Tuesday, 7 August 2012

United Friends Challenge #243: A Free Day

Sumax's Challenge
It’s Monday morning.  The sun is blazing out there and you don’t want to go and work in a stuffy office/shop/factory/whatever, so you bunk off for the day to have an adventure.  Tell us, in any format you wish, about your day off in the sunshine.

“No, I am definitely not going to work on Monday” was my first thought when I listened to the weather forecast. We had such a long winter, still snowing in April, and even the daffodils had to be covered up in the evening to stop them losing their petals by frostbite. I was still wearing my flannel pyjamas when May appeared. And now today, Sunday, the sun was shining, the birds had ventured out of their nests and decided to sing a few songs in the early morning. Even Whisky, my black and white cat, slept all night outside on the porch. He usually changes his sleeping place at the beginning of May and not the end.

Now that the weather has started to thaw out my frozen toes in the evening, I am expected to go to work and let all the non-workers reap the benefit. I decided “no way”. My body deserves a warm up somewhere in the sun. I had even bought a new binkini, did a crash diet so that it would fit me without spilling out over the edges and now was the time to get my alabaster white body looking like something from the front page of a Penthouse magazine (with more cover up of course).

I put my plan into action.

“Hello Jeff, its Marisa here.”

“Marisa, I was wondering where you were. I can hardly hear you, you sound so strange.”

“Yes Jeff, I must have caught a cold from somewhere and have almost lost my voice. The doctor said I should stay at home for a day. I have fever and was coughing all night.” And then I did a few coughs just to make it sound good.

“I understand Marisa. I think we can manage without you for a day. I hope you soon get well; such a shame in this marvellous weather and you have to stay indoors.”

“No problem, Jeff, I will managed. I just have to cure it out and hope to be back at work tomorrow.”

So that was that part of the problem solved. I packed my large towel in the bag, the one with the big picture of a Jimmy Choo sandal woven into it to make sure I did not just attract the riff raff at the pool and I was off. I thought I was but the telephone rang.

“Good morning madame. Am I speaking to Miss Crumb”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“Good, as I have an important survey to make in connection with illness insurance. Could you perhaps answer a few questions?”

“I really don’t have the time at the moment.”

“It won’t take long. Do you have a medical insurance.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Are you older than 40”

“I beg your pardon. No, I am not older than 40 and I just don’t have the time for these questions. Please excuse me but I must go.”

so I put the phone down. As if I had time to answer such stupid insulting questions: do I really sound older than 40. Or should I perhaps stop smoking?

“Now what, someone is ringing the door bell. .It’s the postman”

“Good morning Miss Crumb. Glad you are at home, thought you might be working. And you know I only ring twice – ha, ha, ha.”

How I hate that postman with his stupid jokes.

“Do you have something for me?”

“Not really, but for your neighbour. She is at work and I have this parcel. It is registered and I need a signature. I am sure you could sign for her as it seems you have the day off today and are at home.”

“I do not have the day off, I am no feeling so well, so give me the parcel.”

It was not really a parcel, but more a king-sized case. It had the writing from a washing machine manufacturer, and I had the feeling the machine was being delivered by post. I put it in the hall and signed. The postman left and I was about to close the door when a van pulled up outside on the street.

“Miss Crumb”, a man called dressed in one of those dark blue overalls, worn by state employed workers. “Must be my lucky day, I thought I would have to come back in the evening.”

“Do we know each other?” I asked

“We will, Miss Crumb. I am here to read your electric meter.”

So Mr. Blue overall and I squeezed past the king sized parcel in the hall and I opened the cupboard under the stairs where he got onto his knees to read the numbers on the electric box. Unfortunately the man had forgotten his glasses in his van, so squeezed past me and the parcel to fetch them. It seemed he was not sure exactly where they were and after searching for a quarter of an hour in the car, he found them.

“Sorry to keep you waiting Miss” he said, “but they must have fallen out of my pocket and landed underneath the seat.+

I said nothing, seeing the dream of a day’s sun bathing slowing going hazy in my mind’s distance.

Eventually he was finished. I wasted no time, took my bag with the swimming stuff, squeezed past the box in the hall and jumped into the car. I was off. The pool was  a ten minute drive from my house, but today it had been decided to repair the local road. It was full of potholes from the ice and snow we had. There was a traffic diversion adding a further thirty minutes to the journey.

Believe it or not I did arrive at the pool. The sun was still shining, it was directly above, as it was actually now midday. I began my search for a parking space outside the pool. It seemed that all non-workers, retired people and school children with their parents, had decided to make the most of the day with the same plans as mine. They had naturally all arrived by car, so as I seemed to be the last, I had to find my parking spot. I was lucky, although I had to walk half an hour from the car to the entrance of the pool.

At last my goal was achieved. I put my new bikini on, had a good look in the mirror of the changing cubicle to make sure nothing was hanging out or down and was pleased with the result. I was actually looking forward to a nice place in the sun on a sun bed, but there again I had to make do with what was still to be had. I found a corner on the grass and put my towel on it. Unfortunately the only free place was near the children’s pool. I really do not have to explain what that meant. Regular splashes of water as they decided to throw plastic buckets of water at each other, and loud happy children’s voices, splitting you ear drum.

I thought beggars cannot be choosers and closed my eyes trying to cut out the happy laughter and crying and screaming of children’s voices. I was just drifting into sleep when I heard a rumbling in the distance. I awoke to find the blue sky no longer visible, but covered with an unending layer of black. The first rain drop hit me on the nose, and the rest just drenched me completely as I made my way to the changing cabin. After my half hour marathon I saw my car again. I decided it was time to go home as fast as possible.

I put my foot down backed out of the parking lot, and in my hurry drove into a car that was passing by. No I am not going to explain that one. Just to say my little Italian made car was a complete wreck. The other car was one of those sturdy Swedish types, built to live forever, although the driver did find a scratch somewhere on the bumper. I always though bumpers were there to get scratches.

I finally arrived home to a meowing Whisky the cat who had decided it was time for supper.

The next day I arrived in the office.

“How are you feeling Marisa?” Jeff asked. “Have you found your voice again? I must say you really don’t look so well. You look quite tired. If you would prefer to stay at home today as well, I am sure it would be OK.”

“No, it’s all right Jeff. One day was enough to recover.”

Eventually they sent me home from the office, after I fell asleep at my desk in the afternoon.

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