Jermaine has two loves: cars and cats. He is married to Eunice that he rhymes with pumice. They are both in their mid fifties. He is tall, rangy, as he thinks of himself. She is round; he thinks of her as a wrecking ball. He is the head of Fine Art at the Art School. They are both wealthy in their own right. Jermaine is a dilettante for whom making art is not much more than a hobby, whereas Eunice has made a vocation out of baking cakes, making needlework samplers and growing roses – her hobby is to speak of her husband with utter contempt when she meets her be-hatted friends. He is only allowed one cat, Ruskin, named after the Victorian aesthete, to whom Jermaine thinks the cat bears some comparison. They sleep in separate bedrooms: Jermaine with Ruskin and Eunice with her handbag collection. They live in a large semi-detached three-storey house in an area of fading Victorian grandeur with a large rear garden, side drive and a wooden garage. She drives a 1969 green Austin Mini Countryman (with ash wood trim) that he thinks of as little more than a shoe box on wheels, aka, a piece of shit.
Eunice is in the kitchen icing a cake when Jermaine joins her.
Who’s this one for? he asks.
Charity auction for Missions to Seamen.
He laughs. Is that the missionary position?
For god’s sake, Jermaine, will you never grow up? Seamen with an a.
Just joshing …. I’ve got it.
Got what? Intelligence?
The Audi Super 90 left hand drive. I told you, remember?
Why would I?
Because the Audi will have to live in the garage.
That’s where I keep my mini.
Your mini will have to live on the road.
Would you like to come for a spin in the Audi?
I’m icing a cake.
Jermaine finds the keys to the mini in the hall, goes to the garage and reverses the car out onto the road and parks it behind his new Audi. Returning inside he puts the car keys back on their hook.
He smiles as he drives away – it’s a wonderful car and he’s fallen fully in love once again with the smell, the speed and the ride.
Returning to The Avenue the mini is no longer on the road outside their house; entering the drive he sees it parked in the garage. At the entrance to the garage he puts the Audi into first, ups the revs, and shouts, Geronimo! He continues forward until the mini pushes out through the rear wall of the garage and drops four feet into the sunken rose garden.
Turning off the engine, he realises that he can’t open the driver’s door or the passenger door – he is trapped. As he reverses out of the garage it collapses.
Oh shit! he groans.
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