This week’s great words to play with: Broken Visage (the face) Paper Tiger (a person, group, nation, thing that has the appearance of strength but is ineffectual) Defunct (no longer in use) Partition (a division, separation) Anabiosis (bringing back to conscious, reanimation after apparent death) Curdle Meteor Altruism (the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others) Twinge Bowl Draught
When I went to see my old school friend, Henry Wilson, he was as I suspected in an anabiotic state. Then again Henry on a good day was often described as death warmed up. If it was in any way possible to apply anabiosis to Henry in the hope of improving his appearance that possibility had long passed.
For the most part he was a broken man. Life it seemed had passed him by, it was as if Henry had taken his eye off the game for just a second and life had deemed him defunct of the human race.
Through some quirk of fate Henry had been happily married to Olivia for nearly fifty years. There’s was one of those marriages where the partitions of life that been erected within the first few years of their union and neither had bothered to question the viability of them.
Olivia was a bit of a Paper Tiger, all bark and not much bite. As Henry would say she had a look to curdle milk and that was enough for her to get her point across when needed. They had lived a life of blissful ignorance of each other. Olivia’s visage was always the first thing you saw when you went to visit him. She would appear at the door often with a rolling pin in her hand and a part of you always felt a twinge of dread should get on her wrong side.
Olivia did a lot of cooking and was often in the kitchen, rolling pin at the ready, her trusty mixing bowl of forty years beside her on the bench. She hated a draught and would yell at you in her strident voice to ‘Shut the bloody door, you live in a tent or something?’
I’d come this time to see Henry as he had recently discovered a meteor in the back yard and being the altruistic man he wasn’t he performed a rare bit of community service by offering the meteor to the NASA officials who stormed his door in the middle of the night demanding the meteor be returned to the authorities as such things in the wrong hands could lead to anarchy.
Henry had no idea what they were on about and gladly gave up the meteor mainly as he said to save the NASA officials from the wrath of Olivia’s rolling pin.
Despite the unusual excitement of recent events Henry maintained his anabiotic look. His misery only exacerbated by Olivia’s nagging of him to get off his arse and stop basking in altruistic notions.
As it was the intrusion by the authorities had resulted in her bowl being broken and the door damaged such that there was a draught that threatened to blow her to the Antarctic if the blasted door wasn’t fixed pronto.
Henry fixed everything by erecting a partition to block out the draught and Olivia’s consistent bellyaching.
After she’d gone back inside he looked across at me and said: ‘Paper Tiger that one. Big softy underneath all that noise.’