I worry about Mr L when he is busy doing DIY and maintenance tasks. After all, what is a Man but a boy in long trousers? They are apt to be unthinking and rash, not always aware of the possible outcomes of their actions. So when Mr L, as he often does in such circumstances, yells loudly or swears pithily, I have tended to drop what I am doing and dash off, heart pounding, to see if First Aid measures are required. Normally they are not and all that is required is a little soothing to aid the lowering of the blood pressure (though once a large splinter passing right through a finger from side to side did require me to drive to the surgery…) I am learning, albeit slowly, to accept that some women have a Drama Queen in the house and nowadays will normally complete what I am doing before running a quick check.
This afternoon I was disposed to continue with what I was doing and to ignore what sounded slightly like a morse code SOS signal from the van. I mean… what was he doing out there that could possibly go wrong. And after all, it wasn’t a proper Morse Code signal. Just a mixture of seemingly random triples. I concluded that tweaking of the horn’s function was under progress.
After a while, the horn bleeps changes to a longer pattern. Awareness crept in but gradually: Seven short blasts on the vessel’s horn... just like… yes – The Cheneral Emerchency Alarrrm Signal. (All passenchers go directly to the Mustard Station)
I dashed (no, I didn’t, I strolled calmly, actually) outside and opened the van door. Popping my head inside, I said “I just came to check that it’s not actually an SOS that you are trying to send.” I could not see the man or what he was doing but surely he must be there or who was sounding the horn?
“Yes,” came the reply. But from where?
“What do you mean, Yes?” I asked – pointing my question to an empty van.
“Yes, it is an SOS. I’m stuck!“
And there he was: head and shoulders wedged firmly in the driver’s side footwell, legs in the passenger’s side.
It took a while. The seat was positioned back as far as it would go and the steering wheel would adjust no higher. I tried to rotate the seat to provide some wiggle room where it was needed the most but with no success.
At this point I recalled John Burn and Richard Toothill; two boys at school who went pot-holing one weekend. John was tall (very tall, and leggy, sigh) whereas Richard was less blessed in the Adonis department and tended frankly to the portly. Anyway, Richard got stuck in the entrance to a cave and could not be moved. He had to stay there unfed, like Pooh, and wait until his weight adjusted subtly to aid his extraction. (This may be true or it may be apocryphal but that was the tale told and I chose to believe it when I was 17). So I said to Mr L that he would just have to stay there until tomorrow or the day after and then he would slide out with ease. He suggested that to be a poor idea.
In the end it was a simple expedient of grabbing the man by the belt and hoisting his mid-section skyward.
I don’t know why I did not think of that in the first place.
Anyway, I offer my sincere apologies to any neighbours who were disturbed by the incessant use of a car horn this afternoon, I know how sound carries on a small island.
Slight digression – we had this on our music cd for our wedding ceremony