This week’s words: Bevel (a surface that does not form a right angle with adjacent surfaces.) Hymen Defenestration (the act of throwing someone or something out the window) Stutter Ninety-Nine Epoch Album Glue Ambiguous Sordid Crest Bale (a large bundle or package prepared for shipping, a group of turtles)
When dad reached his ninety-ninth birthday we decided to do a bit of a ‘this is your life’ for him.
For his entire working career he had worked as a carpenter and he could bevel an edge like nobody else.
He was known as the Big V mainly as a result of our name which all cringed from as we grew up. Dad’s parents had migrated from Northern Europe and had decided to change their European sounding name from Hymeniski to Hymen without ever realising the meaning of the word in English.
So dad suffered through a rough adolescence and later in the work force the butt of so many jokes. But he was happy with the Big V tag as he figured he was always being initiated into something.
Over the years he had accumulated a photo album of all the jobs he had ever completed. It was fascinating reading and when he told the story to each photo it was an entertaining time for us all. Dad was a great user of glue and often told the story of the day he thought he had secured his workmate Simmo’s tool bag to a plank of wood and as a joke made it appear he was angry with Simmo and in so doing grabbed at Simmo’s tool bag and threated to throw it out the window. Simmo dared him and dad momentarily forgetting he had glued the tool bag took hold of it and discovered much to his horror that the glue hadn’t taken and the tool bag sailed out the window and crashed to the ground six storeys below. That act of defenestration had horrified him at the time.
Simmo had a bad stutter but there was nothing ambiguous about what he wanted to do to dad as a result of his sordid defenestrative act. The only day dad recalled Simmo saying a complete sentence, suitably laced with a choice selection of expletives, without any hint of a stutter.
The highlight of our night was to present dad with our family crest to mark the epoch of his long life. Our preliminary enquiries had us scratching our heads at what came back, for it was a bit confronting seeing what someone in earlier times had designed as our family crest.
With a bit of tweaking we were able to present dad with crest that didn’t violate common decency. The crest did contain a fairly obvious V but we placed in side a bale of marking twine to hide any suggestion of the untoward.
Over all we were very pleased with the breakthrough in relation to the crest.