Combustion engine

Every so often, Carolyn sends me an incomprehensible text message. And she's not even one of those tw@s who use stupid abbreviations; Carolyn spells and punctuates impeccably. Her latest effort went as follows (I have replaced certain numbers with x's for privacy reasons):

None available round here. xxx/xxxx, xxx/xxxx, xxx/xxxx, xxx/xxxx, xxx/xxxx. Could you check in your area?

I phoned her back straight away. She burst out laughing when she heard who it was: "I take it you got my text message, then," she said.

It turned out Carolyn wanted me to pick up some stuff for her at Argos. "It's an absolute bargain," she explained. "Don't you think a combustion engine will make a great Christmas present for Aran? Well, for the Christmas after next, maybe?"

I suppose any kid who asked for a water butt for his birthday will be delighted with a combustion engine for Christmas. Even if he does have to wait for over a year.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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