Underwear and Wellies

Sunday morning and I stagger out of bed and down to the kitchen to make breakfast. Looking out of the window I see the shed door is hanging open. That’s strange, I think, I haven’t been in there for months. I know this because the Christmas tree and Christmas tree stand are still propped against the back door. The Christmas tree stand lives in the shed but is currently sitting upside down enjoying a new life as a water feature overbrimming with collected raindrops.

I put down the kettle, put on a pair of wellies and gingerly make my way down to the end of the garden in my underwear. This is a rare treat for the neighbours. I approach the shed with mounting excitement at the prospect of finding it empty.

Alas, upon inspection, I find nothing has been taken. The shed is still full of rubble and the broken remnants of the rotting decking I tore up after putting my foot through it some years past. Damn. I am going to have to clear this all out and take it to the tip one day. Not today. Today I am standing outside in my underwear and wellies on a damp February Sunday morning.

I hear there’s been a break in and nothing of value has been taken?

The thieves are not expert safe crackers. They have simply pulled the rotten frame from the door leaving the lock intact. Amongst the wreckage of broken planks are three locked bikes, the plastic remains of a child’s slide, various parts of a sandpit and a semi-functioning push along mower. It’s a regular treasure trove in there. Howard Carter himself would have gasped in awe at the riches these would-be thieves have turned their noses up at. Why, with a positive attitude, some expensive tools, time and effort applied to fixing them and a modicum of spit and polish they could have put these objects into a fit state to be sold.

“Yes, I see it. Why it looks like a secondhand bike bought roughly a decade ago with temperamental brakes and, my word, those tyres could certainly do with some air.”

I am not sure what they expected to find in a neglected shed with a single rusty lock at the end of a suburban garden. A vintage Buggati, a prized collection of teapots or a semi-derelict death trap full of garbage. Boy, did they hit the jackpot. Seeing the challenge before them they weighed the risks of being crushed beneath falling planks of wood or stepping with their full weight on a rusty nail and decided there were easier pickings elsewhere.

After breakfast and fully dressed I remove the bikes and apply my pathetic practical skills to patching up the damage. I rummage through a drawer full of mismatched screws and nails. I find a hammer and two screwdrivers. One regular screwdriver and one of those with a cross-shaped head. I fix enough of the door frame to reattach the lock. I barricade the inside of the door with sections of a child’s wardrobe. After three hours of intensive graft, swearing and personal injury, the shed door is back in place. It wouldn’t stop a determined five year old from breaking in but hopefully the word has gone out into the criminal community that nothing of value is kept inside.

I contemplate putting up a sign that says No Tools Kept in this Shed. Only Crap. It is a statement of fact but I worry thieves will suspect I’m bluffing and think it’s where I store my vintage Bugatti. Afterall they are a superstitious and cowardly lot.

When I’m not mashing my thumbs into a pulp with a hammer I am creating books like Kerry and the Knight of the Forest and The Book Tour. There is no prospect of my getting work as a carpenter so please consider supporting my store/digital comics/patreon or leaving a positive review online.

Let’s be careful out there,


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