One of the things my beloved loves most in the entire world is searching for junk. Not just any junk – she tends to look at things with eyes that see the potential of what could be. Which is fortunate for me, but not so fortunate for our storage capacities. As I write, she’s giving new life to a table top that she spotted at an old wares store. It’s more like a huge garage, but the original tenants filled it with so much stuff that they just moved away, threw in a cash register and crossed their fingers.
While she sees the potential for new life in the stuff that she collects, I am the story spotter. It’s these micro stories that are the subject of this post… enjoy this brief and somewhat bizarre trip into the world of Naughty Corner!
1. Felix the Field Mouse
Unbeknownst to her family, Avril included little Felix amongst her packing as she, her sister and parents prepared to board a ship that would sail them to a new land – that of Australia. Avril had suffered Rheumatic Fever several years ago, an illness that stole her right to play and frolic with the other children. Every cough and wheeze was a potential relapse, therefore her little life was guarded jealously from the Thief That Tried To Steal. Felix survived the trip, as did Avril and her family. Upon establishing their new life on an empty block of land, Avril kept Felix well fed and well loved. Sadly, the life of an international field mouse is a short lived one. Felix was eaten by a cat, who pretended she had a taste for international dining yet in all honesty, couldn’t stand those that travelled to her land for safety. Trying to justify her purry actions by claiming Felix as akin to frog legs and escargot, the cat chomped into Felix and slurped his tail as mere afterthought. Cat then learned that English cuisine is inferior to that of the French, and she vomited the head as a warning to future travellers. Cat was later reincarnated as Tony Abbott.
2. A tale of insufficiency
Many of you may be unaware that the original designs of the modern toilet were made with a more primitive diet in mind. When they were first built, they were sufficient. As time went on and diets became larger and more varied, toilets had to change. This has kept infinite plumbers employed for many, many years. I dread to consider the size and shape of the common toilet in 50 years.
3. From which to orate
This lectern, although dusty and somewhat battered, was the only support to the early speeches of one Jack Miles. Jack (the father of the aforementioned Avril) delivered many an address to his teenage daughters, many of which featured reference to “that sodding rat”, as poor Felix came to be known as. Jack would orate about the sacrifices he and his wife had made. He would spout to the pigs, the horses and to his dear canine, Carla. In later days, Jack found new audience in his grandchildren, and discovered that one in particular would listen for hours, if given a shandy and the promise of a rude joke. Jack eventually lost his speech and then his life as a result of several strokes. He was a war veteran and a hero.
4. The Birth of the Slap
This book is The Guide to Operating the Television. It is several inches thick and full of complex diagrams and wording. While the pages are in excellent condition, it was very easy to see why the simplest way to improve the picture, the sound – any problem really – was to deliver to the television a short, sharp slap to the side. If this failed, owners would stamp their foot quite firmly next to the television. With the invention of flat screen televisions, The Slap is less common but remains the most direct way of dealing with poor transmission. Now, however, it is delivered to the person who changes the channel just before full time.
5. Down Tools
The hands that have held these tools!
The things they were used to create!
So mind blowing are these thoughts that rather than share the stories of these tools, they have gathered together upon sagging shelves. When no one is watching they partake in home brew and brag about their accomplishments, keen to display their tales of who and what and when. The comparisons end, however, when a shopper arrives. Then it is solely down to which tool sparkles the most.
6. Dashed Hope
Every child knows that biscuit tins, chocolate tins, lolly tins – they only contain their original intention just once. Then they filled with useless things such as money, sewing utensils, nails, screws, marijuana and random bits of stuff that has no other home. The depth of disappointment these tins deliver is ongoing, and responsible for the demise of many relationships between parent and child.
8. Thoughts for Sale
Words, words, words. Delivering stories, memories, imaginings. Daydreams. Good times. Bad times. Written now for word counts, for deadlines, to gain more clicks, to seductively inspire “Likes” and “Shares”. But what good are words if no one is reading? Friends, read. There are stories waiting.