A Stone's Throw From Opinionsville

Stone Stairsteps

Annie was sat in the driver’s seat with the hazard lights flashing, though she wasn’t the driver. Her husband was, with their student son. Their van was parked half on the pavement and across the double yellow lines which screamed ‘no parking’. The woman behind the twitching curtain two floors up wasn’t happy about her being there and the traffic warden definitely didn’t like it.

“We’re just moving my son into his student flat, we shan’t be long.”

But they were being long, and they would be long. That was the problem. And the man who was supposed to be there at 1pm with the key hadn’t turned up and wasn’t now coming till 3pm.

The traffic warden came round again. The woman peered out of the window, her disabled husband wanted to move his car and they were parked right where he needed to put it.

Another van pulled up and parked behind. The man from the internet service provider had come to connect the box.
“What are we going to do,” she said. “We still have to move the settee and there’s four flights of stairs. I can’t sit here much longer and my back aches.”

“I’ll go get three mugs of tea and we can all sit in the van drinking it,” said her husband.

The traffic warden appeared just as she dunked her biscuit and the woman from upstairs opened her window and leaned out.

“Oi, are you going to move that van. You can’t leave it there!”

“I’m allowed to park here during an installation,” said the engineer.

It didn’t matter who had said what or who was saying what to whom. Annie wasn’t going anyway, and neither was the settee. Sitting for all that time with the hazard lights flashing had drained the battery. Now the guy from the rental firm was going to have to come in his van and park there too.

And they were all waiting for the man with the key to the flat!

Things never went smoothly for Annie.

And I didn’t make it up. It actually happened yesterday!!

PS Annie’s husband has a bad back now. Well it was a heavy settee and four flights of stairs.

Words and photographs Copyright © 2014 by Antony J Waller

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