Sunday, 29 January 2012

A divine comedy

There's something in this wood shed. Well, a story at least. Indeed, a rather funny story. Ask yourself, is this public footpath a normal place to put a shed?

My work colleagues Simon and Andy are men. It's a well known fact that men love sheds. Men also come pre-programmed with a gene best known as the 'don't worry I know how to handle this' gene. Most of us men learn in time to allow this gene off the leash only when we really do know how to handle something.

This little tale is a true story about what happens when men fail to control their ' I know how to handle this gene'. Let the story begin...
One sunny winter's morning, a young lad named Simon was merrily skipping to the allotment. Not far behind was his friend Andy, who simply couldn't wait to get mucky with Simon.

As they grabbed each others' tools, a cry came from the head of the allotment committee, "gentleman, would you be interested in a shed for your new plot, I have one that is causing quite a bother?" "Only too obliged," chirped Simon, for he was very polite.

So Simon and Andy made their way over to the shed. They passed through a gate, by the only house on the allotment, down a footpath, across the mud and into a clearing whereby a shed lay. "Why this is perfect," cried Simon. "With a few extra hands we'll move this in no time." "Splendid," proclaimed the head of the allotment committee " why don't you boys join me for a drink this evening at the allotment committee party?" Simon agreed. Andy was secretly happy, for he had not been to a party all week.

Just then, Andy's wife Emma turned up with two friends. "Would you mind helping us move this shed?" asked Simon. The girls agreed, for he asked very politely. "But how are we ever going to move something so big," said Emma, somewhat concerned.

"Don't worry," replied Simon, "I know how to handle this..."

"First we need to take all the tools out of the shed and move them to the new plot." They did this with a wheelbarrow through the mud. All in all it took an hour, and they sat down for a cup of tea. "Now," instructed Simon, "the shed will be light enough to lift and move in one piece." Everyone clapped, for this really was a clever idea.

And so, Simon, Andy, Emma and her two friends bent their knees, shouted 'heave' and up came the shed, without so much as a creak.  "This will be quick" exclaimed Andy, whose already hungry mind was on his neighbour's juicy plums. For they had the most wonderful plum tree on the corner of their allotment.

They managed to move the shed onto the path with no trouble at all. The path was shielded by hedges and much to the amusement of other gardeners it appeared as though the shed was floating through the air!

It was at this point that Emma started to look concerned. To her it seemed the path was getting narrower. But she thought, 'it's ok, Simon said he knows how to handle this'. Then, brambles started to brush her back and she wondered again 'is there space'. But the boys were still smiling, yes, it was ok, men do smile when they know how to handle things.

Suddenly there was a rustling from above, and a scraping. "Oh no, we've hit a tree" And then a sharp cry 'ouch'. It was one of Emma's friends. Stuck against the fence. And the shed was stuck too, trapped by the branches above.

'Oh whatever are we to do' proclaimed Emma's second friend. "Don't worry," said Andy, "I know how to handle this. We'll just edge backwards and then we can think about what to do." But the shed wouldn't move. It was truly jammed, as if someone had put glue on the roof to which the branches had stuck.

"Maybe," wondered Simon, aloud "we could get some more help to move the shed backwards, and then we can take it apart and do the last bit in pieces?" Just then Mr Postman came up the path with his urgent delivery of letters.

Simon greeted the postman, for he was very polite. "Good afternoon Mr Postman," Indeed it was now the afternoon and the postman was running late. "I'm awfully sorry but I must get past to deliver my letters. "I'm very sorry Mr Postman," said Simon, "perhaps you could help us move this shed? "I will gladly do so,  replied Mr Postman "but I think we may need some more hands."

Just then, Mrs Mummy and her friend Mrs Yummymummy came rushing up the path with their pushchairs. They too were in a hurry to pick up their older children from a party. "Good afternoon Mrs Mummy and Mrs Yummymummy," said Simon, for he was very polite, and I suspect he also fancied Mrs Yummymummy.

"Oh dear," cried the two mummies, although I imagine they wished to say something rather more grown up. "How are we to get past?" "Don't worry," said Simon, " I know how to handle this. Andy can climb into the garden on the other side of the fence and you can pass your babies over the fence. Then climb over the fence yourselves, walk around the shed and climb back over. We'll carry the pushchairs over for you because we're gentlemen too."

And so, after much lifting and climbing, the mummies were on the way, but the shed was still stuck.

Just then the head of the allotment committee came wandering past. "Oh dear," he cried, although I imagine he wished to say something rather more grown up too. Simon asked very politely "Mr Allotment Head, would you be so kind as to help us move the shed back?" "Yes, I shall, but you shall have to take the shed back to where it came from as it's getting dark and I have a party to start.

And so Simon and Andy, Emma and her two friends, Mr Postman and Mr Allotment Head managed to free the shed from the branches. And with that, the shed floated back above the hedges, through the mud and down in the clearing where it began the day. Everyone was exhausted, when finally Andy said to Simon, "we've got that party tonight, how on earth are we going to enjoy it with everyone laughing at us?" And this time, Simon said

"I really don't know how I'll handle that"


You may wish to know that the next day Simon and Emma managed to take the shed apart and rebuild it by their plot. It turned out that the shed wouldn't have fitted through the gate in any case. Thank you Andy and Simon for such a gem of a story, I hope I've done it proud and not embarrassed you guys too much! To say thank you, here's a tenuously linked song, the moral of which is also 'stay away from sheds'!

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The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.