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Fast Fiction: Contraption

But when the friends arrived they patted the contraption in the field…

Richard Mallinson tells a tale concerning rural irritation.

'I was hoping that you'd try to understand,’ he said.

'I don't want to understand,' I said. 'All I want is for you to get that bloody contraption out of my field.'

'I keep trying to tell you,' he said, ‘I’ll need to get somebody to tow it away but I can't afford ... I'm trying, though -'

'Yes, you're trying all right.'


'Never mind . . . Why the hell did you bring it here, anyway?'

'Well, I just wanted you to see it... I thought you might be interested.'

'Interested? You must be ... Why did you drive it into the bloody field? Why couldn't you just have left it parked at the roadside - ?'

'Oh, no, I couldn't ave done that... it's not really a road vehicle, is it? It's made for the fields, really

'Well, not for this field it isn't,' I said. 'Anyway, why did it break down?'

'Ah! It just got stuck in the wet ground and then it sort of blew -'

'Oh never mind,' I said. 'I can't stand here talking all day. . . I have an article to write . .. Now listen - I'd like it off my land by tonight.'

Tonight? Why . . . what's so special about tonight?'

'I have some friends coming down from London and . . . look, why am I telling you this? It's nothing to do with you.'

'Will there be women?'

'Yes, of course there'll be women.'

'Oh, we don't see many women in these parts . . . not real women, anyhow.'

'What do you mean, not real women? I've seen some very fine women on the farms around here. . . Your wife, for instance. She's a -'

'Right, then,' he said quickly, 'I'll see what I can do.'

But it was still there when my friends arrived and they patted it and talked to it before coming in.


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