There have been two occasions in my life when I have been stuck in an awkward place through no fault of my own. The first time was quite funny, the second time not so much, although as I look back I see the funny side now, and perhaps it was an omen of things to come.
In the late seventies I worked as a sales assistant in a hardware store, we sold everything from nuts and bolts, to doors, to tiles, to outdoor settings, everything in fact that one would expect to find in a hardware store. It was one particular sale of an outdoor setting that brought me unstuck.
As you can imagine we had all varieties of outdoor settings assembled and on display, but they were actually sold in kit form, what we would refer to today as flat packs. Thee flat packs were stored at the very top of our storage racks in the warehouse, and could only be accessed via a forklift, and as I had sold the setting it was my job to be lifted up on the forklift to manouvre the outdoor setting onto the forklift, no such thing as pallets in those days.
Back in the seventies forklifts were powered by gas bottles, and you guessed it, just as I got to the top and was about to be moved towards the racking the forklift ran out of gas, and there I sat whilst someone went to the supplier and bought another one. That’s right, there was no spare on site. Whatever would OH&S say about that today.
The second occasion happened to be on my wedding day, as the groom I had little to do other than get myself ready so I was despatched to pick up the flowers. On the drive back I decided that my car needed a wash, after all I was the bridegroom and couldn’t turn up in a dirty car. The year was 1980 and car washes were not quite as modern as they are today.
Anyway I pulled up, put my money in the slot and entered the car wash. As I in my car contemplating my upcoming nuptials it suddenly dawned on me that I had been sitting there rather a long time, but I had no choice but to sit out. I sat there, and I sat there, and then I realised the car wash had stalled and I was stuck, water splashing, brushes twirling.
I started to honk my horn but the car wash was some distance from the petrol station shop and the attendant could not hear me. Someone walked by so I honked some more and waved my arms around but to no avail, they didn’t even notice. Eventually a passerby did notice, they went into the attendant and a few minutes later, in my very, very clean car, I was on my way to deliver the flowers, and we all know how that ended.