Thelma went out to the garden to get some parsley. She got bitten on the finger by a little spider. It wasn’t much. It gave her more of a fright than anything else. Over the next few days her finger swelled up so she went to the doctor.
The doctor gave her some stuff but it didn’t seem to make any difference. It wasn’t overly sore, but Thelma worked as a secretary and she was finding with the swollen finger that it was increasingly difficult to type.
Things went from bad to worse. The doctor began suggesting amputation but Thelma said she wouldn’t mind a second opinion on that, thanks very much.
She had to resign from work and, being a solo mother, found it difficult to pay for things needed for her three high-school-aged children. They were falling into bad company. She couldn’t afford to run the car, and rent was becoming increasingly difficult. Then one of her daughters came home and announced that she was moving in with her boyfriend, and she was only sixteen. Next thing Thelma was thrown out by the landlord.
As luck would have it, Thelma got a job working as a cook in a rather exclusive restaurant. She was very good at it too. But if you go there to eat you’ll find there’s not a sprig of parsley in sight.
Norton thought that his invention would be as popular as billy-O. It wasn’t popular at all. In fact it sucked.
“This invention sucks,” said Gerald the Gadget Man on his television gadget show. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an invention as useless as this. It’s a special garden stake for holding up the parsley plants.”
“Parsley doesn’t require staking,” said Nora on the Gardeners’ Breakfast Show. “This is the biggest waste of time and money that I’ve ever come across.”
“This is the most bizarre invention in years,” said Arnold on the Goodbye to the Morning Lunchtime Special. “At least it has given us all a good laugh.”
“I got given one last Christmas,” said Angela on the late-afternoon-between-reality-shows slot. “It comes in handy, especially if I want to prop a door open on a breezy day. A parsley stake! Ha ha ha! Now that’s funny.”
Only Jonathan had anything nice to say about Norton’s invention. “I think it’s excellent,” he said. “And it’s not a parsley garden stake. It’s a Dancalonator.”
Oh! What an embarrassment! Suddenly everyone felt quite silly.
It annoyed Norma immensely. She had a patch of prolifically growing parsley in a small garden not too far inside her front gate.
The neighbours would frequently come in and steal a bunch of parsley. It’s not that Norma minded about that. They could have as much parsley as they wanted. They just had to ask. “Help yourself whenever,” she would have said.
But they didn’t ask. They would sneak over once it was dark and pinch parsley.
Norma trained her dog to piss on the parsley. It wouldn’t kill the neighbours, but it gave Norma a great deal of satisfaction.
Norma grew another small patch of parsley at the back of her house. That was for her own use. Unbeknown to her, the dog rather fancied that patch as well.