Category Archives: A Story a Day

1158. Roll Over Shakespeare

I don’t often deviate into a true story, but so many have expressed a kindly interest in my house-hunting that I thought the “story” of getting a successful outcome would be an acceptable off-track thing to do.

We now have a house to go to, but what a saga getting there! It was our third trip away to look at houses, although we’d been looking online for over a year.

Here’s the view as we scamper along the road to the region of New Zealand called Taranaki. See the volcano?

We had decided we weren’t going to move until we found as near a “perfect” rental place as possible. Over the years we have been “forced” to hurriedly move because of work, or the owners sold or wanted the place themselves, and so on. It was time to find a place to rent that suited us! A list of must-haves and nice-to-haves was made, e.g. water pressure (not a dribble), three large bedrooms, room for a sizable vegie garden, a log-burner, two car spaces, and so on.

Several weeks ago we found a semi-suitable place online. It was in the shadow of Mt Egmont, one of New Zealand’s many volcanos.

Last Monday the rental agency phoned to say we had missed out in renting it, but another place had come up for rent. Were we interested? We said we were, and could travel the six-hours there and back to see it next weekend. On Saturday/Sunday we made the journey. It’s near the same volcano! It has three bedrooms, a wood-burner, three garages… It was at 422 Ryelish Road, way-way in the country! The appointment with the rental agency lady was at 11am. We waited at the gate. At 11.15am we still waited at the gate. At 11.30am we still waited at the gate. The rental agency lady didn’t turn up. We sent her a text. No reply.

Blow it! said I. We haven’t travelled all this way not to see it. We shall knock on their door and ask. So we did that, but no one was home. The house was unlocked. We went through the garages. We went through the house. I took photographs of everything. There was even a cat on the bed!! They had recently mowed the lawn in preparation for our inspection!

The place was excellent!

As we returned to our vehicle the phone went. It was the rental agency lady. Where were we? She had waited for an hour. We’re at 422 Ryeish Road.

It’s 422 Ryeley Road, she said.

Oh!

Oh!

It was in fact the next road over. We went there. If the wrong place had been excellent, this next right place was perfection! It couldn’t have been better (although there’s a tree blocking the view of the volcano so I won’t be able to photograph it for you when it explodes).

We shall be moving there in three weeks or so. Time to pack! Thank goodness I’m several months ahead with the daily stories! The nearest town is called Stratford. Roll over Shakespeare!

And that is the story of walking uninvited through some strangers’ house and photographing everything. I might add, they hadn’t made their beds.

1157. Finbarr’s novel

Finbarr was quite upset; a film star had been badly injured doing a stunt. Finbarr had always imagined that particular actor as taking the lead part in the film they would make using his novel as a basis.

Finbarr hadn’t started the novel yet as such, but he had a few ideas. He could actually see in his mind’s eye the credits at the end of the movie rolling over the big screen. Of course, everyone in the theatre would usually be standing and walking out by now – during the credits – but in this case they were so moved they remained seated. When the credits finished the audience applauded. That was not that common an occurrence. Clearly they were emotional. Who wouldn’t be after such a gruelling two hours of intense emotion?

It was therefore extremely disappointing to read of the film star’s stunt accident. Of course, there were other actors, but they wouldn’t do as good a job.

There were further problems blighting Finbarr’s plans for a novel: who would play the female lead? The actress he wanted initially was now too old. Of course, they could dolly her up a bit with modern technology but it’s not the same. And then they had plundered the forest for timber, which he had thought would have been the perfect setting for the film.

A final upsetting thing was that Finbarr would have preferred it if the scene used during the final credits had been filmed from a circling helicopter. Filming the final view from a high hill with a telescopic lens was not really the right thing to do.

Problems! Problems! Finbarr was back to square one with his novel writing.

1156. Free phone

It’s a marvellous thing, modern technology. The Government gave everyone with dementia a free phone.

