Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

…. and then the phone rang.


“ …. and then the phone rang”

You know, there are moments in my life when everything is trundling along how it should be, everything in its place, everyone carrying out their alotted role …. and then the phone rings ….


You need, really, to know the geography of the lower level of our house for this one …. imagine three rooms … on the right is one big room (utility/computers), on the left are two small rooms (bathroom and kitchen) … the phone is beside the computers.


So … hubby is in the kitchen making dinner.  My son Matthew and I are in the bathroom, washing hands ready for dinner.  Jack – our extraordinarily huge black Greyhound – is in the utility room, laying on the carpet by the computers.  The washing machine is busy working away in the utility room, all three computers (yes, we’ve gone one each) are switched on and humming away, hubby has got music on in the kitchen … all of which is fine, except the phone rang.

In what was probably less than ten seconds, all hell broke loose.  Matthew ran towards the phone (don’t ask me why) and fell over Jack … who jumped up and panicked, because he always thinks it’s his fault, bless him, scooted towards the stairs by the kitchen doorway, causing hubby to fall over him as hubby ran towards the phone from the kitchen.  Meanwhile, I am picking Matthew up off the floor where he’s fallen between the two computer chairs.  Hubby reaches the phone just as the washing machine starts its VERY NOISY spin cycle.

I manage to complete a very athletic (for me!) move and hit the “off” switch on the washing machine, because I just know that hubby will not be able to hear himself think with that going on.  Hubby, meanwhile, is muttering about “pan of chips in kitchen” as he answers the phone.  Jack has run upstairs, making enough noise for a herd of elephants, I’m on my way to rescue the “pan of chips”. Matthew is wailing about his poor knee and hubby is trying to talk to the phone company about their complete inability to issue a correct bill for the television/phone/internet service.  At this point I realise that – inexplicably – Matthew is waving a can of Mr Sheen furniture polish around, looking like he has every intent on using it (where did he get it from?  Surely he didn’t have time to find it, inbetween washing hands and falling over dog?).  In a somewhat delayed reaction, hubby hits what he thinks is the “off” switch on the washing machine, except of course he’s turned it back on.  As I pass, I swoop upon the can of Mr Sheen and wrest it from the grasp of indignant son, finally reaching the kitchen to discover that “pan of chips” is indeed as described … a frying pan with chips sizzling in hot oil. This is a complete nightmare for me – I just don’t do that, its too scary!  If anybody wants me to cook chips in our house, its an oven job!.  I realise that the chips are done, so turn off the gas and start fishing them out before they turn into something you could use to nail a fence together, when the washing machine starts spinning again!  Huh?? In confusion, knowing that I’d switched it off earlier, I dash out and switch it back off again – and dash back to the kitchen, where I throw everything that hubby had just taken out of the oven back into the oven again.


I think the phone company has got our house bugged and knew the very worst time to ring.  They had to.  That couldn’t all have been coincidence.  Could it?





January 9, 2009 - Posted by | animals, Cafe Literati, Entertainment, family, food, friends, fun, humor, Jenny's Stories, life, men, personal, random, Sound recording, women, writing | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great story, Jenny, I did enjoy it! These chains reactions are quite amazing, aren’t they? Sometimes it makes me think that our whole universe strikes a quite precarious balance… scary on one side, but so exciting on the other!!!
    The mathematicians have a name and a theory for it: The Chaos Theory!

    Comment by Miki | January 9, 2009

  2. Thanks! 🙂 Well there’s one thing that’s certain – the Chaos Theory rules around me! *smile*

    Comment by jennypaws | January 9, 2009

  3. Nice story Jenny, and of course it illustrates perfectly that we humans are just as daft as dogs when it comes to bell signals. Pavlov knew his stuff all right. I’m constantly amazed how Miki can calmy ignore a ringing phone if she doesn’t feel like answering it. But of course that’s the one thing we forget isn’t it? It’s not compulsory to answer the phone, just because we’re at home! I hope hubby put the chips on a hot wash.

    Comment by kevmoore | January 9, 2009

  4. I didn’t dare to ask you, so I asked Kevin: I didn’t know what or who “hubby” is!!!
    Funny abbreviation…
    And I am constantly amazed how many people are instantaneously reacting to the phone! I am the same with emails by the way. I always only read them when I am ready and not when they enter my mailbox…

    Comment by Miki | January 9, 2009

  5. Thanks for the nice words, Kev. 🙂 I think the thing is with me, that because I’ve worked as a Secretary and P.A. all my life, I’m now conditioned (just like Pavlov’s dog!) to answer the phone – and to answer it within three rings. You’re absolutely right, there really is no reason (now) to do so, but by the time I remember that I wasn’t going to rush to the phone, its too late – I’ve done it.

    Miki, “didn’t dare to ask you”?? Gosh, don’t ever worry about asking me anything! I’m not precious and understand the differences in language and that English isn’t your first language. You do amazingly well, when you consider that fact! I do tend to write conversationally, so you’ll no doubt find all sorts of colloquialisms turning up in my writing. So if anything else baffles you, just ask! *smile*

    Comment by jennypaws | January 9, 2009

  6. Yes indeed Jenny, “when the phone rings!”

    One never knows who is on the other end. Writers who have published their first novels back in the 40’s and 50’s got that phone call in the oddest hours of the night and were told by a publisher that they wanted to acquire and publish their books.

    I welcome you to Cafe Crem and wanted to tell you personally that you write very well with a unique style and voice that is mature beyond your years.


    Comment by Michael | January 9, 2009

  7. This story is hilarious! It reminds me of when my kids were small and OUR house was bedlam. Once I lost a chicken ( a packaged one from the supermarket) in our very small house and we never did find it….

    Comment by psychscribe | January 20, 2009

  8. Now THATS funny, psyche! Our guitarist once lost his banana. (don’t ask) He didn’t even realise it was missing til we commented on how bad his shirt smelled onstage one night- and he found it- black and mouldering- in the darkest recesses of his stage clothes bag. He’s a lot tidier – and sweeter smelling – now!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 20, 2009

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