It has been an interesting week at Maison Comb. Having recently moved into our new quarters and even though spouse has acquired a large study, he still has not got enough bookcases to stash away all his books. So, he decided to build in bookshelves in a large recess. He planned, he drew it out, he carefully measured up - not in his favoured feet and inches, but in millimetres as the local DIY emporium deals in these, or so he thought.
It would be a simple matter of driving into town, ordering the wood and arranging for delivery. So my dear spouse thought, in his innocence. Sadly, this turned out not to be so. The drive into town was simple enough, but thereafter it turned into an episode of 'Four Candles', only with spouse getting more and more exasperated as the ordering process went on.
it goes like this - Spouse enters store and goes to the far end of it where the wood section is. Makes his preferred choices and notes the measurements in millimetres and quantities required. Then schlepps to the front of the store to the 'Ordering Desk'. After some queuing up it is spouse's turn to order and he begins with his first two items, only to be interrupted by the young male member of staff manning the computer.
'Ooh, I'm not very good with millimetres, have you got feet and inches?'
'No,' says spouse. 'You always want millimetres.
'Well, did you get the bar code?'
'No', says spouse, only mildly irritated by this stage.
So, off he went to the far end of the store again to get the bar code. Schlepped back to the Order Desk and the young man brings a picture up on the screen - white wood on a white screen background, which was not much use to spouse as he could hardly see it.
'Tell you what,' says the young man, 'Chris in 'gardening' is good with millimetres. Go and see him and we'll be right as ninepence.'
'Or thruppence ha'penny if it's old money,' mutters spouse under his breath,' as he makes his way to 'Gardening'.
But there was only a female member of staff working in the 'gardening' section. When spouse requested the aid of Chris, it was to be informed that he had gone for his 12noon lunch break. Lucky old Chris, is was only 11.45a.m. so, out of luck on the millimetre front, spouse schlepped back up the store, re-checked measurements in inches, bar codes and prices and made his way back to the Order Desk once more. Greeted like an old friend, our young man once more consulted his computer screen and bought up yet another picture of wood, 'no, wood is not just wood, believe me.)
Once again, spouse did not feel the picture of this piece of wood properly represented the piece he had just been looking at at the back of the store.
'Why don't you come and look at it wit me,' he suggested to the young man.
It was like flicking a switch and the light bulb came on.
'Good idea,' young man exclaimed and almost arm-in-arm the made they way up the store to inspect the stocks of wood.
Spouse showed the exact sample of wood to the young man.