Stare Into Space

Meet the parents

Posted on | January 25, 2009 | 8 Comments

Breakfast at my parent’s house.  I think I fancy a boiled egg and some toast.

Then I remember…

A few months back, the small pot, the one that was perfect for boiling an egg, disappeared.  “Oh that’s gone” was the response I got when I asked.  No elaboration.  How can a pot just be gone?  Why is it gone?  This sort of mysterious happening is pretty much par for the course in the house of my youth. This particular incident, however, has made breakfast a little more difficult when I visit.  If I decide I want to have a boiled egg for breakfast, I need to do it in the next size pot which holds about two litres.  That gives me a perfect three-minute egg in, oh… about half an hour or so.

Then the toaster.  It only has short slots.  Not a problem if you buy those square, toaster-pan things but they never do.  Always the tall, full-size sliced pan.  Because of this, you either have to leave the top sticking out and remaining, stubbornly untoasted or flip your slices over half-way through.  The former is deeply unsatisfactory and the latter just leaves you with toast that has a barely warm top/bottom and a horrible, charred rectangle in the middle.  Rather than relenting and buying a different toaster or simply buying bread that fits the toaster, they have convinced themselves that they like their toast this way.

This talent – being able to convince themselves that everything is perfectly normal – is really something to behold.  Infuriating and entertaining in equal measure.  Well, equalish.  A suitable illustration:

Many years ago, they decided that they would no longer need their open fire and blocked it off with a sort of built-in, wooden thing.  Sounds weird but, strangely, it looks reasonably normal.  Every now and then though, a bird manages, somehow, to make its way down the chimney and it gets trapped behind the built-in thing.  Now, there’s no way to gain access so my parents happily convince themselves that nothing is wrong.  Even when my brother makes them stand and listen to the frantic flapping of whatever poor bastard of a bird is trapped there, among the bones and rotting carcasses of his birdy predecessors, they insist that they can’t hear anything.  “It’s probably just the wind”, they say, as the grotesque, avian-abbatoir claims another victim.

Eventually, the flapping stops.


Crazy bastards.


Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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