Tuesday 8 November 2011

Elegy on a carpet

I’ll admit I’m not the best man at do-it-yourself type work at home. Be it woodworking, painting, plumbing or electrical work. I always seem to get it wrong and more often than not I hurt myself.

For example when I hammered hard on my finger, missing the nail altogether, as I did this morning, my first instinct was not to say calmly and in a quiet voice “Jolly gosh, this was a tad uncomfortable for me!!!”

I threw the hammer in the air in pain followed by a string of un-repeatables unworthy of your tender ears, or eyes … dear readers.

The hammer struck the beautiful crystal vase of flowers which we’d treasured for years as a special present from the in-laws. The vase shattered into a million pieces pouring water everywhere which caused an electrical short circuit which blew the TV into a loud bang and sparks.

And my finger still hurt.

Instead of sympathy I got earache!!!

“That was a wedding present from …”

“I know … I know …” I thought silently, “… I never liked the thing anyway, but I’d better say nothing and pretend I’m more hurt than I really am”.

No use. The deceased vase got more sympathy than me.

Better get on with my work. After all, laying a carpet in a room is easy. Take out all the furniture. Well … most of the furniture anyway, why bother with the coffee table, the TV and the … Anyway … Let’s measure from here to there, and from there to over here. Match the measurements to the carpet. Lay the carpet. No … wait … fix that loose floorboard. Hammer the nail in … miss it altogether … hit your finger hard and we’re back to where we started.

An hour or so later I managed to lay the carpet in the room … well, kind of. There were areas where the carpet was somehow bigger than the room. Don’t know why. Maybe the carpet stretched as it was laid down and grew bigger and curled up a little up the wall. Never mind … it’ll be hidden when I put the furniture there and no one will notice.

And in some places the carpet did not quite reach the wall. It was a few inches short. Perhaps it shrunk a little over here whilst it stretched over there. What if I move more furniture over here to hide it?

Now wait a minute. What’s this bump here in the middle of the room? It looks like a small mound a few inches high. It doesn’t move much and it feels as if there’s something under the carpet.

I can’t take the whole carpet off and start again. Dash it all. Where’s that hammer? I’ll bash that mound hard and flatten what’s under there … ah … that should do it!!!
As I finished flattening the carpet with the hammer I heard a young voice from the kitchen ask “Mom … have you seen my hamster? He’s not in his cage!”

“Dear Lord …” What do I do now? Put those flowers from the broken vase where the mound was and say a prayer?

Better say nothing … perhaps they’ll think the hamster went out for a walk. It’s a nice day out there and Dodo will enjoy the sunshine.

Appropriate name … I thought. This particular hamster is now as extinct as his namesake. I hope he doesn’t stink under there as he decomposes away!!!

I shudder away the dark thoughts as I move the furniture back into the room nonchalantly as if nothing happened. If I confess I’ll open up a new can of worms and tears will flow for ever more and I’ll never be forgiven by anyone for eternity for what I have done.

It is sometimes kinder and much more loving to ease away the pain of others by not telling them what they don’t need to know. Better to believe that Dodo has gone for a walk and met a Miss Dodo and they’re living happily ever after in the fields behind our house.

Just as I finished putting the furniture back I heard that young voice say “Mom … I found Dodo. He was under the bed.”

Now then … has anyone seen my brand new cell-phone? I can’t find it anywhere! 


  1. You made my day!!! You and my dear husband have a lot in common!!!! A dislike for hammers. [big smiles!!!] Cathy

  2. Hello Cathy,

    Why do they make hammers too big and nails too small?

    God bless.

  3. This is the funniest story! When I read the "Mom...have you seen my hamster? He's not in his cage." I almost fell over in my chair! We thought one of our hamsters squeezed under the carpet near the heating element once - I was on my hands and knees feeling for lumps in the carpet :)

    Nice job getting rid of the vase ;)

    You and Randy have a lot in common. (I just hope he doesn't see that remark!)

  4. Hi Mary,

    I'm just not good at doing jobs in the house. Honest ... it's not an excuse to get out of doing chores.

    God bless.

  5. PHEW! (about the hamster)
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face today...:) :)

  6. Hi Jade,

    Thanx for visiting. Glad I made you smile.

    God bless.

  7. Ha! I love the description of the carpet being too big in some spots and too small in others. If I were ever crazy enough to try laying carpet, I'm sure that's what would happen to me. As it is, it reminds me of my experiences with putting a pie crust in a pan.

  8. Hi there Sarah,

    Actually, that happens to me too when I try to bake a pie. The crust always is too small to cover the whole pie dish ... or it tears in the middle.

    God bless.

  9. Hi Victor,
    I loved your story! Somehow I can't see you baking a pie...
    And did you know we don't have hamsters here in Australia. I've no idea why not. Not allowed for some reason. Aunt Gertrude would know all about that.

    God bless!

  10. Hi Sue,

    I bake pies using ready made pastry. Never been successful and no one eats them except the dog.

    I didn't know you don't have hamsters in Australia.

    Thanx for your visit Sue.

    God bless.



God bless you.