“You Don’t Need That!”

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/burning-down-the-house/”>Burning Down the House</a>

rather like the British ‘Desert Island Discs’ idea of saving what you most treasure, wordpress today wants us to grab five  items to save if the house catches fire.

 “You Don’t Need That!”

The children really entered into the spirit of the challenge. “Hey, this is great Mum,” cried Roger pulling a drawer out of her dressing table and emptying the contents all over the bedroom floor. “You haven’t worn that old blouse for years.”

My wife went puce. “Roger, stop! This game will cease now unless we all behave sensibly. Anyway how would a 12 year old boy know what his 36 year old mother wore  and how often? Now put everything back at once.” Then she turned to me. “And Tony, this is the last time you introduce one of your stupid  Word Press prompts  into this house. The children are just throwing things all over the place!” I was about to agree when I found a necklace Michele had not worn for three years at least.

“Hey! I wondered where this had got to. Do you remember that day I bought it for you when we’d had a rather liquid  lunch and you said you had coveted it for months?  You told me how it would turn you on, and then missed your drunken footing on a kerb stone and grabbed hold of my arm pulling two buttons off the cuff of my jacket? Come to think of it you haven’t worn it since have you?”

“Oh that’s unfair, dad,” butted in ten year old Anne. You had a flaming row about the cost of the only top mum could find that would match it! That’s why it’s never been worn. But twin brother Phil did not quite remember things that way. His version was,

“The dog ate it and  you were mortified, mum, remember? Then you used the housekeeping money to replace it so dad would not find out and be upset. I can remember it well. We didn’t have chocolates for a month!”

I was shocked.”Oh darling, is that true? How sweet of you. Of course I would have understood if you’d told me. You really are an angel.” And just as I hugged her and gave her a kiss the youngest of our progeny, seven year old Trevor, suggested we play the game properly.

“Let’s each make a list of five things and the items that get named most are saved. If we have a tie then Mum decides as she’s the one who moans most if we can’t find things in this house!”

“I don’t moan, Trevor, don’t be so rude. But it is a good idea.”  Well, it could have been, but have you ever tried to find seven clean sheets of paper and seven pencils in our house?  Have a go. It took twenty minutes before we all settled down round the kitchen table. The five kids, Roger,  Phil, Anne,  Mary and Trevor with  their two parents, behaved exactly like you would expect seven semi-bored children to behave. It was the silly questions that started the rot.

Mary raised her hand, God knows why, and asked, “Is there any limit on size? I’d have to take my new electronically controlled,  imitation show jumping horse.  We couldn’t afford to leave it behind could we dad?” I just looked at her with a threatening glare.  Roger had the worst problem though, well the most insane. 

“Dad does a pair of football boots count as two things or one?” I was about to lose my patience when Anne suggested

“You keep a size six right foot boot for Phil and he could keep a left foot for you. Then You could keep a cosmetic set for me.”

It was all getting too much for  Michele who got up from the table and said ,”Mummy  is going to make dinner  while the rest of you finish your insane Word Press inspired  game.” She stormed out of the room and we carried on boring ourselves rigid. I think it was Phil who first drew our attention to an odd smell coming from the kitchen about an hour later,

“Oh No! Dad, mum’s unconscious on the kitchen floor and the room is on fire!” Genuinely terrified, the children were helped from the smoke filled house as the fire brigade and ambulances came for us all.  While we were were gathered together in the accident and emergency ward of the hospital, checking no one was badly hurt, I suddenly realised  Michele was missing. I panicked and told the senior policeman with us,

” My wife, officer, my wife. She must be still back at the house. Tell the firemen.” But I calmed down almost at once when Michele’s voice whispered in my ear from behind the curtain by my bed,

“Darling, I’m so sorry, but it  was the only way I could stop you playing that dreadful load of on line rubbish you found!”

Anton Wills-Eve