Monday, 1 March 2010

Rest in Peace.

Driving home from swimming the other afternoon, the sad news of Lionel Jeffries’ death came on the radio, “He will be best remembered for his role as Grandpa Potts in Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang” said the reporter.
The two youngest girls were unusually quiet in the back of the car. There was continued silence whilst they absorbed this information, until finally, the Red-Head asked, “So Mummy, will he still be in our DVD?”
With no intended disrespect to the late Mr Jeffries, I laughed so hard that I had to pull over and compose myself. As it transpired, my having parked the car was most opportune as immediately my mobile rang. My guffaws were immediately extinguished as the caller made himself known to me.
“Mrs Band? This is Steve. I’m outside your house with the digger. Your husband told me you’d be in”.
I felt the blood drain from my face. Bloody hell. This was it. It was starting. I drove as much like a maniac as is safe to do so and threw the girls in front of the telly, then ran into the garden to administer to Steve’s needs.
The dog, who had heard a lot of commotion in the garden, was by now demented and howling at the moon and as I opened the back door he shot in front of me and turned more enthusiastic triple salcos than any Olympic, Korean figure skater. Barking and woofing and jumping and spinning, he was so excited to see Steve and his side-kick Jamie and digger and fresh earth that I thought he would expire from sheer, unconfined joy. Once he’d tired of chasing his tail, he picked up a log and ran around and around the garden, until finally, I succeeded in cornering him and putting him, desolately, back in the kitchen.
Steven then told me what he intended doing. He had managed to unhinge a side-gate, he said.
“That makes two of us then!”, I quipped. Steve looked at me nervously.
“Sorry”, I explained, “But this bloody wall saga has been going on for months, at no inconsiderate sum. It’s making me a bit doo-lally”.
“Right, well anyway.” This guy clearly had no time for neurotic women. Hey, how many men do? “I’ve taken the gate off”, he continued, “and as you can see, was able to drive my digger up the steps into the garden. I’m going to knock the rest of the wall down now ok, then, excavate?” He was talking to me now as one might benevolently address a mental patient. Slowly and safely.
I nodded my head meekly. “Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Great, milk and half a sugar. Jamie over there takes two”.
I went back into the kitchen to find the dog moaning piteously.
“I know how you feel”, I said to him, handing him a bit of raw hide. Within seconds he was lying contentedly at my feet, chewing.
“Would that chewing on old bit of hide would have the same effect on me”, I said.
“What do you mean?” asked the 14 year old walking in, “You’ve got dad!”
“Talk of the devil. I’ve got to call him”. I picked up the phone and rang his office number.
“Hello? Commander Band?”
“Hello Commander Band. There is a digger in our garden being ridden by a man with a mean glint in his eye. Can you come home early to talk to him?”
“What about?”
“Well, building stuff. You know, man talk”.
“Alice. Love. I am just about to go and have a three hour meeting on the long term effects of blah, blah, blah (I can never make head nor tail of his work talk); I do not have the time, nor, if I’m honest, the inclination to talk diggers with anyone. You are the project manager.”
“You know what Kevin McCloud thinks of people doing their own project managing?”
“Alice. We are not talking grand designs here; we are talking about the demolition of a wall, followed by the loading of it onto a lorry and its subsequent removal.”
“Fine” and I put the phone down. I made the tea and carried it into the garden. The wall was down and several bucket loads had been loaded into the truck but no sooner had he drunk his tea and driven away to unload, Jamie the side-kick started heaving.
“Ugh”, he said, covering his mouth, “If there’s one thing I can’t stand and that’s maggots”.
I walked over to where he was standing, where in fact all the rubbish bags had been buried since Christmas, and there, wriggling frenziedly, like something from one’s worst horror movie, were seemingly trillions of the things.
My skin crept and I shuddered but as Jamie was no good to anyone, I had no alternative but to fetch a bucket and bleach. The horrors didn’t end there. Once Steve had returned and climbed astride his digger once more, it wasn’t long before he was knocking at the kitchen door.
“I’m sorry to have to have ask you this but I wondered if you wanted me to chuck them in the truck or re-bury them?” I looked puzzled.
“Re-bury what?” and I followed him into the garden.
“Unfortunately my digger has exhumed what I think must be your, um, pet cemetery”.
I looked over his shoulder and there, amongst the earth and rubble, were the skeletons of several domestic creatures. A dog, a couple of cats and what must have been once, a bloody big rabbit.
“Oh. My. God. It’s like C.S.I Torpoint”
“Is it too distressing for you Mrs Band?” My earlier unhinged quip must truly have led him to believe that any sudden shocks where bound to send me into some deranged, emotional fervour.
“No, they are not ours”, I said, “You can dispose of them”. By now the Red-Head was on the scene.
“Oh wow”, she said gleefully, peering at the bones, “Is that what’s left of Grandpa Potts?”


jinksy said...

You couldn't have made it up! LOL !

Doctor FTSE said...

This is funny and fun to read. And educative! Bleach does for maggots. I shall remember that, and thank you. And why does your call to the Naval Base remind me of the wonderful, wonderful "Navy Lark"?

Left Hand Down a Bit!

All good wishes.
P.S. Her up there sent me here. That Jinsky!

Alice Band said...

Bleach does for everything!

Dottie Designs said...

Gosh that made me laugh!

Trudy said...

Would you like me to re-bury them? I wish I could have thought of the snappy answer....No thanks, it's the children's birthday next week, we'll just wrap them up.

Too funny...thank you for the good laugh!!!

blunoz said...

Oh my gosh that was funny. Thank you so much for sharing this great story with us.