosely based on the literary, non-profit organisation, ‘The Moth‘ which was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green.
Neil and Richard have created a British group, Tale Spinners, and intend to grow the group on a similar basis.
I had a job to do which needed more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.
So, I wandered down the garden to my shed, in order to find the whatchamacallit, which I knew was in the wooden box, under the shelf between the screw box and the other thing.
My wife has been nagging me for eons regarding fixing the thingamabob, which started to rattle and shake several months ago.
As it happened today was sunny, bright and warm. Just the type of day I like to attend to those pesky little jobs which stack up over time.
Also, I was in the mood for tinkering, which was a big plus!
Once I had the whatchamacallit in my hand, I wandered back to the house, placed the thingamabob on the kitchen table and started to dismantle it.
Personally, I would have ditched this old machine years ago and replaced it with a new, up-to-date, all singing, all dancing, micro chipped, high tech thingamabob. But, because this old rusting must have some sort of sentimental attachment, my wife was certain I could fix it and all would be well for another thirty years.
I was not so sure.
Especially now I had umpteen bits and bobs scattered on sheets of newspaper spread over the table top.
I was unsure if they all belonged to the thingamabob, or if some pieces had tumbled from the small jars of screws, washers and odd bits I had kept for repairing such items.
Besides the springs, there were a few plastic doodahs of indiscriminate origin, a strange angular thingummy with various sized holes and a host of………bits…..loose sort-of-screw(ish) pieces along with some flange brackets.
Still, I was quietly confident I would not have to fork out a fistful of klebies to purchase a new whatchamacallit, because despite the number of random odd and sods before me, I had all the key parts, in separate saucers, spread over the newspaper covering the kitchen table.
The rest I could figure out during re-assembly.
Having got thus far, I decided a fresh brew was in order and proceeded to stand from the kitchen stool. That was when my knee came in painful contact with the underside of the table top, sending all the random and carefully separated odds and ends flying into the air, most of which came crashing down onto the stone tiled floor.
As I have said, being an organised sort of bloke the several saucers I was using, to keep the whatsits from rolling all over the place, thus avoiding the chance of mixing them up with other doodahs or losing them altogether, belonged to my wife’s favourite crockery set.
Now, not only were all these jumbled-up with the rest of the bits and bobs, but my wife’s best saucers were now splintered shards on the kitchen floor, mixed among the plastic and metal thingamajigs.
Hummphhhh. I was in a pickle!
Luckily, I am not the sort of fellow who panics over such unfortunate accidents. That may be because I am a clumsy fool, at least according to my wife and so I am used to such calamities.
No doubt, had my wife been at home when this happened there would have been a bit of a kafuffle, but as I was alone and all was quiet and peaceful. I made a pot of tea and laced it with a tot, or two, of a fine whiskey.
Sitting back, I surveyed the scene, which was one of utter chaos, while I decided on the best plan of action.
Four hours later, my wife arrived home.
I was in the garden, relaxing in a deck chair, admiring the garden plants and soaking the up the late afternoon sunshine.
On entering the kitchen my wife was greeted to the sight of a brand new, up-to-date, all singing, all dancing, micro chipped, high tech thingamabob.
“What on earth is this” she shouted down the length of the garden towards me. I surreptitiously grinned to myself before walking into the kitchen.
“That old one was knackered” I lied. “I called a few places for parts, but they would have cost more than a new one and, there was no guarantee it would even work, once I had attempted the repair; so, I took it to the dump and got you a brand spanking new one“.
My wife was overjoyed.
I was relieved.
I was off the hook, at least with regards to the thingamabob. My only concern now were those dammed saucers I had smashed.
You see, after I drank my whiskey infused tea, I cleaned the kitchen, tipping the hoojamaflips and whatsits that lay on the floor, along with the shards of porcelain from my wife’s saucers, into the waste bin, which I dutifully emptied into the large dustbin in the yard, burying the evidence of calamity under a heap of other garbage.
Once the kitchen was tidied, I drove into town in my old jalopy, where I purchased a new whatchamacallit and a set of saucers, identical to those which I had inadvertently smashed.
On my return home, I placed the said crockery into the dishwasher, along with the matching cups, sugar bowl and milk jug.
When my wife asked me to make a pot of tea, I made a huge drama of getting the newly washed cups and saucers from the dishwasher. This earned me extra brownie points as my wife commented on how unusual, but nice, it was of me to help with the household chores.
I was elated. I had hidden my clumsiness and avoided her wrath!
However, as we sat drinking our tea, my wife suggested we ‘go shopping’ this coming weekend, for a new set of cups and saucers, because these cups had lost their glaze, besides my wife wanted some which looked ‘a little more modern’.
Reluctantly, I have promised to mend the whatjumacallit in our utility room tomorrow.
I wonder what excitement lay in store when I start that job?
© Paul White 2015