In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Comedy of Errors (and bonus assignment!).”
I woke up. First mistake. Then I got up. That was the second. I should have stayed in bed.
We ran a small boat business, my husband and I, and he was away. There were things to be done, people to meet, and my neck ached. It ached badly. I had recently strode down an old wooden jetty searching for a boat, gazing into the distance. I failed to notice a missing plank.
I marched resolutely down the hole. The result was a whiplash injury.
But today I must deliver a message to that same old boatyard. It was a long time ago, and ‘elf-n-safety was different then. Missing altogether. I got into our small black van; windowless except for one at the back, and set off. I eventually drove down the alleyway at the back of the yard, climbed the steps to the office, delivered the note, yarned for a while, and left.
I failed to notice that in my absence a petrol tanker had arrived. It was delivering fuel. The armoured pipe went down a hatch in the ground to underground tanks. They were under the canal path that ran along the back of the sheds.
I walked round the tanker to my parked van. I started the engine, peered painfully round, and reversed. There was a bump and a lurch. Why? My van was at an alarming angle. I got out to investigate and went round the back. I was met with what looked like the Trafalgar Square fountains, but smelling of petrol. I had reversed into the open hatch, splitting the huge fuel pipe.
As I said. I should have stayed in bed.
A man came running towards me – the tanker driver.
‘Turn your engine off, lady!
‘Just… turn… it… off!’
I wanted to run away, but I went gingerly back to the van and complied. By now the alarm had been raised and I could hear the sirens arriving. I had brought the whole of …….. (I still won’t tell you where,) to a halt. I waited.
The police arrived. Nobody could turn on their engines for fear of fire. The drivers were stuck. I stood on my own, with my bright red handbag. Another mistake, believe me. I could hear the whispers.It was ‘er over there with the red bag!
A policeman approached me. I was looking as near aloof as I could.
‘Did you commit this heinous crime, then? ‘ He asked.
‘Afraid so.’ I said.
‘A thought for you,’ he said. ‘There were no barricades round the hole. If you had been blown sky high, your loved ones would be very rich.’
A happy thought.
I conveyed that message to the tanker driver. He reckoned to have asked repeatedly for barricades that were never provided.
My back hurt now!
I never heard another word about the incident, and I didn’t go looking for trouble.
That was probably another mistake.