A Barbed Wire Kind of Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


This was purely a bit of fun. 90% of these mishaps actually happened to me, thankfully not in one day.

Submitted: May 02, 2018

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Submitted: May 02, 2018

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Have you ever had a barbed wire kind of day? 

My Irish grandfather used to call them that.  He’d walk through the door and hang his hat on the hook then bellow to anyone listening.  ‘Jesus Chroist, I’d rather sit on barbed wire than go through that day again!’

My two brothers and I would gather avidly at his feet with our big ears flapping.  ‘What happened today, Grandpa?’

He would tell us everything that went wrong with determined glee and a sprinkling of swear words, blue eyes twinkling.  He was a character, and to us, an irreplaceable loss.  We made a pact after his funeral, my brothers and I, to continue the tradition.

These days, our own divorced daughter and her two kids live with us in the house and every now and then I like to entertain them with tales of my own barbed wire days.

Jesus Chroist, I’d rather sit on barbed wire than go through that day again!’  I yelled as I hung my jacket up on the coat tree and my wife took the plastic bag of groceries that I’d picked up.  The kids came running as I sat in my chair.

Peggy and Marcus grinned widely as they sat on the carpet close to my feet.  Their beautiful faces were clean and fresh from their evening baths.  My wife, Karyn, dropped a kiss on my head and gave me a dram of my favourite whiskey, my one drink before supper.  Even my daughter, Magwen, came and sat on the couch with a smile on her face.  She enjoyed them as well.

‘What happened today, Grandpa?’ my little cherubs carolled.

‘It started when I tripped on the cat,’ the black devil in question cracked an evil green eye from its spot on the window sill.  ‘Next time, can we get a cat that doesn’t blend with the furniture?’

‘I’ll knit a new throw rug,’ Karyn said unconcernedly.

I looked around the lounge at the multiple doilies and colourful rugs and raised my eyebrows.  ‘Another rug couldn’t hurt.  Do it in yellow, that’ll make the black demon stand out like dogs.’

‘Dad!’ Magwen snapped quickly.  ‘Have a care to your language.  There’s delicate ears.’

The kids grinned. 

‘Was the end of that “balls”?’ Marcus asked me quite cheekily and Magwen threw a cushion at him.

‘Well,’ I paused for effect.  ‘When I trod on the moggie I was rootling round the cupboard for my favourite cup which fell from my hand when he scared the bejesus out of me.’

‘I’ll get you another,’ Karyn continued knitting.  Secretly I think she had a bit of a stash because whenever I dropped one a new one appeared, identical to the other.

‘Anyway, I made it out the door without further mishap but then I got assaulted on the train.’

The kid’s eyes went round.

‘Whoa.  What happened Grandpa?’ my blond angel said.

‘Here’s the thing, Peggy, my dear.  Train seats are held together with glue, or so I thought, apparently they’re industrially stapled and when I sat down something sharp pierced my.’

‘Michael,’ Karyn warned.

‘Were you going to say butt cheek?’ Marcus asked.

Gotta love that kid.  I tried not to smile at the grave situation.  ‘I’ve got a blood spot to prove it.’

Their eyes were bright as pennies.

‘It put a hole in my pants.  Only a little one,’ I reassured my wife and continued on.  ‘I think you both remember your Gran got a cook book for her birthday and she gave me a call to tell me to pick up a few ingredients.  Exotic stuff like Tamari and Agave Syrup along with some prawns.  Now, being the culinary genius that I am I had no idea if they were vegetable or mineral.  I was reasonably sure the prawns were animal and I’d be able to find those.’

It was a well-known fact I couldn’t boil water and don’t know where the teaspoons are kept, so everyone was laughing.

‘When I got to the grocer, he was a bit perplexed but we soldiered on.’  I looked at Karyn.  ‘You’ll be pleased to know that his wife was very encouraging with her bellowed suggestions and we found the soy sauce.’

‘Was that on the list?’ Peggy asked.  ‘You didn’t say it before.’

‘There’s an odd thing,’ I told her.  ‘Tamari is apparently a form of soy sauce.  It says it right at the top.’

My lips twisted sourly at my wife.

Karyn gave a shrug.  ‘It only said Tamari on the recipe.’

‘You didn’t know it was soy sauce, Gran?’ Marcus piped up.

Karyn’s feathers fluffed.  ‘Of course I did, Marcus.  I just thought your Granddad had enough brains to plug them in his computer to look them up.’

I gave her a sceptical look and she avoided my eyes.  The cheeky witch would pay later.

‘What happened next,’ the kids chorused gaily, having not heard the phrase that would wrap the story up.

‘Well, me and Thomas,’

‘Thomas and I.’

‘Me and Thomas were totally stumped on the deveined salt.’

Karyn choked and coughed.  I think she nearly dropped her knitting.

‘It was obviously an important and special ingredient and was on my list, so I couldn’t leave without it.’

Magwen was biting her lip to stop it from twitching.

‘Here we were, two grown men, staring blankly at the shelf trying to find the damned stuff.  There was plenty of iodised, crystal and rock.  He had Kosher salt but I normally don’t associate my salt with any form of religion or we’d have Catholic salt on the table every day.  They had some stupid French salt “fleur de sel” but I don’t like the Frenchies.  The Celtic salt sounded promising but when I looked at it the little rocks all had cracks which I took to be veins.’

Magwen had pulled a pillow up to cover her face and Karyn’s jaw had dropped open.

‘We got to talking about veins and wondering how you’d even remove them without crushing it out which brought us back to normal iodised.  There seemed no solution.  We even asked a couple of older biddies as they did their shop and they looked completely mystified.’

Magwen left the room and I could hear her laughing.  Cheeky chit.

‘I had to admit defeat.  I’d spent most of my lunch hour by this time looking for stuff I knew not.  I said “bugger the salt”.’

‘Language,’ Magwen called.

I winked at the kids.  ‘I paid for Gran’s spices with just enough time to heat and eat my lunch.  Imagine my surprise when I went to cook my pie only to find I’d brought the raw bacon.’

Magwen and the kids all howled with laughter.

Karyn merely said.  ‘I did wonder where it had gone.  You silly old duffer.’

‘If you wouldn’t put everything in matching containers it wouldn’t be a problem.’

‘Your box has a purple lid, the bacon has a red one.’

‘How was I supposed to know?’

‘It’s been the same for the last twenty years and I know you’re not colour blind.  Did you bring the box back?’

‘The whole lot hit the bin I was so damn disgusted.  I bought fish and chips.’

‘I’ll get out another,’ Karyn said unperturbed.  She had a stash of them too?  The woman was a hoarder!

I grinned at the kids.  ‘Was that a barbed wire day?’

‘It was electric fence,’ Marcus told me delightedly.

‘Static spark from the carpet,’ Peggy agreed.

Magwen came back in.  ‘Kiss Gran and Granddad good night, brush your teeth and get ready for prayers.’

‘Awww,’ was the double chorus.

‘No “awwws” tonight,’ she picked up their toys as we were kissed and they scarpered.

‘They love those stories,’ my wife said fondly.  ‘And for the record, it was “prawns shelled and deveined”, next item was “salt”.’

Her laughter was gay as she went to do prayers before the kids were tucked in.

I pulled the iodised salt out of my pocket, the one I’d painstakingly relabelled “deveined salt”.  I’ll try and peel the label off in the morning because I’m thrifty like that.




© Copyright 2018 Megan Fox. All rights reserved.

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