Thursday, August 21, 2008

An unarmed slightly yellow elephant







I snap on the outside light and step into the garden to check progress. A snail shell falls from a great height and bounces on the patio cement. I peer in the gloom and listen to shooshing noises.

I return to my domestic duties inside as the washing machine is on screech cycle. I give the floor a final clean and refill the coffee maker ready for the morning. I yawn and shuffle towards the hills of Bedfordshire. My husband stomps into the house clothed in an all covering waterproof suit, complete with hood and elasticated cuffs. He puts the thing that looks like a fire extinguisher on the floor and the torch on the counter. As he removes his outer wear, the debris of three wasps nests flutter in all directions. He heads to the bathroom to wash his hands. I follow in a flap uncertain whether to clean again or give up.

He scrubs scum as the budgerigar swings gently behind him.
“So…….remind me again……exactly what is it for?”
“Well it’s to encourage them to sit on the toilet seat.”
“And how does it do that, pray tell?”
“Well the movement of the bouncing budgie will attract the eye and the best position for the perfect view of the bouncing budgie, is if you are sitting centrally and purposefully on the toilet seat.
“Regardless of height differentials in the children?”
“Well…..er……..I’ve not exactly checked that ……variable.”
“You’re a lousy liar.”
“I’m not lying……exactly.”
“Stretching the truth? Making excuses?”
“Hmm well it was a bit of an accident.”
“How do you buy something accidentally?”
“Er well I was in this shop…..”
“What were you doing in a shop!”
“A very good question!”
“Well?”
“I was trying to buy a thank you present to bring back to the States.”
“And you had all three of them with you?”
“Yes, in a gift shop full of nicky nacky noos.”
“Three heifers and steers in a china shop. So?”
“Well they had a whole line of these little birds on bungee cords. They were irresistible. I liked the red and black one best.”
“How many did they break?”
“Just this one. I didn’t realize they were made of china.”
“An up market nicky nacky noo shop.”
“It was very expensive.”
“You paid for it!”
“We broke it.”
“So why is it here then?”
“Well I wasn’t going to leave it after we paid for it. They’d only have thrown it away anyway.”
“So you brought a broken bird home by international carrier. Not exactly pigeon post.”
“I glued it back together and hung it up.”
“Why didn’t you give it to your friend?”
“Well I can’t give her a broken glued back together budgie on a bungee can I?”
“I do not understand your friendships.”
“I just thought English Bone China would be appropriate for an American, a token gesture.”
“Token? How much was it?”
“Er…..I’m not sure I can remember the exchange rate at that precise minute. I’m sure it was a bargain.”
“So how many further mishaps has the bird experienced?”
“I glued his tail back on three times and the branch that he’s gripping with his little claws where his bottom fell out.”
“What little claws?”
“The little claws were too little to find when they broke off. They probably ended up in the toilet anyway.”
“Flushed away?”
“I was too squeamish.”
“Humour me?”
“Yes?”
“Who is this erstwhile friend that you were planning to honour in this manner?”
“I’d rather not say…….it would spoil the surprise.”

I think my marbles have rolled under the psychiatrist's couch to join the "dust bunnies."


5 comments:

Linda said...

Well it is cute even if it's had it's tail glued back on three times!

Osh said...

it would fit right in here...

Hammer said...

Makes perfect sense to me.

Whitenoise said...

It's the thought that counts... ;-)

farmwifetwo said...

Psst... this little glass frog I brought as a gift to CA.. had to be glued once it arrived.

Shhhhhhhhh......

S