Saturday, June 02, 2018

A Parable for our Times

There can be fewer more satisfying feelings in the world than pulling up alongside a car at traffic lights - that car which overtook you back down the road travelling at excessive speed. One of the few occasions in life when being compared to a tortoise is satisfactory.

Hold that thought.

I have little time for mindless, unnecessary retail. I carry on with semi-defective items much loved and unreplaced - old pants, worn-out kitchen utensils and functional but dated gadgets keep me company. Bear in mind however that I have been married to unnecessary retail for some years now and it has kept the door lupine free and the table bread-covered. But no-one else could have kept her and their sanity so long. I see her as a sort of rescue-wife. The intention is that she reads that paragraph and laughs. If you see me again it went well.

Two years or so ago I was given a gift of a new peg bag. No catch in the title: it's a bag to hold pegs. Observing the way I pegged the old bag to the line and then spun the line round (it is a rotary one; I am not stupid) TCMT purchased from the shop at which she works a new peg bag which saved labour by hanging round my neck. It caused the local observers much amusement and this picture was taken. I was, and remain, unamused. Having developed a way of doing things I approach labour-saving devices the way Mrs Doyle approaches a Teasmade.

Still, not wishing to cause offence... no that's wrong. Wishing to cause offence but deciding not to, I started using the new bag. About this time my wooden pegs were replaced with some natty plastic ones. Those seabirds ain't gonna kill themselves. As you do I put all the wooden pegs and the old bag in my box of things that may one day become a youthwork activity. It did.

This week the new peg bag was taken back to the shop to be replaced because it is defective and the strap has broken three times in two years. I had stapled it back together each time because THAT IS WHAT I DO! But I am told it must go back. The shop in question will replace it because they do that sort of thing to keep customers whose average age ensures they will die before needing a second replacement. Bag for life? Sounds like a fair swap.

So, I discovered all my new pegs had been put in a 5p, plastic bag. I suppose it was intended to be used in some way as a temporary replacement but it wouldn't peg to the line properly. So I have replaced the replacement with a pleasant, if a little faded, peg-bag from my youth work resources box. And I am as smug as a fully working smug metaphor. And I am sitting in my car at the traffic lights waiting for the new Pegbag gti turbo to challenge me and old faithful to another race.

It's a lovely day in North Somerset and the washing is dry.

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