Hard Times

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #97, where she prompts with this image:.

He banged the door shut, then climbed into the cab. “Where to next?”, said Jack. His colleague picked up a clipboard, and tutted. “D’oh. They haven’t filled it in properly. It just says ‘Trumpton’ here”.

“Trumpton? Here’ let’s have a look.” Jack motioned for the clipboard. “Hmmm…”, he continued, “There’s a phone number here. Tell you what, let’s drive to Trumpton and give them a bell to find out exactly where they are.” He started the engine. He didn’t mind, really. It was a nice day, and he liked driving around the county. Life could be a lot worse than delivering for Cuthbert’s Furniture.

They wound their way along country lanes, through the picturesque Camberwick Green, with its windmill, and through Chigley. Past the station, where they saw the train pulling out. Oh, yes, it could be worse.

They arrived at Trumpton, parked up by the fire station, and Jack dialled the number. After an inordinate amount of time – it felt like they’d had to walk through the whole house to get to the phone – a man answered. “Trumpton?”, he said. He was momentarily confused. Of course, this was Trumpton, they had just driven here!

With all the tact he could muster, Jack responded. “Cuthbert’s Furniture here, sir. We have a delivery and were asked to call this number.”

“Right-ho. Bring it round. Front entrance. I’ll come down and meet you.”

Round, where? The man obviously assumed that Jack knew. But he couldn’t hide his ignorance any longer.

“Sorry, sir, who am I speaking to? And, we don’t have an address here, so I was hoping you could tell us where to deliver it?”

“Trumpton.” Then, realising that the conversation might last some time, he added “I’m Lord Trumpton. You’re delivering to me at Trumpton Manor. Do you know it?”

At last, the penny dropped. Jack had, after all, lived in the area his whole life. He had often driven past the manor and imagined the splendours that lay inside. And five minutes later, they were there, right outside a very grand but unkempt entrance on a gravel drive, overgrown with weeds. They were met by an elderly man, looking similarly unkempt. “Crikey, this is bound to be some enormous leather suite that’s a bugger to lift”, thought Jack. His thoughts were interrupted.

“I’m Trumpton”, said the man. “We’ve cleared some space just inside for you, so you can bring it straight in.”

“Very well, sir. We’ll have it in in a jiffy.” Trying to appear efficient, he continued: “come on Fred, look likely.”

Opening the door to the truck, Jack then saw the suite for the first time. It was the gaudiest piece of green Ikea junk that he could have imagined…


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