Tagged: challenge

Every second counts

“What are you doing there, Dear?”

“You said if I got lost I should stand somewhere and wait for you, but I couldn’t remember where you said so I stood here.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Between fifty-three and fifty-three and a half minutes.”


“Can’t say.”

“Why not?”

“You broke my concentration.”

“What were you concentrating on?”


“Counting what?”



“To know how long I’ve been here because I knew you’d ask.”

“So you’ve been counting the seconds for… let me see…”

“If I’d just counted the seconds it would be between three thousand, one hundred and eighty and three thousand two hundred and ten.”

“If you’d just counted the seconds.”

“Yes, if I’d just counted the seconds.”

“But you didn’t.”


“Why not?”

“Because I can’t guarantee to maintain accuracy for that long.”

“So what did you do?”

“I looked at my watch every thirty seconds and counted to thirty in between.”

“And that’s how you know you’d been here for between fifty-three and fifty-three and a half minutes?”

“Yes. I had reached fifty-three minutes and seventeen seconds when you spoke to me.”

“Wasn’t that rather boring? Wouldn’t you have enjoyed looking at all this beauty and all these people?”

“Maybe, maybe not. I’ll never know because I had to keep track of how long I’d been here because I knew you’d ask me.”

“But you didn’t remember where I’d told you to wait if you got lost?”

“No. So I came here.”

“I said the main entrance, but never mind. What made you choose this place?”

“Isn’t it obvious? The bright background contrasts with my sweatshirt and jeans, making it easy to spot me. Additionally, the patterns that the visitors’ movements follow mean there will always be a large space in front of me, so it would be even easier for you. At the same time, the female tourists keep well away from me, because that’s what women do.”

“So you’ve been standing there like that for almost an hour, just counting the passage of time?”


“And you weren’t bored?”

“Not at all. I enjoy counting in small sets and I get a lot of pleasure from observing the passage of time.”

“One final question.”


“Why are you holding your hat like that?”

“I told you. I get a lot of pleasure from observing the passage of time.”

I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 183, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.

Jingly bells

“You know, Jimmy, I can’t look at that tree without thinking of my favourite TV programme from when we were young.”

“When we were young? How long ago was that then, Eth?”

“Ooh, I don’t know. A very long time ago. Back in the days when we were bringing up the children.”

“Don’t I always tell you, Eth? You shouldn’t have eaten them.”

“Yes, you do, Jimmy. And I always laugh, don’t I?”

“That’s what I love about you, Eth. Always have. You know my jokes aren’t funny, but you laugh at them anyway.”

“That’s because I love you, you daft old fool, and I know it makes you happy. That’s why I do it.”

“Anyway, what’s this television programme?”

“You know – the one with whatsisname… Calloway in it.”

“Cab Calloway? Him as did Minnie the Moocha? That’d be the Blues Brothers, I’ll be bound, except that was a film, not a telly programme.”

“No, not him. Ooh. I know. Butch Cassidy.”

“That’ wasn’t a programme, either, Eth. That was a film, too. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Coupla bloody eejits riding around on bikes singing about raindrops. Bit soft, if you ask me.”

“No, not that, either. There was a bunch of them. A whole family.”

“I know. Brady Bunch. Goodnight, Elllie-May, goodnight Bo.”

“You silly old bugger, Jimmy. That’s a bit of The Waltons, a bit of The Beverley Hillbillies and a bit of Dukes of Hazzard.”

“Well, you know what I mean.”

“Shall I tell you the saddest thing, my love?”

“What’s that?”

“The saddest thing is that I think I do know what you mean. Ooh, I remembered. He was a singer – pretty boy, as I recall.”

“But you can’t remember what he was called.”

“That’s just it. I do. David Cassidy. That was his name. Yes, David Cassidy. Hee-hee, I remembered. Now who’s a daft old duffer, eh?”

“I remember him, too. Didn’t he marry that Kylie – the young motor mechanic?”

“No, that was Jason Donovan on Neighbours – that Aussie show.”

“Still going on, that one.”

“Are they still in it?”


“Jason and Kylie, of course.”

“Not for years. I accidentally saw it once and didn’t recognise anybody.”

“When did you see it?”

“Most days.”

“So you’re watching it regular, like?”

“I call it my guilty pleasure.”

“Is it any better than it was?”

“Hard to say.”


