by Oonah V Joslin
On the top of each one there’s a hoojipivvy and without that they won’t work. They’re part of the principal. They keep the whole thing from blowing. So crucial to this plan was to either find another hoojipivvy and that was an unlikely solution since the hoojipivvy generally gets thrown out along with the lid or to find the old hoojipivvy which for some reason wasn’t with the lid.
‘There’s something sticky in here.’
My spouse was lying on his side on the kitchen floor with his arm as far as it would go to the back of the corner unit.
‘Ugh-a-vee! What is it?’
‘How should I know?’
All manner of things ran through my head. Rotten vegetable matter, dead mouse… ‘Does it smell?’
‘Maybe but I wouldn’t know.’
He’d had this cold for over a week.
‘You couldn’t hand me some kitchen towel, could you Honey?’
‘Do you want a rubber glove?’
‘Should’ve thought of that earlier.’
I handed over a great wodge and went to fetch the rubber gloves. When I returned he’d cleaned his hands and binned the paper.
‘What was it?’
‘You know I don’t like being called that, Pete and that’s the secon…’
‘No, I mean honey! A jar lying on its side seeping everywhere. It’s a wonder we don’t have a wasp’s nest or vermin in here.’
‘There’s half a jar left! And I thought we didn’t have any honey. It’s great for colds you know. I’ll mix you a hot lemon toddy later on.’
‘I’m not drinking that. God knows how long it’s been there.’
‘They’ve found honey in Egyptian tombs that was quite edible you know.’
‘Fascinating. Now would this be what you’re looking for?’
‘Yes! It’s the hoojipivvy.’
Of course I was delighted we’d found it but it was in such a state, all pocked looking and the rings were completely fused. I couldn’t budge them. ‘It’s rusted!’
‘It’s stainless steel. Stainless steel doesn’t rust. Here, let me see.’
Pete strained to twist the rings and then gave one of his I-can-handle-any-domestic-crisis looks. ‘Pop the kettle on.’
‘It wouldn’t fit me.’
‘Really Pete, you can’t make a cup of tea?’
‘Not for tea. Maybe if we steep this in boiling water… It might just be fused with honey you know.’
‘Mind, if there’s a cup of tea going…’
My turn to grimace.
We drank the tea whilst waiting for the cup of hot water to work its magic on the hoojipivvy’.
‘Okay, so what are you going to do with this resurrected steam monster of yours?’
‘When we first got married I used to use one all the time for cheaper cuts. It’s more economical and faster. I was thinking of making some jam too. You know how you love home made jam.’
We inspected the hoojipivvy. It had worked. The rings unscrewed easily. It was a triumph.
‘So, you’re all set then.’
‘Nearly. All we need to do now is find the base.’