Once upon a time there were three enormous tables. One of the tables was a posh, polished mahogany banquet table, the second was a bog standard coffee table with stains all over it, although they could probably have been removed quite easily but obviously the owner didn’t think it was worth the effort. The third table wasn’t a table at all. It was a stool with a folding tray on top of it. The third table is what I’m typing this on right now (in early 2004). It’s also what I eat (ate) my dinner off. I’d like to say a special hello to my (former) landlord who has been promising to get me a table since I moved in at the end of March..
Anyway, I’ve always been a great admirer of the people who make tables. It’s a very difficult skill to learn, you know. First you have to find out the latitude and longitude of the house where the table is going to be. Then you have to calculate the length of each leg of the table so that they match the curvature of of the earth under that house. Otherwise the table is going to be wobbly. A bit like jelly, but you can’t eat it, although you can in theory spread ice cream all over it. But why would you do that? Not that you are required to have a reason. I mean, this is a free country and you’re more than entitled to spread ice cream all over your table if you want to. And I will defend to the hilt your right to do so. I’m just curious as to your reasons,that’s all.
If I were you, I would put the ice cream into a bowl or between a couple of wafers. Or I might just decide to have corn flakes instead. It depends. Is this an afternoon snack we’re talking about, or breakfast? You really need to give me more information because otherwise I’m just guessing.
But I digress. Back to the tables. I once found a lovely old table that was so beautiful that I felt guilty about killing the tree that made it. Not that I killed the tree myself. No. I got a hitman. Or hitwoman. I intentionally avoided learning the identity and sex of the hitperson, although she did have quite a masculine voice so I’m guessing she was a man. Anyway, as I said I felt guilty about using this beautiful tree to make a pointless piece of furniture for me to rest my beer can on. So what I ended up doing was having the wood converted back into a tree. And boy was I surprised at the result.
The "tree" turned out to have been a hideous laurel bush. I hate those. Every time I walk past one it’s leaves are always covered in dew and I get the sleeve of my jacket wet. But I’m not a vengeful person and I decided to give the laurel bush a chance. I gave it a pistol and we had a duel at dawn the next morning. Obviously I won. And before you ask, no I did not cheat. I merely increased my chances by using a water pistol filled with weed killer. The laurel bush got all excited when it saw the water pistol, and stood expectantly, thinking that I was about to make peace with it by giving it a lovely drenching. Two seconds later, it was writhing. It wasn’t writhing in agony – plants don’t feel pain, so don’t worry. But, rather generously I thought, the laurel bush played it’s part and added some dramatics to the occasion by writhing on the ground, as if in agony.
Anyway the upshot of it all was that I’d killed the bush again, and had it turned into a box of matches. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to light some fires.