Mrs C is a keen horticulturalist and, the price of water having gone through the roof (£400 a metric tonne last time I looked), recently sent off for a butt. (For the benefit of my American readers, let me put your minds at rest. A butt in the UK is a water source for the gardening enthusiast, not some vile form of mail-order surgery.)
Cut to the chase, a man in a van turned up at dawn today and left it on our doorstep.
Having wolfed down a boiled egg, Mrs C leapt into action, ripped off the outer casing, and hauled her new butt (make of that what you will) round to the side of the house. Keen to check the quality of its innards, she lifted up the lid. Or would have done so, had such a feat been possible. Unfortunately, it was not. A helpful sticker proclaimed the unit to be ‘child-proof’. It might have added that Superman himself would have failed to break in, even with his heat vision turned to full blast.
I thought about calling in a child – to see if the makers’ boast was up to scratch – but where to find one at 10 in the morning?
Harold came out, leaned over the fence, and asked what the problem was. When I told him I couldn’t get the lid off the butt, he said ‘But what?’ and roared with laughter. I said I didn’t think that was funny, and he said I should lighten up. Then he wished me luck and said he had to dash as he had a dentist’s appointment.
After several more failed twists and turns, I rang the supplier. He said he had no idea how the lid came off, either, and would have to go and find another butt and see if he could work it out.
He called back an hour later. ‘What you need,’ he said, ‘is to lift the lid as far as you can, find a small yellow clip and push it very hard.’
I did as he suggested, though I had to lean the butt up against a wall for purchase, and it still took me five minutes to get the lid off. I hurt my hand in the process and had to take three Panadol to kill the pain.
It’s my opinion any child daft enough to climb inside a water butt deserves all he gets and I shouldn’t have to suffer a torn ligament just because his parents don’t know where he is after dark.
I rang Bernard – who enjoys hearing about other people’s woes – and, quick as a flash, he sent me the following, which depicts, he claims, the most effective form of child-proofing in the world:
PS While we were chatting, Bernard told me his latest book, Bernard to the Rescue!, is available for free on Amazon Kindle until the early hours of Saturday morning (6 April). He says he’s currently at Number 12 in the Amazon com ‘Satire’ charts, which sounds silly to me.
I don’t know why he doesn’t get his own blog and advertise the fact.
Here are a few links:
US and India
Thought for the Day
‘My neighbour caught me up his tree and asked me what I was doing. I told him one of his apples had fallen off and I was putting it back. Fortunately, he was a policeman, so I got away with it.’
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)