Friday, December 21, 2007
Anyway, people seemed to like the twinkly effect of the candles and lighting up trees became the only way to look at a tree at Christmas time. This led to some fantastic tree fires which people were not so keen on, especially at Christmas. When electricity was discovered, fairy lights were invented. By 1923 the White House in America had its first outdoor tree with electric lights. All the poor people carried on having flaming trees for some time to come.
In America after one tragic christmas tree fire too many, somebody called Albert Sadacca got the bright idea of making safety lights for christmas trees. These did not catch fire but interestingly took afew years to catch on.
This year we are having our own real life baby-child in a manger bed. I have not seen any shepherds bringing mangy sheep to our door or three kings bearing gifts or even bright angels descending upon us but Mum and Dad have gone to the hospital, Grandpa Jack has lit up his stinky pipe and Mrs Next-Door has still not discovered the new and exciting underground door into her hall. All is well.
Friday, December 14, 2007
So, the mega-legus eating monsters pile through the hole. Dexter and me tumble backwards and I think that the creatures will fall on us and eat us right away. Somewhere, Mrs Next-Door is screeching like mad and will soon be another victim.
'It's drooling on me!' cries Dexter from beneath brown and matted fur.
'Try not to swallow! It is most likely poisonous!' I advise, helpfully.
Already the hot air down here is reeking of old meat and nasty wet stuff. I can hardly breath underneath it all. Four thousand claws scratch at my face.
'Sorry, Dexter!' I shout. 'At least we will not have to put up with the new baby-child!'
'It's licking me!' cries Dexter. 'Aghhhhhhhh!'
'WHAT ARE YOU BOYS DOING DOWN THERE???!!!' Mrs Next-Door bellows into the understairs void. She must have opened the door. Bad move.
There is a fantastic clawing and growling and scrabbling and the beasts fling themselves out of the under-the-stairs-cupboard and onto her throat. Probably. The door slams shut. There is silence whilst they devour their prey and then quite a lot of barking.
'Come along, boys!' chirrups Mrs Next-Door, who must still be alive. 'I don't know how you got into this house but now it's time for a bath!'
We crawl up to the hall and peek the door open. There are muddy paw-prints all over the hall floor, lots of jackhammer scratches on the parquet, a small hill of rubble by the front door and a mountain of mud that Dexter was supposed to be dealing with. I hear the car door slam outside.
'Right,' says Dexter, 'I think I'll be off now, you can keep the jack-hammer for a bit.'
And he runs out of the back door.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
So, we are busy under the stairs jack-hammering out the new bedroom. The hole is now impessively deep and Dexter and I are waist deep when we find the dinosaur bone.
'I think we are on to something here,' I say. I rub the dirt off- what is most likely- a bit of its leg.
'Here's another one,' says Dexter, hauling the other leg bit out of the soil.
We study the two legs.
'Do you think there's any more of it?' I whisper. 'I mean maybe we can get it named after us, like Wilfasaurus Dex.'
'Dextersaurus Wilf,' says Dexter.
'No, because that does not sound right and it is my house,' I point out. So we have a bit of a scuffle and I fall back onto yet another bone. 'It must be an arm,' I say, even though it looks like the other legs.
And Dexter gets quite excited and starts jammering the jack all over the place and the hole gets deeper much quicker. 'There's more!' he shouts and pulls out loads of bones. 'This dinosaur has alot of legs!' he says. 'The Mega-Legus!'
I crawl along into the massive tunnel to look for more dinosaur evidence and that is when I hear the noise; a sort of shuffling and growling, getting closer.
'There's something else down here,' I whisper. Dexter crawls into the tunnel. 'Listen.'
We put our ears to the wall of mud.
A hideous claw reaches through the tumbling dirt. There is some screaming, mostly from Dexter. We scrabble back too late. A pair of open jaws with long fangs clamped down over a Mega-Legus bone, shoves its way through the hole.
'There's masses of them!' screeches Dexter, 'it's an invasion!'
'WILFRED?!' calls a voice from above. 'WILFRED!' It's Mrs Next-Door.
'Get out of here!' I shout. 'Save yourself!'
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The problem was that I just happened to mention, in passing, that I was mining myself a nice new bedroom and suddenly EVERYONE wants to do it. I tried to pretend that I was only talking about a film I had seen but Dexter was not having any of it. He said, 'my Dad, Dave, is a builder and has loads of useful tools up his sleeve and I can borrow some without him knowing.' You might think this would be useful.
That Saturday, Dad is helping Mum into a coat-tent so they can go and for a hospital appointment.
'Mrs Next-door is keeping an eye on you, Wilfred,' says Dad. 'And she will be round soon, so get any ideas.'
'What sort of ideas?' I ask, casually.
Dad glares at me but before he can begin on a long and boring list of banned activities, the doorbell boings.
'Hello, Dexter,' says Mum. 'What have you got there?'
Dexter heaves a giant scraper-thing into the hallway.
'It's a jack-hammer,' he says out loud.
Dad's eyebrows are working overtime. 'Why do you have a jack-hammer in my hallway?' he asks. I try and give Dexter the shut up secret signal. 'Stop fidgetting, Wilfred!'
'Because I am helping Wilf dig out a new bedroom.'
Mum laughs and then after a pause Dad joins in.
'Oh, that's alright then!' She laughs some more and it is starting to get a bit disturbing, so Dad heaves her out of the door and looks back with an eyebrow glare.
'Remember! No ideas!'
When I have punched Dexter and we have eaten some biscuits, we get to work. A jack-hammer is an ace tool. It jumps up and down really hard on any surface and goes actually deeper than you think. We had to sort of start it in the hall and it bounced around on the parquet for a while before we could catch it. Then we took it under the stairs and really got to work.
And it would have been fine, had Mrs Next-Door and her small dogs not turned up. It really would.