They spend all day phoning each other up to tell each other the same thing.
They spend all day phoning each other up to tell each other the same thing.
They spend all day phoning each other up to tell each other the same thing.
They spend all day phoning each other up to tell each other the same thing.
They spend all day phoning each other up to tell each other the same thing.

I’m talking about the Government, not those with dementia.

1155. Job interview

There were six people waiting for a job interview. It was a simple job, but with the difficulty these days of finding work, almost anything would do. The six waiting interviewees were applying for a mail sorting job. Madeline was in charge of the process.

Madeline was dressed in her Sunday best for the occasion. A little bit of power dressing, she thought, a little bit of black; in fact, quite a bit of black. She was startled to overhear, at least she thought she overheard, one of the applicants say to the others, “I don’t think much of what that woman’s wearing.”

The interviewing process began. Madeline gave each a pile of envelops and told them to sort things alphabetically into pigeon holes.

“Times up!” announced Madeline.

“But you never said it was a speed test.”

“Well what do you expect?” said Madeline. “I’m afraid you were all too slow. We shall re-advertise the job.”

1154. So closed-minded

Regina was the new editor of a prestigious magazine. It was a monthly publication that shared ideas and articles about flower arranging. It was extremely popular. It was possible to follow the flower arrangements without having to possess expensive vases. In fact, some of the best flower arrangements were made in old jam jars with things that most people could find in their gardens. Even weeds!

When Regina landed the editorial job she announced a few changes; in fact, more than a few! The whole format was overhauled, and the online format was made to accommodate various social media appliances. Only the rich could afford the flowers and vases used.

Regina’s opening editorial began:

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! Our design staff has been busy improving the appearance and content of our magazine. We’d love to hear your response to these wonderful improvements!

Four hundred and twenty-nine readers responded. Fourteen loved the new look; the rest hated it. People are so closed-minded, aren’t they? They can’t cope with change. They’re stuck in the Middle Ages, these people; thick-skinned dinosaurs who refused to adapt to the changing world. “It hasn’t taken long for the whingers and moaners of this world to crawl out of the woodwork,” declared Regina.

Subscriptions plummeted. The board gave Regina a substantial pay rise to celebrate her wonderful, wonderful, wonderful innovations.

1153. Who’s the suspect?

The front of Melanie’s house was next to the road, but the back lawn had a different neighbour bordering each of the three sides.

Melanie had a little dog, of which she was most fond. It was a Pomeranian and its name was Pom-Pom. In fact, Melanie got on better with her dog than she did with the three bordering neighbours.

You’ve no idea, said Melanie, what Anita Jones is up to. Her husband’s corpse was still warm and she was out cavorting with another man. And then barely three weeks had passed and he’d moved in. Moved in! Anita Jones, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a cheap harlot. That’s all. Cheap harlot! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

Herbie Davidson, said Melanie, is overweight and disgusting. He walks around in his back yard wearing only his underpants. He’s too fat to do that. He’s gross from top to toe. Nor has he any manners. Herbie Davidson, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a grotesque, obese piece of lard. That’s all. Lazy lard! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

And as for you, Andy McAlister, we all know you watch porn. You sit at your computer half the night grovelling over it. I can see it through the window. I’ve a good mind to report you to the police, you filthy-minded pig. Andy McAlister, I’m telling you this to your face. You’re a dirty gutter rat. That’s it. Gutter rat! My Pom-Pom has more principles.

One day Melanie saw rat poison tablets scattered on her back lawn. Pom-Pom must have eaten one. It was dead.

1152. Romance reader

Jonathan was nineteen years old and loved to read popular romances. He particularly liked the swashbuckling heroes who rescued the damsels in distress. Then they would fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. Why settle for dark, morose characters when a rumbustious champion could conquer the world? Of course, he never told his friends that he read romances.

It wasn’t silly for Jonathan to think he could be like that. There must surely be some bravery in the world, and some zealous ardour to go with it. All he need do was find the right girl and the right situation.

Anyway, he went to the First World War and got shot.