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STORIES  AND EBAY SALES

1     AN OLD LAND ROVER
2     EBAY
3     SELLING AN OLD LAND ROVER  
4     SELLING WHEELS AND TYRES
5     A NEW JOB AT THE FUNERAL PARLOUR
6     SELLING VIDEO CAMERA
7     MY BIRTHDAY TODAY
8     WITCHERY PART ONE
9     SELLING CANVAS HOOD
10   WITCHERY PART TWO
11   SELLING CARAVAN HITCHDRIVE 
12   WITCHERY PART THREE
13   SELLING RATCHET STRAPS  
14   WITCHERY PART FOUR
15   SELLING GOAL POSTS  
16   WITCHERY PART FIVE
17   SELLING A HI VIZ COAT
18   WITCHERY PART SIX

19   SELLING 3 TONNES OF CLAY    
2O  WITCHERY PART SEVEN
21   SELLING A WHEEL CLAMP
22   SHOPPING AND THE HESITANT DOORS
23   SELLING AN OLD PAIR OF BOOTS

24   THE REAL DE VINCI CODE

25   MY GUITAR AND AMP

26   SELLING MOTORBIKE PANNIERS

27   HALLOWEEN

28 SELLING A HIGHWAY CODE

29 ZEN AND THE ART OF  LAND ROVER MAINTENANCE

30  SELLING A CIGARETTE LIGHTER AND A TRIP TO SCOTLAND

31  CHRISTMAS LIGHT RAGE

32  METAMORPHOSIS

33 SELLING AN AMBER BEACON

34 THE UNIVERSE IS A  BIG PLACE

35 SELLING A  BLOW LAMP

36 SELLING BOOTS UPDATE

37 SELLING A  TORCH

38 SELLING A MOTORBIKE JACKET

39 SELLING A POWER JUICER

40 SELLING A HORSE WHIP

41 THE BOAT

42 SELLING LAND ROVER SIDE STEPS

43 SELLING A  TOW / RECOVERY CHAIN

44 SELLING LAND ROVER BULL BARS

45 SELLING THE FOGGYDAVE CARRIER BAG

46 CARAVAN RAGE OR AGINCOURT DEUXIEME PARTIE

 

 

 

STORY 19  SELLING THREE TONNES OF CHINA CLAY

OR NEARLY AS IT SOLIDIFIED TOO SOON 

 

A story of demolition, beauty treatments, Bernie the postman and volatile liquids

                    

The reason for this sale would have been as follows

On a recent trip to Cornwall we went to the Eden Project, a truly wonderful amalgam of engineering and horticulture, blended together to produce live pictures of various climates and habitats, from desert to rain forest.
All of this is located in a disused China clay pit, and housed under huge geodesic domes.

One of the domes whose theme was geology exhibited a bubbling mud pool containing China clay. (I say "was" because after my wife’ accident they discontinued it, in fact the dome ceased to exist). To view the mud pool one had to traverse a rope bridge which passed over facsimiles of lava pools, hot springs etc. It was whilst on this bridge that my wife had one of her “dizzy turns” lost her balance and disappeared over the side of the walk plummeting headfirst into the China clay mud pool twenty feet below, which gave one enormous “gloop” and swallowed her up. Luckily the pool was only four feet deep and my wife coughing and spluttering emerged like “The Swamp Thing” from the steaming mud. I was the only other person present when she fell, but immediately afterwards a party of school children ran noisily onto the bridge. Upon looking down they were met by the sight of my "Beloved maker of nightmares" emerging monster like from the pool, hot steaming China clay dripping from her body accompanied by angry growls as she tried in vain, arms and legs flailing; to exit the slippery sides of the pool. Wide eyed with open mouths the children stood transfixed, their brains not wishing to comprehend that the dark thing they thought lay under their beds on dark nights,  was here, alive, real, and ready to eat them. As one with a collective scream they ran back to the doorway they had come through, unaware that the designers in making the viewing a one way journey had put no handles on the inside of the doors. Their teacher understanding the situation shouted and gesticulated at them to turn round and run the other way. An eerie silence ensued as the children realized that to escape; they would have to pass over the monster, who by this time was trying to climb a walkway support, the clay slowly drying and falling off in great flakes. I then experienced a weird and wonderful thing, only seen in the animal kingdom, and then very rarely, (and once on an “Alien” film). They decided as if by telepathy that one of their number must be sacrificed for the good of the remainder. As one they turned on the “nerd” of the class, a spotty youth with brylcreemed hair, who; only a few minutes before was lecturing them on the bio diversity of the rain forest section, and berating them for their ignorance on such things. Maybe they had all had the same thought during this talk that should the opportunity arrive they would show the snotty little know all a thing or two. This was the opportunity, and as one they raised him head high and as if he was a javelin; hurled him down upon my beloved, he screaming as he hit my clay encrusted love and they both plummeted  into the mud pool. The children seizing their chance ran pel mel along the bridge, and through the other door to sanctuary. In the meantime the nerd who had landed on top of my wife and so missed a bad dunking in the goo, injected with a huge dose of adrenalin; jumped off my wife’s shoulders and into a scree of boulders like a rat out of a drain pipe.

