My lovely mother-in-law (nah….just kidding) my mother-in-law had just given me and my brand spanking new wife, her old cooker with the grill on top, you know the ones that always made fantastic out of this world toast, that NO toaster has ever been able to match to this day!
We…..wait a minute………sorry, my brand spanking new wife, Mrs Frantony, decided not to have the cooker plumbed to the gas or have the electrician wire it up, she said “Dave, let’s have a new kitchen instead!”
So even though it was never used (by us anyway) the cooker was now up for sale, so the money could be put to the new kitchen, that by the way, my wife wanted and picked, all on her own without me to be seen anywhere at all. I wasn’t even asked to come along and choose the colour, the style, or where anything was going. At this point I realised I might wear the trousers in this relationship but really I don’t wear the trousers….if you know what I mean?
I was approached by a man in work “Dave, my Dad will have the cooker; we’ll pick it up on the weekend.”
Well the weekend arrived, the cooker now in the hallway by the front door ready for collection, and in they came, the son who I worked with and his dad with a piece of paper in his hand.
His dad said “Hello. Before we buy this cooker, I have taken some measurements to see if it will fit in our kitchen. Do you have a measuring tape?”
He then gave me the sizes saying “If the cooker is more than 19.5 inches wide it won’t fit in the space between our cupboards.” I pulled out the tape and put it against the cooker revealing the size. “22 inches.” I said.
He looks at his son then at me, “Yep that’ll be okay. I need to check the height, because there are cupboard units above, if it’s more than 58 inches high it won’t fit.”
I pull out the tape again and put it against the cooker revealing the height “It’s 68 inches.” We all looked at each other; no one said a word, the two of them staring at the cooker. The staring went on and on, at one point I thought I saw some tumbleweed pass by, yet there was no wind, and how did the tumble weed get in my house in the first place?
The father looked at his son, then at me “Yep that’ll be okay. Now Dave, how much do you want for the cooker if we take it away today?”
“Well” I paused, pretending to really think like I don’t ever want to let the cooker go “Hmmmm…. £20/£25?”
The father looked at his son then at me, “I’ll give you £30. I just need to see if it’ll fit in the car.”
Measuring tape in hand, knowing the cooker is 68 inches tall, we go outside to see if it will indeed fit in the car. The father adjusts the driver’s and passenger’s seat as far forward as they can go. “It’s only 49 inches…….”
He looks at his son then at me, “It’ll be okay we’ve only got 3 miles to go.”
The oven weighed a ton; I had arms like an orangutan
by the time we lifted it into the back of the car, my finger nails were scraping on the drive as I walked around the cooker sticking out of the boot.
They gave me the £30 and squeezed themselves in to the car, and I mean squeeze as their knees covered their ears and their noses were squashed up against the windscreen; the steering wheel up under his jumper.
They miraculously drove off down the street with the noise of the tailgate bashing up and down on the cooker. I looked at the £30 thinking “Why didn’t he offer me £20?”
So the weekend soon went and it was Monday morning, back in work, when I was approached by the son “Dave, we want our money back! We’ve had the gas plumbed in and the electric wired up but the cooker….it doesn’t fit and we’re fed up of walking around it. Even the metal door gets really hot and the kitchen is too warm for us. Yesterday my Dad had to cook Sunday dinner in his vest and pants and I’m not telling you what my mother was wearing.”
At this point I was working hard to look serious, but my face was really hurting, it felt as stiff as a concrete pillar “I’m sorry, but you had the measurements and you said you could make it fit, and in my experience cookers get hot, that’s what they do.”
We worked together for another few months after that and then he left, and up until then they never did take the cooker out of the kitchen. He had told me that himself and the rest of the family had gotten used to walking around the cooker in the kitchen.
As this is the Easy Blend, I thought I’d let you know what I’m listening to. Today it’s Paula Cole – Where have all the Cowboys gone.
You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)
Until the next Easy Blend blog………..
Stay warm and fuzzy……..