A Blogging contact, ( aawa ) recently wrote a post about a conversation she had with her freezer. I don’t speak German, but I think the general drift was the freezer was warning her not to leave the door open too long. Thoughtful and to the point. Everything you would expect from a caring household appliance.
I am a man of few possessions so those I have are important to me. One of them, as described in the title, is a plastic penguin with a propeller on its nose. I hav’nt given it a name, because that would obviously be silly, but I have seen it jerk its head when the word “Norman” is uttered. Nothing definite, you understand, but a possible clue to its identity.
It came to me via the good wishes of a women who worked as my secretary for quite a few years. She was a marvel of efficiency, and could change any of my scribblings into ordered paperwork without breaking sweat. Anyway, come my birthday which is always a challenge to those who seek to enrich my life with gifts, and “Norman”, as we shall call him for short, popped onto my desk.
He was a quiet little chap, no more than four inches high. Modesty prevented him speaking for himself so a small leaflet with instructions was included in the box. As required, I inserted a battery and pushed down a switch Norman had cleverly sited near his left wing. The fan whirred into life, and I could see that my previous existence, as a man who sweated and gasped in the office as the sun kept muttering the words “Microwave Oven” at me through the office window, were now a thing of the past. Bliss
As the summer grew warmer, Norman and me struck up a great friendship, and he was often to be found whirring away somewhere near my shirt collar. Move on a few years, and my partner is suffering from some post operative difficulty which produces, among other things, waves of heat. Norman springs to the rescue and cools her swiftly in the time it takes you to say “Battery powered appliance”. Marvellous. Never one to boast, in between emergencies he just sat there, in a knowing and purposeful way, until the call for action came.
Life moved on again, and all was calm. Outside, as we woke one morning, we could see that the ground was covered in a decent blanket of snow. My ambasador to youth, a committed snow lover, rushed outside and built himself a snowman. It was really nice to see how much fun he gained from it. When the masterpiece was complete, and in line with tradition, he searched around for objects to decorate our new friend. I next saw “Norman” perched on the snowman’s right shoulder, obviously whispering words of wisdom into its ear on how to survive heatwaves: his area of expertise.
The advice, although undoubtably sincere, failed in its purpose, and the snowman melted and returned to the river of his birth. I retrieved Norman, and settled him down with some of his chums to watch television. Come the summer and I once more picked him up and pressed that vital switch. Nothing. Not a sound or movement to discover. Norman’s little motor had drowned during his visit to the snowman and would remain forever silent.
Not to worry. Just looking at him now I remember my secretary with her warm manner and her loyalty, and my partner, showing such bravery and determination during her illness and my ambassador to youth having fun out in the garden and just celebrating the joy of being young and alive in the fresh snowfall. Oh how Norman lived to serve and never complained, which few of us can say for ourselves. He has definitely earned his place on the window ledge.
Perhaps I shall join him one day.