Sharon was an absolute stickler for “waste not, want not”. All her children had been brought up thus. Not a single one of the four would consider squandering the planet.
After her four fledglings had flown the nest, Sharon decided to further help the world out. She would take in a boarder; not an ordinary boarder but one who might need a little more care which they couldn’t receive without the kindnesses of the likes of Sharon. Bump was such a person, although his real name was Christian. Everyone knew him as Bump. His wife had died and he’d sold the grandfather clock to make ends meet, and a few other things as well. Of course money doesn’t last forever and now that the money had been spent he was clockless, penniless, and homeless. Sharon’s kindness prevailed.
One thing Sharon insisted on was what she called “quality of life”. They didn’t simply eat an evening meal at the table, they had napkins and lovely table settings and a couple of candles.
“Waste not, want not” declared Sharon to Bump. “You must learn to light both candles with the one match. It’s wasteful to strike a match, light a candle, blow out the match, strike another match and light a second candle. The box of matches will last twice as long. If everyone in the world took such care we could save a forest or two.”
Bump complied, but the first time he tried he burnt his fingers. In panic he tossed the match in the air.
The curtains caught fire. The carpet caught fire. The house burned down.
Vijay always lit a little candle on his sideboard every evening while he ate his dinner. It burned only for half an hour or so, next to a small framed photograph of his late wife. The candle was Vijay’s little daily ritual.
One day at the market, Vijay met Dorothea. They got on like a house on fire. They went out a couple of times. Dorothea phoned just as Vijay had lit the candle and was about to have his dinner. Would Vijay like to get some takeaways and come around to her apartment? She had a bottle of wine.
What a great idea! Vijay’s prepared dinner was put in the fridge for another time. Hurry! Hurry!
Anyway, he has now moved into Dorothea’s apartment; since his house burned down.
Ivanna was a cemetery visitor. She had buried three husbands over the years and each year on the same day she visited their graves to say a prayer and light a candle. Not that she was allowed to leave a candle burning in the cemetery but Ivanna was not one to be over fussed by rules.
Ivanna liked to light all three candles with a common flame. It provided some sort of unity to the remembrance, as if to say that each consecutive husband didn’t mind his position being usurped after his death. Lighting three candles from the one flame was her way of acknowledging that acceptance.
The trouble was that all three husbands were buried in three different cemeteries and each a few miles distant from the other. Not to worry. Ivanna always brought four candles; one for each grave and a fourth to transfer the common flame by car to the next cemetery.
The first candle was lit. Ivanna set off for the next husband, carrier candle aflame and car windows tightly shut. It’s not impossible to drive with just the one free hand.
The second candle was lit. Ivanna set off for the third husband, carrier candle aflame and car windows tightly shut. It was then that Ivanna was stopped by a policeman.
“What are you doing driving along with just the one free hand and the other holding a lighted candle?” asked the policeman.
Ivanna explained her little ritual to the very nice man and he smiled and said it was a dangerous thing to do but if she left her car on the side of the road he would take her to the next graveyard himself in his police car. So he did that, and they did it every year after. They’ve been married for eleven years now.