As usual we awoke on the morning of the village show, to torrential downpours and thunderstorms. As mum was putting the final touches to her cakes, we were forbidden access to the kitchen so she thrust a cereal bar in my hand and hissed “make yourself useful” as she brushed past me. Try mustering the enthusiasm for that when you’ve only had a stick of muesli for breakfast! Dad had been down at the allotment since dawn with the dynamic duo that is Sid & Ernie.
I soon discovered that “making myself useful” was actually another term for “humping and lumping” boxes into the car and transporting them to one of the marquees in the showground. My youngest niece is a tad accident prone or a bit of a Cack-handed Carrie as my old Grandma would have said; so in the interest of my mother’s sanity, was forbidden from carrying anything remotely fragile but was allowed to ride shotgun with me in the car.
Enroute to the showground I got a text from the Three Allotment Stooges asking me to call in at the shed on my way. As I pulled up my Dad and the dynamic duo were waiting by the gate with baskets and containers and before I could climb out, my Dad was loading them into the back of the car. Judging by the ruddy cheeks of the dynamic duo they had already been freely partaking in my Dad’s dandelion wine.
I reminded him to be careful as if he damaged my mother’s cakes in any way, he needed to be aware that down at the allotment no one could hear you scream. As he was making a pig’s ear of re-arranging all the boxes, Cack-handed Carrie jumped out to help him. Within minutes disaster struck and the bottom of one of the cake boxes collapsed emptying the yellow fondant iced contents onto the tarmac below. There was an audible gasp of horror from all of us as we knew the consequences for this misdemeanour would be severe. Trust me when I say that Hell hath no fury like a cake-maker wronged.
“We’re going to be for it now” my disconsolate Dad remarked
“No shit Sherlock, and anyway who’s the “we” kimosabe? You’re on your own Wreck It Ralph; I don’t want to live on Muesli Bars for the rest of my life”!
We scooped up the remnants of the yellow fondant iced cake back into the box whilst my Dad endeavoured to mould the fragments back into some shape; the result resembled something along the lines of a pile of pale lemon elephant dung. Ernie handed me a couple of my Dad’s dahlias and suggested that I cover the worst of the damage with them. I pointed out that emergency reconstructive surgery wouldn’t be able to conceal the mutilation.
As they slammed the boot of the car shut, they bade me farewell and shouted “break a leg” at me through the open window; which was exactly what my Dad was going to get when my mother caught up with him.