Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Mystery Vice

Yes folks, I really am talking about THAT sort of vice, rather than one of my many others.

Today I had to go into Dad's garage to do a meter reading. As I've mentioned before, the garage is a place that is immediately redolent of Dad, so it was the first time I've been in there for ages. As I took the meter reading, I noticed his overalls still hanging next to the meter, and I stood and looked at them. Then I thought to myself, 'I'll just take a little look at his tins' - the individual tins of nails, nuts etc that he kept on his workbench - a massive workbench that's the size of the one above, with a huge vice attached to it.

I turned around and SHOCK! The workbench was gone! Not there! I wandered over to the window (it was under the window), but STILL it didn't appear. And the vice was gone too. There was a smaller table still there, but no vice, no tins, no little cabinet with many drawers. All gone.

I went into Mum and said, 'what's happened to Dad's workbench?'


'Dad's workbench, the one with the vice. It's gone.'

'Oh. I dunno.'

And then we went off to the shops. I wasn't too worried at this point. My sister Mandy had sold Dad's car when she was over here last, and I sort of assumed she must have taken the workbench or moved it somewhere.

But no. When I told her, she was horrified, as her husband had wanted the workbench and vice, and she had wanted all the tins and the cabinet.

'Was the radio there?'

I knew which one she meant. 'No. The 1970s one was, but I'm pretty sure the 1950s one wasn't. Ionly noticed the one radio was there because THE SHELVES WERE EMPTY!' I'd only just realised - the shelves were EMPTY. They were usually crowded.

Now this may all sound like we were getting het up about nothing much, but the thing is, this is like losing part of our childhood. The rags Dad would use to clean our hands of paint were kept draped on the cabinet. His toolbox included stuff that belonged to GRANDAD even. All this stuff is stuff we've handled as kids, things that physically connect us to him and his dad.

There was only one explanation. Either Mum had given everything to the rag and bone man or some other nefarious transient (so that they would think what a nice woman she was), or it had all been stolen.

So Mandy phoned Mum's friends (a couple who take her out), and then phoned her next door neighbour. Nobody knew anything about it. But since the neighour knew nothing, the rag and bone man was an unlikely option - it's one of those roads full of curtain-twitchers (well-meaning curtain-twitchers, to be fair) where everyone sees what goes on!

The mystery remained, even though the garage contents were largely gone.


Mandy phoned me back. The friends had just phoned her. They'd gone over to Mum's to see, and THE WORKBENCH ETC WAS THERE!!!! Not only that, but the vice, the tins, the little cabinet, everything was there perfectly as normal.

The husband said he thought I'd maybe been confused, because the car wasn't in the garage so it looked empty. But excuse me, the only way you can get into the garage properly is when the car is out of the garage! I've spent my life in the garage without the car in it!

Plus, you know how it is when something isn't where you think it should be. You sort of stand there looking and staring, as if it will by magic reappear. Plus, if it HAD been there, I'd have just messed with the tins and then gone out again.

So what on EARTH is going on!!!!!

ANY possible explanations gratefully received.....

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