- Well done to the Tories
- Covid Policy in 500 Words
- The EU headscarf ruling, or how to undercut your own argument.
- How Great Would This Be?
- A Jet-Lagged R4
- Idée Fixe
- My Rejected Submission for "Thought for the Day"
- A Sense of Proportion
- My missed career as a theologian.
- Big increase in the price of paper ahead.
- Never as planned
- Wat de mens gescheiden heeft
- Found on an old hard drive
- Any sufficiently advanced technology
- "For A Successful Life"
- Awash with rage
- Watch, anyone?
- Stand Up for What You Believe in, or Maybe Not
- Convert Now, Before You Change Your Mind
- That Time of Year
- Group Smarts
- The Final Copernican Revolution
- The Long March
- Dalton's Beetle
- No problem
My doorbell rang with exceptional urgency this afternoon so I rushed towards the front door and yanked it open to find this fuming gnome still attached to the ringer. I'm hardly exaggerating. No more than 5' tall, nearly bald save for some tenacious growth round the perimeter of his cranium and a goatee - the kind the Germans call a Schnauzbart. And he was hopping mad.
-"My car!" he shrieked. "My car! My car!"
-"Ehm, yes, what about it?"
-"It's green!!! My car is RED but lookuttitnow! It's GREEN!"
Before I could make my escape he grabbed on to my arm and marched me out of the doorway onto the driveway.
-"Now WHAT colour do you call this?"
The VW Beetle that adorned my parking was of an unspeakable eye-watering lime hue.
-"Uhh... green?" I proffered.
My admission somehow seemed to have cooled off some of the man's fury, and he got down to explaining the reason for his disturbed disposition.
-"When I bought my car, it was red. When I parked my car here this morning, it was red.
And for all I can see, and for all YOU can see, it is green now!"
I told him there had to be a simple explanation.
-"Simple? Hah! I'll give you simple: this morning - red car on your driveway -
this afternoon - green car on your driveway! There is no simpler explanation than that
it TURNED green! Or maybe... (he eyed me with one bulbous eye of indistinct colour)
you had it Ppppainted!" The word exploded out of him like a spray can in a camp fire.
Seeing that I remained unimpressed, he rambled on for half an hour, emptying his wallet on the bonnet of the car to show me, in sequence, a picture of a red VW Beetle, a picture of his wife in a red VW beetle, a picture of his children in a red VW beetle and finally one of his dog in a red VW beetle. Hoping the penny would drop I said "well how am I supposed to tell these are your wife, children and dog?"
That's when the goblin went ballistic.
I ran inside the house and went for the fire extinguisher. Hiding behind it and pointing it roughly in the direction of the noise I closed in on him.
-"Now you hush up for half a minute and listen to me before I start making threats!"
I told him that my driveway is private, and that I was highly annoyed to find a car blocking my exit this morning, and that I rang the police to have it towed. But, if he wished, he could go and pick it up at the constabulary. In the meantime I'd see how to get rid of this one.
-"But... my car... green...?" he whimpered.
-"Now hop along, my dear elf," I admonished.
Forty-five minutes later. Screeching of brakes, blowing of horns and slamming of doors. I peeked out between the curtains to see an exasperated ugly short character gesturing at the vehicle that he had just retrieved.
It was green.
Tuesday 12 July 2011