Puddling

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Ambrose Brown guided his blindfolded wife Muriel through their house and into the garden. Muriel had just returned from a three-month project that had her teaching street kids, so-called ‘graffiti artists’, how to put their developing talents to good use. Muriel was locally famous for her eponymous wall-paintings and wanted nothing more than to inspire those who had the undoubted underlying ability but not the means or connections to realise their full potential or to put their talents to good use. Yes, she was something of a do-gooder.

“What’s that noise I can hear?” she asked her husband.

“You’ll see in a second, my love,” Ambrose replied.

“Did you sort out our back garden, like you promised?”

“Be patient. You’ll see in a second.”

He walked her to the patio and had her sit in the swinging sofa.

“Ooh,” she said, “have we got people coming around?”

“No, darling, it’s just the two of us.”

“Oh, okay,” she said, hiding her disappointment, “can you take the blindfold off now? I want to see what you did whilst I was away.”

Not wanting her to be blinded by the sudden light, Ambrose covered his wife’s eyes with his hand and lifted the material that he had previously wrapped around her head. He slowly parted his fingers until Muriel had full vision then moved his hand away.

Muriel Brown rose to her feet, looked her husband in the eye and said, “Ambrose Brown, what the hell do you call that?”

Coyly and tremulously, for he was secretly afraid of his wife, described by some as a ‘formidable woman’, he said, “It’s a – a w-water feature, dear.”

“A water feature? A water feature? When you said you were going to design a rockery with flowing water, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a clear idea of what I didn’t expect.”

“And what did you not expect, my angel?”

“I didn’t expect a nearly-life-sized tribute to Niagara Falls, that’s what I didn’t expect. But it looks, and sounds, like that’s what I got.”

“But you said I should think big.”

“What’s your name?”

“My name is Ambrose, you know it is.”

“Yes. Ambrose. Not Lancelot. What’s the opposite of capability?”

“I don’t know – ineptitude?”

“Yes, I like that. I can see the sign now – landscaped by Ambrose Ineptitude Brown!”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 261 published on this site.

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