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Open Features: Big Men Don't Flutter

...He didnít yell at all but he did release his grip on the ladder and allow himself to slowly peel off backwards - like a leaf detaching itself from a tree in the autumn winds. But fat men donít flutter. They plummet and Ted took to plummeting like gravity was a close friend....

John Cooper tells a story with a chuckle in it's tail.

John recently published a book of poems, Unreliable Judgements, some of them series, some rich in his very special brand of humour. The book can be purchased at http://www.poetissimus.com/page8.html

The trouble with my husband is that he is quite heavy - well, overweight in truth - but his feet are tiny. When he gets out of the bath he teeters, like a kelly. But he doesnít fall over. He just teeters.

So when he had to climb the ladder, I knew there would be problems. You see, if youíre going to climb a ladder, ascending - vertically - upwards - and you canít see the rungs beneath your feet for,what shall I say, your own corpulence, youíre never going to be sure if youíre making good progress.

When the loose slate came skittering down the roof and hit his head as it drew level with the gutter, I was very surprised he didnít yell because pantiles are quite heavy and it did slide the length of the roof from the ridge. But Ted is extremely stoic. Stoic as in insensitive to pain.

He didnít yell at all but he did release his grip on the ladder and allow himself to slowly peel off backwards - like a leaf detaching itself from a tree in the autumn winds. But fat men donít flutter. They plummet and Ted took to plummeting like gravity was a close friend. For a second, I thought he was going to decorate the patio with his body. But the great God D.I.Y. had other ideas.

Tedís fall was broken by the wheelie bin, full and ready to be collected. In fact it was so full that some of the rubbish was jammed between the lid and the bin top. The main thing preventing the lid closing properly must have been that carton of tile grout left over from the new kitchen floor. When Tedís 16 stones hit the bin, the wheelie bin lid was smashed shut,crushed,squashing the carton and catapulting a gob of grout like an Exocet, through the gap between the hedge and our house, into next doorís garden.

At that precise moment, a strange cry roused the neighbourhood. Not from Ted, who, being semi-conscious,was very quiet. No, it was a combined shriek and scream and something furry shot into the sky, spinning and squirting and, growing additional legs and tails. I have since deduced that Tedís impact upon the wheelie bin was synchronized with the decision by the cat from next door, to exit the house through the cat flap.

I brought Ted round with a long sit down in the kitchen and a good strong cup of sweet tea. But I have often wondered if they managed to pacify the cat or work out how some of its orifices came to be plugged with tile cement...

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