The Plastic Hippo

August 13, 2013

Victim of electricity

Filed under: Sport — theplastichippo @ 3:09 pm


Silence in a radio test match commentary is not unusual, but five minutes without the wit and wisdom of Geoffrey Boycott and the increasingly bonkers Henry Blofeld tends to ring alarm bells during what turned out to be a rather marvellous game of cricket.

Stuart Broad ripping through the Australian middle order after tea would normally elicit all manner of bon mots from the professional Yorkshireman and the old Etonian but on this occasion both were uncharacteristically silent. The strangeness continued when an attempt to boil the kettle for a cup of tea proved futile. At last, the gradual realisation dawned in my slow-witted brain that something was wrong with the holes in the wall that provide the magic that makes stuff work. The apocalypse had arrived, there was no electricity.

Being one rung above a Neanderthal on the evolutionary ladder, my first action was to find a battery powered transistor radio to continue listening to the cricket commentary. Satisfied by this short term gratification, I boiled a pan of water on the gas stove for the tea and tried to remember where the fuse box was located. Dredging the shallow depths of memory involving something called a residual current device, the box was found and the orange switch was discovered to be well and truly tripped. It does not require an in depth knowledge of Ohm`s or Kirchoff’s laws or the theorems of Norton and Thevenin to flick a switch back to on. Sadly, the RCD remained stubbornly tripped. Clearly, somewhere in the house, an appliance was misbehaving.

As Stuart Broad was in the process of taking six wickets for 20 runs in 45 balls, I was taking plugs out of the magic holes in walls that represented a carbon footprint the size of New South Wales. Have you ever tried to get behind a desk in a room occupied by a teenager? With the house more unplugged than an Eric Clapton MTV session, the bloody trip would still not re-set and something stronger than tea became the order of the day.

Estate agents might describe it as a conservatory but the less imaginative would call it an outbuilding. It is, in fact, a lean-to shed attached to the kitchen that is home to half full tins of paint, cleaning materials that are never used, an assortment of fixings, tools and bits of wood and, more importantly, “Dad`s outside beer fridge”. The miscreant white good had been unearthed during the retrieval of a bottle of Cirrhosis Brewery Old Brain Damage.

With power restored, the more respectful appliances were allowed to spring back into life and a semblance of normality settled upon the family estate. An inspection of “Dad`s outside beer fridge” revealed a mains lead that had clearly been gnawed by an animal with long, floppy ears and a libido that would shock Silvio Berlusconi. After checking the ceiling, the rabbit was nowhere to be seen and I began to dread the hysterical reaction of a daughter. Time, they say, is a great healer and with the Dect phones, radio and computer re-set, it`s time to move on in spite of my profound sense of loss. The shock of fate will always leave a wound that will never fully heal and even given the sadness and disappointment, life goes on.

The sodding rabbit is alive and well and I`m drinking warm beer.


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