Why is it when things go wrong they continue to go wrong like a chain of events one triggering the other?
I was at a posh hotel preparing to give an important speech to a group of managers about our budget plans and future forecasts.
It was a two-days Conference and mine was the keynote speech before everyone packed their bags and went back to their homes.
I was in my hotel room packing my suitcase and getting dressed in my best suit ready to face my audience. As I put my leg in the trousers my foot somehow caught the inner turn-up of the trousers and tore into the stitching. The trousers were not torn but obviously with the turn-ups loose one trouser leg was now much longer than the other.
How can I fix it with only a short time to go before I’m supposed to stand on stage facing all these people?
Needle and thread … that’s what I need. What’s the use? Men are no good with needles and thread … I wouldn’t know what to do if I had any anyway.
What else can I use to keep the turn-up back in its original place?
Pins … must find some pins … no … there aren’t any either.
How about paper clips? I have some in my briefcase … no … they don’t hold so well. They keep moving and are clearly visible from a distance. I can’t stand on stage with one foot behind my leg as if I need to go to the toilet.
What if I use the sticky-tape to tape the turn-up back in place? It doesn’t hold very well. It falls down again. There must be something else in my briefcase I can use.
Aha … necessity is the mother of invention … my stapler!!!
I can staple the turn up back in place.
I raise my foot on the chair and click … click … click … click … a few staples later and the turn-ups are back in place. I feel proud of my ingenuity.
I go to the basin to wash my hands.
Why is it that hotel basins are so designed that when you open the faucet the water rushes into the basin, swivels round at speed, and splashes all over the front of your trousers with embarrassing results?
And why does it happen when you’re in a hurry?
I can hardly stand in front of all these people giving the impression that I have been caught short? I have no other suit to change into.
I try desperately to dry the trousers with a towel but the large stain on my front is still clearly visible.
Even if I button up my jacket the wet stain is still there for all to notice.
Aha … I remember seeing a hair-dryer in one of the drawers.
Plug it in … stand in front of the mirror and blow hot air on the stain. Hopefully it will dry quickly and in time for me to get down and give my speech.
Wow … this hair-dryer is hot!!!
And noisy too!!!
So noisy that I did not hear the hotel maid knocking at the door and entering the room.
She is standing there behind me watching as I get forever hotter. One can only imagine what she’s thinking.
“Eh … my trousers …” I mumble, “they’re wet … I’m trying to dry them … I got them wet with water … from the basin …” I try to explain incoherently as my mind becomes more and more confused with the situation.
“I understand Sir,” she replies with a smile, “have you tried the trouser-press? If you fold the trousers in here the heat will soon dry the … water.”
I did not like the pause before she said “water”. She’s got the situation all wrong.
She pulls out the trouser-press from its compartment and switches it on. “It is ready now Sir!” she says with a smile.
“Eh … I think it is better if you now leave,” I mumble again, “I’ll take it from here!”
“Of course Sir!” she smiles broadly as she leaves the room.
I try to take the trousers off in a hurry … drat … why is this stupid trouser leg stuck? I nearly trip standing on one leg and fall back on the bed … drat and double drat … the leg turn-up is stapled to my sock … how did that happen? How did I staple the trousers to the sock whilst I’m still wearing it? Would you believe it? Now of all times I have a pair of trousers stuck to a sock at the end of my foot.
Too late to untangle it! Take off the sock as well as the trousers and put the whole lot in the press. Close the press. Turn on the heat to maximum so the stain dries quicker.
Open the press and put the trousers back on in a hurry … GEEEEEEE … that is HOT!!!!!
I hop from foot to foot wandering whether I have done myself a mischief.
Now I put the stapled sock back on. It is still warm too.
Later that afternoon whilst I was checking out at the hotel reception with my boss the chambermaid passes by and asks me “Did your trousers dry OK Sir?”
My boss looks at me with raised eyebrows and says nothing.
But the chain of disasters does not end there.
As I get to my car and pull out my car key from my pocket I find that the plastic top where the automatic car-opening system is, has been totally melted by the hot trouser-press.
Luckily, I had a spare car key which I always carry in my briefcase.