Wednesday, 27 November 2013

You Silly Goose!

I have to service the generator every 200 hours of running time.  In practice, I just do it every two weeks.  Besides an oil filter, two fuel filters and an air filter, I need eight litres of oil. 

It also means that every month, I have to dispose of sixteen litres of waste oil.  Here, most people just dig a hole and tip the waste oil into it.  After a few years of that you do not need to be an environmental scientist to appreciate what the ground looks like or how unproductive it has become.

Fortunately, I still have a use for it.  I soak the bottom few feet of the wood piles that support the new cottages I am building in it to stop them rotting and to keep the termites away.  I drain the oil from the generator into a bucket and then I carefully transfer it into a 200 litre drum.  This time, however, I was distracted so left the oil in the bucket.

I was sitting on the sofa watching the news when the kids ran in shouting excitedly that Goosie had 'painted' himself.  We have no paint here.  How the hell had Goosie managed to paint himself?

Place three children together with an easy going adult who hardly ever raises his voice and never offers corporal punishment and you have the ideal environment for budding pranksters and practical jokers.  Some of their pranks are really quite good.  I smoke SL cigarettes, a local brand.  They are white their entire length.  One day they carefully extracted all the cigarettes from a nearly full packet and replaced them the other way around.  An experienced smoker can remove a cigarette from the packet and light it without taking his eyes of whatever task he is engaged in.  I know I can.  It is highly unusual to have the kids sitting in a row, being perfectly still and well behaved, while watching me type.  Being a heavy smoker, however, they knew their patience would not be overly tested.  I finished the paragraph I was typing and then, as I was proof reading it I reached for my cigarettes.  They all stifled sniggers.

'What?' I asked turning to look at them as I placed the cigarette between my lips.

'Nothing, Daddy!' squealed Alex.  Mauro and Marta were squirming, their faces twisting as they tried hard not to laugh. Well something has obviously tickled them, I thought as I lit up and dragged in a lungful of the poisonous fumes produced by the burning filter.  As I hacked up my sphincter the kids shrieked with delight and rolled about in paroxysm of mirth.

'Very funny!,' I told them, but I meant it; it really was clever and I told them so while lighting up another cigarette.  A DOUBLE whammy!'  The kids howled, they couldn't believe their luck!

With that kind of track record, I wasn't just going to take their word that Goosie had somehow managed to paint himself without first considering what practical joke I might be walking into.  Ever more insistent, they persuaded me out into the garden.  Goosie had indeed painted himself.

Can Geese look sheepish?


For some inexplicable reason, Goosie had stuck his head into the bucket of waste oil.

One unusually well behaved oily goose

Nothing else for it but to get out the detergent and give him a good but gentle sponging followed by a bath in fresh water.

My God!  I am going bald!
Wash Day at Uncle Tom's Cabin

Normally, Goosie is, as our American cousins would say, an 'Ornery Critter'.  He must have known I was trying to help because he stood there between my legs and let me get on with it. For a goose whose favourite pastime is to hide under the house next to the steps and then burst out suddenly surprising the hell out of anyone descending before chasing the unfortunate individual across the garden, wings outstretched administering painful pecks on bare calves, he was very well behaved.

Afterwards I went to decant the oil into the drum.  As I got to the bucket, I realised that under the sun, the still surface of the oil made a surprisingly good mirror.  I resolved to redouble my efforts to find anyone round here with a couple of female geese for sale.  If poor old Goosie tried to mount his own reflection, clearly he is in desperate need of a leg over.


30 comments:

  1. kids are funny aren't they. like when they try and tell knock knock jokes like

    knock knock

    who's there

    dog

    dog who?

    and the wet themselves laughing and it isn't funny.

    Geese are better than dogs when guarding the house apparently....

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  2. Geese are brilliant guard dogs!

    My kids are essentially Angolan so understand that the subtleties of Portuguese are lost to me. So they resort to practical jokes. I brew a pot of tea every morning so they decided to drop Gindungo into it. Gindungo is arguably the hottest pepper in the world. I never noticed until it was too late. Their ages are five, seven and ten. God help the world when they grow up!

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  3. At least Goosie is oven-ready!

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    1. Oh that is so cruel! Maybe if I gave him a tray of molten butter, he would be self basting?

