Welcome back dear reader to the 2017/18 blog season.
Well, we have had an interesting time here at Chez Comb. We moved into our new house in the springtime and have a large garden to go with it and have spent the summer making inroads on re-modelling it. This has involved the use of many power tools by my dear spouse, along with a pick axe, a murderous looking executioner's sized axe and many a lethally sharp spade and fork. Plenty of scope there you would have thought, (if you know anything about spouse by now), for medical intervention at the local surgery or A&E Department. Let me surprise you my dear reader, only one trip to the surgery was required. A rusty nail went through his leg and a tetanus booster was required. I know, looking back on our summer activities, I too am amazed.
So how it comes about that by simply answering the telephone this week, he got into more bother than he has all summer, is a mystery to me. It's not that difficult an exercise is it? The telephone rings, you pick up the handset, have a conversation and at its termination, replace the handset back into its re-charging unit. Easy. I can do and no doubt you, my dear reader, can do it without causing harm to yourself or any other living creature.
Picture the scene - I am downstairs in the kitchen preparing lunch when spouse stumbles in holding a bloodied hand over his eyes and sinks, moaning softly, into the rocking chair at my side. 'What on earth has happened?' I ask in alarm. 'Phil telephoned,' he answered still moaning. I am mystified but my curiosity will have to wait to be satisfied, as I have spied a deep cut on the top of his head, the source of the red stuff flowing freely over his hands and down on to a good shirt, his trousers and the chair cushion. 'Have you bled all down the stairs?' I ask. No, dear reader I am not totally heartless and heedless of his plight, but I can see the gash is not life threatening - after all, he has at least another seven and a half pints to go, but a trail of blood down our new stair carpet could just take priority right now. Spouse answered in the negative. 'I was very careful,' he moaned, hands still over his eyes.
Well that was a positive at least. After many, many years of marriage I have the first aid kit to hand and quickly unpacked swabs and steri-strips ready to go to work on him. 'Take your hands away, so that I can see the damage.' I requested. Spouse slowly lowered his hands from his eyes to reveal the beginnings of the best shiner of a black eye I have seen in a long time.
I sighed resignedly and asked in my most patient voice ever, 'and how did you come by that? I thought you were on the telephone and even you can't get a black eye from doing that.' Well, my dear reader, it appears that spouse could do that very thing. I know, I know, you couldn't write the script, could you? Only he just has.
Apparently, when the telephone rang, he was upstairs in our bedroom getting changed and picked up the handset at the side of the bed. So far so good. On discovering it was an extremely garrulous friend called Phil, spouse knew he would be in for the long haul and sat down on the bed to listen to the latest story. Only the story started going on and realising he was in for a right old shaggy dog of a tale, spouse pinned back his ears and lay back on the bed , stretching his free arm out and knocking the re-charging unit off the bedside cabinet, not only off, but down the back of it.
No worries - he would retrieve it when the call was ended. Half a lifetime later when Phil had finally come to the end of his saga, spouse sat up and looked about him for the re-charging unit. He spied it underneath the cabinet and set about rescuing it. Now this cabinet is a wooden affair on long legs with two deep drawers - heavy and solid (and no, I am not making any comparisons here.)
The re-charging unit had gone down the back of the cabinet so first of all spouse tried to haul it up by the wire running from the unit to the mains plug. So far, so very good only it got stuck just as it reached the top of the cabinet. Spouse gave it a sharp tug to encourage it right out and that's when he got the black eye as the unit, suddenly freed, sailed up and out and socked him in the eye. Spouse swiftly let it go, whereupon it dropped back from whence it came, whilst he staggered about cussing and nursing his eye.
But spouse is not one to leave a job undone. The phone needed its re-charging unit and have it it would, no matter what. Another method of retrieval must be tried. He crawled on hands and knees underneath the cabinet in an effort to reach the unit, but in effect, he was too tall for the cabinet and he all succeeded in doing was lifting it up on his back so that all the things on the top of the cabinet slid off - the lamp, books phone, water glass, spectacles, etc.
Another round of cussing and spouse rolled over on to his back and shimmied back under the cabinet. This time success and he managed to retrieve the re-charging unit, but unfortunately, on the outbound shimmy, he banged his head hard on the underside of the cabinet and managed to gash it on a rough piece of wood that was sticking out.
So there we are my friends, how not to answer the phone. Spouse is skulking at home now, sporting a fat head and a corker of a blue-black shiner. If he goes out everyone is going to ask 'what does the other chap look like?' And how would he tell them the phone did it to him? Now there's a funny thing - I seem to answering the phone a lot these days .....