The Fabergé egg…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s hippopotamus is the one pondering about the odd cluster of ‘P’s and vowels in the middle of his name.

‘Did you read that interesting article in yesterday’s Daily Stuffed?’
‘Which one?’
‘Do you get the Daily Stuffed?’
‘You’ll have missed it then.’
‘What was it about?’
‘The increase in daftness.’
‘Oh? In Britain?’
‘No, the world.’
‘Do you look at the BBC’s Smug Week programme on your television set?’
‘On my television set?… I know of it, but I have never watched it in earnest.’
“In earnest?” Alright… So, Mr… er… So, tell me, why are you applying for this position?’
‘Oh, I didn’t know it was a position, it didn’t say that in the paper.’
‘Which paper was that?’
‘The Evening Cretin. I thought that it was just a job, rather than a...’
‘No, it is a position Mr… Everyone knows that holding a position is always much better than just having a job, everyone knows that…’
‘Oh right… Do you hold a position?’
‘Of course I do, look at me. I’m sitting here and you are…’
‘Sitting here as well.’
‘Yes, yes, but I am interviewing you, aren’t I?’
‘Excuse me, but don’t you mean, am I not?’
‘Oh, quite right… Are you sure you’re not applying for a position?’
‘I’m sure, really I’d just like a job.’
‘I see… Do you subscribe to the Black Skull Gazette?’
‘I don’t think so.’
‘You don’t think so? Don’t you know? How about the East Anglia Plywood Newsletter?’
Butterscotch Dove Weekly?’
‘Only occasionally – where is all this leading?’
‘We do like to assess prospective applicants by the sort of periodicals that they…’
‘Is that a Fabergé egg on your desk?’
‘No… and I’m asking the questions here, you are here to answer.’
‘On my own volition…’
‘Your own volition? I could offer you a position, just on the strength of your saying that!’
‘How about a hundred K a year?’
‘It was a crossword clue – I had to look it up in the dictionary.’
‘What was? Volition?’
‘Which crossword was it? The Sunday Sneeze?’
‘No, the one in the back of the Plywood Newsletter.’
‘Aha! You said that you didn’t read the PN!’
‘What do you mean “Aha!”? – Someone left a ripped out back page in the haberdasher’s, I did it there whilst waiting for my zip.’
‘So, apparently, they have a dictionary in the haberdasher’s?… Aha!…’
‘No, I always carry a Snapshaw’s Mini pocket one.’
‘You seem to be very well equipped with answers today Mr…’
‘A hundred K you say… Would I get my own desk?’
‘I should think so.’
‘Don’t you know?’
‘Well yes, of course I…’
‘What would the wood be?’
‘Would the wood be?’
‘Yes, not would-be plywood though… Eh? Eh?…’
‘Ho ho ho… I see that you’d be very easy to get along with Mr…’
‘By the way, what is your name? You don’t seem to have one of those name nice plaques on your desk – if you don’t mind my asking?’
‘Oh, “mind my asking” – you are definitely ‘position’ material. My name is Glove, Mr Glove, but we are free and easy in the office so everyone calls me Marigold.’
‘About my desk though – could it be an ebony one well rubbed with carnauba wax?’
‘You do drive a hard bargain Tommy.’
‘Tommy?… Listen carefully Marigold, my name is not Tommy, it’s Bob – there was a Tommy in the waiting room, a chunky bald chap, said he was interested in hardwood office equipment and waxes, he was reading a tattered copy of Frog Monthly.’
‘Not Tommy! And hey! Marigold indeed! It’s Mr Glove to you! You haven’t assumed the position yet you rascal! Damn it!… All is clear now! You waltz in here, in the guise of a Tommy, feigning a knowledge of journals and periodicals, cleverly bluffing your way, then admiring my Fabergé bloody egg and… and… everything!…’
‘I could say, at this point, Marigold, that I am actually down from head office for the day, and all this has been a test of your interviewing skills.’
‘But I won’t… Come on let’s talk more about desks… By the way, I do like the way you have your hair…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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37 Responses to The Fabergé egg…