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  4. If you survive the toe, the kids should give you a few more laughs yet. Enjoy.

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    1. Toe is miles better! Clever practical jokes like that are a sign of real intelligence and the all important sense of humour they will need throughout their lives.

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  5. Hang about - you're not turning into the Angolan Earl Gray are you? Tenderly cleansing a stressed goose like a male nurse just back from night duty. Soon you'll be telling us you've imported a battered Berlingo filled with scotch egg wrappers! I hope this comment passes the "You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it" ruling.

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    1. Oh it easily passes! Coming from a rabid communist extremist, I thought it quite mild.

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    2. Couldn't agree more, Yorkshire Pudding. Wales doesn't know it yet but has been entered into competition with Angola.

      What, of course, one learns over time following Tom and his blog like a god forsaken goose is that he is desperately trying to hang onto his hard man image complete with landmine when, in truth, he is a truffle And a whiskey one at that (transports me back to Duesseldorf, Koenigsallee, fine confectioners). I don't have much of a sweet tooth but once a year 100 g whiskey truffles would barely last me to the next traffic lights.

      And, YP, there won't be any Scotch egg wrappers in Tom's Berlingo because it'll be a point of pride to him to make them himself - carefully decanted into a Tupperware box to do justice to his German credentials of Teutonic perfection.

      U

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    3. Koenigsalle in Duesseldorf, Ursula? Not Hinter dem Bahndamm?

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  6. Are you related to Gerald Durrell? After yesterday's story of a fox, today's of a goose, these are the makings of "My family and other animals...in Angola".

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    1. Now there's an idea. Maybe I should get a pet Hippo too?

      I loved 'My family and other animals' as a child.

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    2. Rumour has it that you loved them as a man too! Such offences can be arrestable as dozens of Catholic priests have discovered!

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    3. For God's sake, YP, that's a disgusting insinuation! And coming from a teacher too. I know you are a soft-in-the-head communist but for f***'s sake, I never touched any member of my family and as far as the animals were concerned it was just a vile rumour put about by those who were jealous of the fact that whenever I walked into the room all the dogs immediately sat down.

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    4. What about that night with the hamster?

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    5. Don't you dare take my Gerald Durrell mantle

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  7. He may have been trying for a leg over, or he may have thought his reflection was competition that needed to be squelched immediately.

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    1. I'll plonk a mirror in front of him and see what happens.

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  8. A neighbour recently gave me about 100 litres of sump oil which I shall also use for wood protection. Bloody Geese; we used to have a few but they terrified me.

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    1. I am the only one who can handle Goosie. Everyone else is terrified of him too!

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  9. If you can't find a female goose, you could always get a chicken or let goosie hump your leg. But maybe all he wanted was a bit of attention from Daddy.

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    1. That would be like me getting you a female baboon!

      If I do have to pick Goosie up, he is very affectionate, gently nibbling my ear or preening my hair. But then he gets frisky and when I put him down he does try to hump my foot. The trouble is he pinches my leg bloody painfully. If he didn't do that, I'd just let him get on with it.

      I had a bloody great Alsatian that liked to hump my leg. First time he tried I yelled at him to get off. He held on tight and just growled at me baring his teeth so I asked him to hurry up.

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  10. Oh silly Goosie... glad he enjoyed his bath. I had to wash & dry a poorly chicken once - she seemed to quite enjoy the experience & I couldn't stop laughing !

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    1. Well I am not sure he enjoyed it, I was just grateful he did not peck my eyeballs out.

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  11. It's the last para that does it...he was lucky I suspect. There's a joke about sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander there somewhere, but blow me if I can work it out...

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    1. The poor bugger has been without his kind for seven years. I need to find a couple of females for him so that he can donate year's worth of sauce to his ganders.

      I thought I would get in first with the sauce joke in case you thought of one and I had to blow you relieving you of your sauce.

      Shall we stop with the saucy jokes?

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  12. What with cleaning up goosey, and releasing Freddie the fox, it looks as though the chickens are next on the 'let them off' list.

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    1. Doubt it. Marcia kills them for lunch and I do so like Muamba da Galinha.

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  13. You ARE a big soft sausage
    I knew it

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    1. Oddly enough, Marcia calls me the same thing when we are in bed together.

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.