“I don’t follow the story. I only watch it for—”

“You don’t have to tell me, James Birthwaite. I know you too well. You only watch it for the pretty girls. That’s your guilty pleasure, isn’t it?”

“Stop trying to confuse me by changing the subject. What were we talking about before you got me all worked up?”

“Ermm. Let me think…”

“I got it! You were saying that tree reminds you of a TV show.”

“Oh yes.”

“Which one? Have you remembered?”

“Yes, I have. It’s The Partridge Family.”

“How on Earth can that remind you of The Partridge Family?”

“Duh. Pear tree?”


“Partridge in a pear tree, innit?”

I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 182, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.

Neither up nor down.

“Hello, Jane. Fancy meeting you here. How are you?”

“George! It’s so good to see you. I’m fine, thanks. Just going up to have a look at the caves.”




“Yes, obviously. I haven’t been up there yet and you’re on the way down.”


“You said ‘beat you’ and I said obviously.”

“I said ‘Batu’, Jane. It’s the name of the caves.”

“I told Jason it was a false economy, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. What was a false economy?”

“Well. I was talking with the nice man who does the hearing aids at the optician’s—”

“Opticians do hearing aids?”

“This one does. Didn’t you know that?”

“I’ve seen the TV adverts, but I stopped believing them ages ago.”

“Well, they do. As I was saying, I was talking to the man—”

“At the optician’s—”

“At the optician’s, and he told me I needed hearing support.”


“Not funny, George. So he ran some tests and gave me a prescription and a quote for supply and fitting of digital hearing aids.”

“Is this story going anywhere?”

“It will be if you’ll stop interrupting. So I took the paperwork back to Jason and he, well, I don’t need to tell you what Jason’s like, do I?”

“No, but I rather suspect you’re going to anyway.”

“As you know, Jason has always been an inveterate internet shopper. As soon as it started to be available, he was hooked, and since then he has resented paying shop prices for anything.”

“I am familiar with your husband’s many proclivities.”

“Ooh. Don’t get me started on that.”

“On what?”

“His profanities.”

“I didn’t say profanities, I said… oh, never mind. Go on with your story.”

“So he goes on eBay and… guess what?”

“He found some cheaper?”

“I should say. The optician’s quote was for good quality, mid-range aids at £895 a pair”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“That’s what Jason said.”

“And eBay?”

“Less than a tenth of that. And free shipping.”


“No, plastic.”

“Are they from the country China, not are they made of the stuff.”

“Oh, yeah, China. They took about three weeks to arrive, whereas the optician’s ones would have been next day, but a saving of more than eight hundred quid’s not to be sneezed at.”


“Put it this way, George. Now you’re close, speaking clearly, and I can see your lips move, they’re fine.”


“Not good.”

“Not good as in…?”

“Not good as in I sometimes think I may be better off without them.”

“Take them out, and we’ll see.”

“Okay… they’re out.”

“Can you see my lips moving okay?”


“How many steps do they say there are here?”

“Have you?”

“What did I say?”

“You said, ‘I been stopped this through our hair’. Don’t know what that means, but I’m sure you’ll explain it to me.”

“Hearing aids back in, Jane.”




“I said – ‘how many steps do they say there are here?’”

“Ah. Got it wrong didn’t I? Perhaps they do help a bit. Two hundred and seventy-two, by the way.”

“You’d better push on then. You’re less than a third of the way up so far.”

“Fancy coming up with me?”

“Hmm. How can I best put this? No.”

“Why not?”

“Already been up there and seen it all.”

“Wouldn’t you like the company? Save me being all on my own.”

“Ordinarily, I’d jump at it, Jane, but Mary and the girls are waiting for me at the bottom. I’ve left them too long as it is.”

“When will I see you again, George?”

“We’re going to have lunch in the restaurant at the bottom. We’ll probably still be there when you get back down.”

“Will you wait for me? I don’t really like travelling alone.”

“Where is Jason? Why didn’t he come?”

“Oh, didn’t I tell you? He died a fortnight ago. I wouldn’t have come myself, only Jason didn’t think travel insurance was worth the money, so we didn’t get any. I couldn’t get a refund, and I knew that if I didn’t come, after it had been paid for, he would have been livid.”

“Oh my God. I don’t know what to say. Poor Jane. Of course we’ll wait for you.”

“Thanks, George. It’ll be nice to see Mary and the girls, too.”

I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 181, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.