A picture painted by Alice of class 2 B on

what she remembered about her trip to

the Eden Project

My "Queen of chaos" covered now in a second coating of clay and weighing a great deal more attempted once again to climb the support, which under the combined weight of my wife and half a tonne of clay started to bend and collapse. I managed to jump to safety just as the supports and bridge crashed down into the side of the dome, which made of thin aluminium and Perspex also started to disintegrate, and very slowly as in some time lapse film collapsed in on itself. We all watched this in the safety of the next dome which though shaken stayed firm and resolute in its geodicity. My wife was trapped under many layers of Perspex and aluminium which being light did not crush her but held her firmly in the rapidly drying clay. When at last the rescue crew got to her she was set fast in three tonnes of the stuff, so they hoisted her out and got to work with power chisels and lump hammers.
When she finally emerged and was hosed down it was discovered that the encrustations, barnacles and the many other skin complaints and impurities my "Mistress of the round smelly thing"  readily succumbed to had disappeared, her skin was now as smooth as a babies bum. We assumed it was the cleansing properties of the clay and it had acted as a sort of face pack.

The Eden project after the incident. Notice the missing dome

fourth from the left

My wife, not being slow to recognize an opportunity to make some money rang up the local modelling clay suppliers and ordered six tonnes of the best China clay, (she thinks big does my wife). This was duly delivered to the Foggydave household. In the meantime I had emptied the fish pond and installed an electrical heating system, much the same as in the dome.
So 500 gallons of water and three tonnes of clay was dumped in the pond and bought to the boil. Soon we had a bubbling steaming cauldron of clay; all we needed now was our first customer, (test dummy).

Who should arrive unsuspecting at our door but Bernard Entwhistle the postman, who was ushered into the kitchen and offered a mug of tea. Whilst my beloved was fussing over a very nervous Bernard, I, knowing his predilection for oil (see selling canvas hood story 9) got out a tin of 3 in 1 oil and put a line of oil drops leading from the back door to the side of the clay pond. As anticipated Bernard’s nose sensitive to the aroma of engine oil started twitching and he sidled to the back door. Feigning a giddy spell he opened it for a bit of fresh air and theatrically tottered down the path as though about to fient. My wife also theatrically feigned concern and ran down the path to support him. By this time they had reached the bubbling goo which Bernard bent down to look at. My wife seizing the chance grasped Bernard by his ankles and hoisted him feet first aloft, his head only inches from the hot clay. Her idea was to dunk him head first into the pool for a few seconds and then lift him out. As I said in an earlier story Bernard had what amounted to a fetish for engine oil, rubbing it on various parts of his body, the drips tending to run down his legs into his boots. Bernard started to slip out of my wife’s grasp. She normally had a grip like a pair of industrial 18 inch mole grips but the oil on his ankles made him as slippery as a very slippy eel. PLOP into the pool he went, and disappeared under the glooping surface.
Unbeknown to either of us was the fact that Bernard had; tied about his body twenty colostomy bags filled with a mixture of old gearbox oil, aviation spirit, and nitro glycerine for the aroma. He wore them as a sort of comfort blanket secure in the knowledge that should he be abducted by aliens, he would have a ready supply of oil to satisfy his every craving.
Hot bubbling China clay and nitro glycerine do not mix; in fact they hate each other with a vengeance. The first we knew of this was when a huge bubble of clay full of volatile gas started to erupt from the pond, trapped inside was Bernard. Suddenly there was a huge explosion as the gas and nitro self ignited, three tonnes of hot clay plus a screaming Bernard were hurled fifty foot into the air, covering the house and garden in a cloak of white quickly drying clay, (eat your heart out Mr Christo). Perched on the chimney was a naked Bernard also covered in clay and looking like a Grecian statue, (although this one had arms). By the time we got him down the clay had set hard but one hefty whack with a sledge hammer soon set him free. The last we saw of him he was hobbling down the road, his postie bag covering his privates, the last half hour a complete blank in his mind. (Thank goodness).
My wife took this accident as a sign from one of her many Gods, and has given up on the idea of opening a beauty parlour.
I was going to try to sell the excess three tonnes of clay on ebay but it dried too quickly so my wife uses it to carve life size effigies of people she does not like and instead of driving pins into various parts of the model uses six inch nails. The garden is looking a bit like the excavations of the terracotta army in China.
 

Copyright © David B Forrester 2008

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