  1. Good lord, I had to read that through a few times before I felt sure of it….and even now, I’m still making sense of it I think. 🙂 Now Faberge eggs…..that was my very first job way back in the day. It was one of those YTS schemes they had in the late 80’s, and I had to sit making those eggs out on a farm in the middle of nowhere, for the “rich posh folk” in the big cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. I hadn’t visited either of those cities yet, and had glorious visions of very snooty women in pearls buying them to decorate their telephone tables. (for some bizarre reason, I imagined all posh people had proper telephone tables, instead of a phone stuck to the wall, like everyone I knew did!)

    • Dave Whatt says:

      So, you think that you made sense of my piece? Gosh, that’s more than I could do!
      Making F. eggs for posh people – what an interesting life you’ve had dear Scribbler! I can’t imagine how you did them – Gold? Rubies? Diamonds?… Were they real chicken’s eggs? – I am ignorant of such things.

      • Sadly not the real Faberge, no – a variation thereof. I used Goose eggs, and had to blow them before cleaning and gently carving them in half. Then silk or velvet would be glued inside the shell, with various diamante, beads, and wire all wrapped around the edge and outside. They did look rather pretty after it was finished. We had to do all the packaging too, luxury tissue paper, ribbon, and sturdy boxes. Gosh I wish I’d kept one or two now!

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Gosh dear Scribbler – that is most interesting! Velvet lined goose eggs eh?…

      • Yes it was an interesting job indeed. I just wished I had had more appreciation for it back then! I could have been a Faberge producer by now, haha!

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Dear Scribbler….I think Dave is on holiday….telephone tables…I never had one. My grandmother had a maple telephone table with a big heavy black rotary dial phone sitting on it – and a place for a “telephone book” just underneath. At the time it was a big step up to have the wall model, and later the slim line Princess…but I always favored the big black rotary style (with a party line)! If you were angry (with the person on the line) you could throw that telephone as hard as you could against a wall and it would not break (although its ringer would make a strange sound!) And, it always worked – always.

  3. Yes! The large heavy tables are exactly how I imagined them! I take it you are speaking from experience with the phone throwing then? 🙂 I didn’t throw phones really, but I enjoyed listening into the party lines, when I was very young – if its the same thing I imagine you are talking about. Its when several conversations happened on the same line that you were trying to dial out from? I now have one of these retro phones only in lime green. A throwback to the phones I recall from childhood with the shrill ringing trill. Doesn’t get used much, mind you – but its nice on my white telephone table! 😀

  4. Jheron Bash says:

    Well, another nice little story told entirely in dialogue. You really should be a playwright, Dave! Funny it’s not “playwrite” isn’t it? Then again, it’s not writing, more ‘making’, as in wheelwright. Maybe you’d enjoy being one of those more? Or a Cartwright? Sorry, I’m rambling ……

    • Dana Doran says:

      Quite by coincidence I found a comment today on another blog I follow, entirely in dialogue:
      “oh, Trudy!” …”what?” “life is too monotonous” . “let’s rob a bank”

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes, Jheron, I suppose my things could be called ‘dialogues’ – I have, for some reason, set rules which make it more difficult than writing a script – no stage directions etc. and generally no names, apart from today’s one featuring Marigold Glove…

  5. Barry Jefferies says:

    Humber St gallery last night Dave wondering if you were in the vicinity. Stopping over to do the Ferens etc and enjoy the crowds but then I am often in Hull. It made a big impact in 66/67 as did Liverpool. Living in the West Riding I can travel East or West. I have photographs of both of us plus an early watercolour of yours which you kindly gave me. What you gave most of was your music to a man with a very limited knowledge. Champion Jack lived for awhile in Halifax which is where I live at the moment. Your own guitar work entranced. Anyway not to interrupt the amazing effort required to keep a daily blog going……I wish you the best. Loved the Rolling and Tumbling piece with Debbie Jordan. Barry.

    Sent from my iPad


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