While sitting on the washing machine to stop it from bouncing off the walls and knocking them down…
I started an argument with myself.
Arguing with myself is a regular feature of my internal conversations.
I’d been dusting with the vacuum cleaner and something on top of my partner’s cupboard went plinky-plink as it got sucked up.
Uh bleeping oh!
I quickly pressed the abort mission button on the sucking machine. Then checked to see if I could retrieve the object before it ended up in the dust bag.
Rifling through the dust bag seemed like a counterproductive activity to do when it comes to dusting.
Luckily the object, which was a wall plug (made of plastic… so how did it manage to go plinky-plink?), had lodged itself in the nozzle, and hey presto it was free to go back to its hiding place.
As I reached up to pop it back… AHA! That’s where my favourite screwdriver is! The thieving magpie struck again!
My partner sometimes teases me for my attachment bordering on obsessive love affair to certain tools, mainly screwdrivers.
He found it oh so tease-y delicious when he discovered that I called a small one “the magic screwdriver” and I would get upset when I couldn’t find it… I couldn’t find it later on because he took it and kept it after he’d used it. When confronted he told me what a jolly good little screwdriver it was – that’s why I call it “the magic screwdriver“, because it works every time rather than some screwdrivers which are more temperamental.
I was furious when he thieving magpie-d the magic screwdriver and he’s never made that mistake again with that one.
He has loads of screwdrivers of his own, and if I use one I am under strict orders to put it back exactly where it is kept. Which I do because it makes it easier to find it again, and because I endeavour to not be a complete hypocrite. His collection of screwdrivers should = he doesn’t need to use mine, but because I imbue mine with glimmering magic powers… they become rather irresistible to magpies.
Somehow my tools are more special and better than his because I love them and… humans!
My favourite screwdriver is larger than the magic screwdriver, and just as reliable. It does the job it is supposed to do, and doesn’t whine about the screws being too tough, too hard, too stuck, too rusted into place or too soft like the other screwdrivers do when asked to screw or unscrew.
It also never damages the screw to prove that it’s obviously the screw’s fault and not the screwdriver’s fault that things aren’t getting done or undone.
As I was being all shook up by the washing machine on its super duper manic spin cycle… I was grumbling to myself about my favourite screwdriver being the victim of the tool thieving magpie.
I considered giving him a piece of my mind, but… then a different side of me decided to play advocate for the defense of the magpie.
Where did your favourite screwdriver come from before it became yours?
This is what I thought (okay, it was all in thought but there are talking-thoughts and thinking-thoughts, and each talking-thought has the ability to think thoughts the other talking-thoughts can’t hear): The swine! It’s using what it knows about me (because it’s me too) against me!
This is what I said in thought (aka talking-thought): You got me! It actually belonged to a gentleman who came to do a job in the house and left it behind.
So, it’s not yours, it belongs to someone else, therefore it is theirs!
I waited for them to come back for it, left it on the hall windowsill for weeks…
Why did you not call this gentleman to inform him of the location of his lost utensil?
“Ummm…” is not an answer, however it is proof of guilt! M’Lud, this woman is a shameless screwdriver stealer, and her favourite screwdriver is not hers at all so my client is therefore not a thieving magpie, in fact he was rescuing the screwdriver from the clutches of a thieving magpie!!!
Hmmm… you do have a point. Even though it is an annoying one and you didn’t have to be so rude about me, but it does resolve the issue.
Conclusion of internal argument trial – The screwdriver belongs to no man or woman, it is a free agent, free to go where it chooses and please…
And it seems to like being hidden on top of the cupboard with a bunch of nails, walls plugs and some sort of metal brackets which are still waiting to be placed on a wall… which is how they all ended up there.
During the course of the internal trial, a not still small voice, a voice which is not one of mine but one I absorbed from someone else, piped up in the background:
“This screwdriver that is mine, which belongs to me… well, this screwdriver, that I have (ad lib – or had and should still have since it’s mine and belongs to me), that is to say, which is mine… is mine.“
That voice belongs to Anne Elk.
Anne Elk’s voice belongs to John Cleese.
When he was part of the Monty Python gang.
When Monty Python were getting up to shenanigans on TV in the Flying Circus.
I used to watch the TV series as a child and although much of what they said was probably too grown up for me, went flying over the top of my small head, I still found it all hilarious, it was a circus after all, and I soaked it up like the sponge that I was then… and still sort of am now.
So I thought I’d share an excerpt from the transcript of that particular episode and sketch:
Presenter: Now, Miss Elk – Anne – you have a new theory about the brontosaurus.excerpt from Ann Elk’s Theory on Brontosauruses, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Series 3, episode 31.
Anne Elk: Can I just say here, Chris for one moment, that I have a new theory about the brontosaurus?
Presenter: Uh… Exactly… What is it?
Anne Elk: Where?
Presenter: No! No, what is your theory?
Anne Elk: What is my theory?
Anne Elk: What is my theory that it is? Yes. Well, you may well ask what is my theory.
Presenter: I am asking.
Anne Elk: And well you may. Yes, my word, you may well ask what it is, this theory of mine. Well, this theory, that I have, that is to say, which is mine,… is mine.
Presenter: I know it’s yours! What is it?
Anne Elk: … Where? … Oh! Oh! What is my theory?
Anne Elk: Ahh! My theory, that I have, follows the lines that I am about to relate. (starts prolonged throat clearing)
Presenter: (under breath) Oh, God! (Anne still clearing throat)
Anne Elk: The Theory, by A. Elk (that’s “A” for Anne”, it’s not by a elk.)
Anne Elk: (clears throat) This theory, which belongs to me, is as follows… (more throat clearing) This is how it goes… (clears throat) The next thing that I am about to say is my theory. (clears throat) Ready?
Anne Elk: The Theory, by A. Elk (Miss). My theory is along the following lines…
Presenter: (under breath) God!
Anne Elk: …All brontosauruses are thin at one end; much, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is the theory that I have and which is mine and what it is, too.
That excerpt comes from a wonderful site – Another Bleedin’ Monty Python Website – which has lovingly preserved in cyberamber the Monty Python’s Flying Circus scripts for the entire four series. It has lots of other Monty Python goodies too (not The Goodies… that’s a different comedy team).
If you’re a fan of Monty Python, but have never watched the Flying Circus series…
Here’s a taster, a wafer thin mint…
This is a video clip of the Anne Elk sketch:
While I was on that website, browsing the episodes, remembering some and not remembering others… this one made me deep chuckle: