Thursday, March 20, 2008

I won something! A couple of weeks ago I put together a poster for some tedious medical adminny thing of Merriol's. Today it came back from the conference it went to, having won first (possibly only) prize. First. Out of all the other posters and presentations put up from all over Scotland. As normal I had stuck in a load of jokes and, as it turned out, it was the only poster that had gone for the funny angle*. My prize? - a bottle of finest NHS Australian fizzy wine.

I don't drink.

Merriol is off work for a week. The kids are off for two. It's Easter. Hurray. Holidays! Merriol and I now get to play the great game Bed Chicken for a whole week. Bed Chicken is like regular Chicken in that it is a game of dare and bluff but, unlike the real thing, it doesn't involve souped-up motorcars, death, or Natalie Wood.

The way it is played goes like this:

Morning: the sun is up, and so are the kids. The birds are singing in the trees, and the girls are playing Pulling the Heads Off Each Other's Barbie Dolls.
Merriol and I lay in bed for as long as possible pretending to be asleep whilst willing the other to get out of bed first and deal with the increasingly noisy noises of destruction and mayhem coming from the kids' room.
The loser is the one who breaks, throws back the bed covers, and rushes, semi-naked, into the next room screaming:
"Will you two just bloody STOP it!".
The winner earns about fifteen seconds of guilt-ridden solitude before slowly climbing out to join in the melee, or make breakfast, whichever looks the safer.

Another of the Great Mysteries of Life

I am congenitally unable to pass a skip full of rubbish or heap of garbage without taking a look. After all you never know what you will find - actually that's a lie, you know exactly what you are going to find: a pile of garbage, but sometimes amid all that garbage you find interesting, useful, or floggable things. Dropping off one of the neighbour's kids at his house after a party the other day I noticed a skip in their driveway - by the time neighbour Mum had her darling son out of my passenger seat - I had the folding metal toolbox I found in it in the back of the car. The rest of it was just a pile of garbage.

Old tool boxes are great.


I have found many of these tool boxes in the hundreds of skips I have raked through in my life. Quite often they are rusted solid after having been left neglected for many years under a bench in a damp shed but they are never empty. In everyone of them (after a liberal application of WD40 and a few well placed whacks with a hammer) I have found all sorts of weird and wonderful things - quite often things I had been desperate for the week before I find them lying
around for free - after I had been forced to go out buy some - C'est la guerre. But in every one - every single sodding one of them - I have found a golf tee.

Why? No idea. I can't think of any reason why there should be a golf tee in a toolbox amongst all the rusty nuts, screws, nails etc.
I have been making things, fixing things, bodging things (sometimes for money), for decades now and never have I thought: "I know what I really need to do this job - I need a red plastic golf tee..." Never. Maybe they USED to be useful - but no longer are. I don't know. It worries me that I may be missing something very very obvious. If you know, please tell me.

* 37 degrees.


Phoebe said...

Would a golf tee suffice as a punch tool of some kind? Probably too weak to be a set tool...

Maybe everyone who ever had one of these tool boxes had a golf tee in their pants (US kind) pocket and while working on project X, bent down, poked themselves, and put the tee in the tool box.

I find it quite normal. Seems like in my family, and in my own home, there is always one odd-thing-out in boxes or drawers that contain a set of something. In some funny way, I feel comforted by its presence. If the odd object were not there, I would feel anxious, and I would also find a replacement.

Examples: Rubberband in my knife drawer
Doll shoes in my sewing box
A barrette and a plastic Indian in my button collection (inherited from Grandmother) (oh and also two broken mood rings)
I used to keep a small plastic smurf in my purse.

I think this all stemmed from finding barbie shoes in the couch (from the days when my parents played Bed Chicken). We'd clean under the cushions from time to time, and there would be my lost shoes. When they would go missing, I would just think "They are in the couch. All is well".

And if I were you, I'd probably make sure each of my tool boxes had a golf tee inside from now on.

glittermummy said...

Aaah... I dream of getting those 15 seconds... one day, Mr Junkmonkey, one day!!!!

Mrs JM


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