September 9th

A short story …

The Chef, The Plumber & The Croupier
(Alternative Title: The Husband, His Brother & Their Cousin)

Ah, today was the day the cubby house was to be erected. Minus one major component, because for some reason it was not delivered. Fortunately, though, its not a component that affects the actual putting together or support of the cubby.

And, The Carpenter rang this morning to say he was unable to make it. Inevitably.

But we had The Plumber and The Croupier lined up. Erectile Dysfunction was, therefore, the order of the day.

The Chef and I commenced The Erection of The Cubby. The Chef felt it was a really good idea to attach the base to the poles, then lift the whole thing into the holes in the ground (here’s four we prepared earlier!).

Unfortunately, the holes were all the same depth, except that the level of the ground was uneven.

Then The Plumber turned up. And he had other brilliant ideas.

So I went off to ring The Croupier, now that all the poles had been attached to the base, and were being precariously supported by spare bits of wood so as not to fall off and injure someone. The Croupier had a major hangover. Or was still drunk. I’m not sure which.

Eventually he turned up, as we were lowering the semi-erected cubby into the four, earlier prepared, uneven holes in the ground.

Two hours, several pots of (strong) coffee, some heated discussion and screaming at the kids later, oh, and one pole concreted in, The Nursery Manager (and when I say Nursery I’m referring to plants, not kids) showed up, added his two cents worth and the four of them removed the base, the three unsecured poles and started again.

Spirit levels were retrieved, tape measures were obtained and I went inside to hide the beer and piss myself laughing. The man at the cubby house shop assurred us it would only take 2 hours!

After watching 10 minutes of discussion about the best way to do things, I had to step in to remind them that the level of the base, and its distance from the ground was crucial, as there was a slide and a ladder to consider, and their heights could not be changed.

This created a spate of “Bloody women”s, and “back to the drawing board”s and some more discussion, pointing of fingers and waving of spirit levels. And some sniggering.

A further two hours later, well, The Croupier thought he’d save time by mixing up some concrete while The Chef and The Plumber faffed about trying to work out levels and heights. Unfortunatley, it was quick set concrete, which created a frenzy to get the pole sorted before the concrete set in the wheelbarrow.

I then toddled off to purchase lunch for them all. And to remove myself from the situation, as, clearly, they were not coping terribly well with logical discussion.

Upon returning, some progress had been made and the base was about to be reattached. Firstly, however, lunch needed to be consumed, and ice packs and bandaids needed applying to various body parts. Then back to work.

(The kids, by this stage, had given up any hope of having a fully functioning cubby house and went inside to play trains.)

Feeling energised, they wielded their spirit levels and tape measures with renewed vigor and confidence, and set about marking lines on the poles for where the base and roof were to be located.

Until they were once again reminded that the level of hte base and its distance from the ground was crucial, as there was a slide and a ladder, whose heights could not be changed, to consider.

At that point I left with The Nursery Manager to assist him with house hunting.

Upon my return, The Cubby House was Erected! The Chef, The Plumber and The Croupier were sitting around drinking beer and feeling very proud of themselves (possibly ‘erected’, too, so pleased were they with the outcome).

And the kids … they were playing in a patch of dirt, soon to become garden, and taking no interest whatsoever in The Cubby.

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