Tag Archives: rent

1520: Something nice to read while having breakfast

Thelma was not well-off; in fact she was practically skint. She had three children and they lived in a little house with a fairly basic rent. Thelma’s husband had been cleaning the spouting when he fell off the ladder and landed on his head. After the funeral, Thelma tried unsuccessfully to find a job. She wasn’t skilled at much. She had very little to go on, just a few savings that were kept in a tin in the cupboard under the kitchen counter. There was enough there for five weeks’ rent and a little food and the telephone and the electricity and some school books and… By being extra careful, and by doing without herself, Thelma managed to stretch things for a week longer than expected.

But the day came… There was no money left. In fact, that was not quite true; there was a two dollar coin in the tin in the cupboard under the kitchen counter. Thelma knew exactly what she would do with it. Before moving out of the house onto the street, Thelma would spend the two dollars on candy for the kids. It was a complete waste, she knew, but it would be an opulent extravagance; a sugar-coated memory; a throw-all-caution-to-the-wind celebration. The children were at school. When they came home she would give them a chocolate each and move onto the street.

On her way out of the house she picked up a letter on the floor that had been delivered through the door earlier that morning. It was from the landlord; did she realize she had missed paying the rent eleven weeks ago? Honestly, it was enough to break the camel’s back. Thelma burst into tears. She dabbed her eyes dry, tried to look reasonably respectable, and headed for the candy shop.

Here, gentle reader, is where you step in. I know you want something nice to happen, and quickly.

Thelma was the one millionth customer to walk through the door at the candy store. She got a great big free bag of candy in all colours, shapes and sizes – more than enough to rot the children’s teeth, if they couldn’t find anywhere to use a toothbrush out on the street.

On the way home Thelma gave the two dollars (and some candy) to a woman begging on the sidewalk. Surprise! Surprise! The woman was part of a “Why-not-make-someone’s day?” television show. For her kindness Thelma won six hundred thousand dollars!

And, dear reader, if you hadn’t had such a kind heart, such a wonderful thing would not have happened to Thelma. Here’s the moral: see how you have already changed the world for good, and you haven’t even finished your morning coffee yet!

1406. Firewood

Curtis and Miriam hadn’t actually frozen to death throughout the winter, but they were never warm, never cosy. The wood burner in the house worked well enough, but they had to ration the firewood to make it last throughout the winter. The next winter they wouldn’t be caught out. They lived on the edge of a pine forest, so the coming summer would be a time to collect, chop and stack firewood.

Come summer, and Curtis and Miriam put several hours a day into the firewood. By autumn, they had enough firewood to keep the fire going all day every day throughout the winter.

That was when they received a notice from their landlord to vacate the house in several weeks. It was needed. It would no longer be rented.

Curtis and Miriam looked everywhere for another house to rent. The only suitable one didn’t have a wood burner. It had a heat pump. They moved in. They sold their firewood.

Come winter, on the proceeds from the firewood, they had a wonderful two weeks basking in the sun on a tropical island.

719. Cut the hedge!


There was no way that Calvin would cut the hedge. His wife went on and on about it.

“It stops the chilly winds blowing in from the snow-clad mountains,” said Calvin.

“It stops us seeing the spectacular view of the snow-clad mountains,” said Gillian.

Since it was Calvin whose task it was to cut the hedge, the hedge grew tall.

Then Gillian and Calvin moved away. Gillian’s job demanded it. They didn’t sell their house; they rented it out through an agency.

“You do realize,” said the rental agency man, “that if you cut the hedge and could see the spectacular view of the snow-clad mountains, you could charge an extra couple of hundred or so dollars a week. People will pay through the nose for a view like that.”

The hedge was cut down before lunch. To hell with the chilly winds blowing in from the snow-clad mountains.

558. Ballad of Giles the Tenant


It had hardly rained all summer, and then came a few heavy autumn showers. Giles discovered that the roof leaked in his rented bedroom. He phoned the rental agency and left a message.


Nice weather returned. Then it rained. Giles noticed that the unfixed roof still leaked in his rented bedroom so he phoned the rental agency and left a message.


The sunshine came back. Next it poured down. Giles moved his bed into the corridor to avoid dripping rainwater. He phoned the rental agency and left a message.


A cool early winter’s sunny day! Giles abandoned house. It was damp, and mildew was appearing on the wallpaper.


Midwinter. The rental agency was furious. They refused to give Giles his rental bond back. Irresponsible tenant.