Mary went into her peach and turquoise kitchen to make a cup of tea.She was pondering a talk she’d had on the phone.It was because her washing machine only worked on certain programmes.
The lady who took her call was trying to persuade her to pay £191 for a year’s cover as her 12-month warranty had recently expired and Mary felt she was going to expire as well.
But the machine only cost £240.I can get a 6kg Bosch for £260.
The overbearing woman kept on trying to convince her it was a bargain.Luckily Mary decided to hang up.
Annie ran in wearing a green hat and trouser suit with purple shoes.
Have you got any purple eyeshadow, Mary?
Just sit down and drink some tea while I look in my handbag, Mary told her.
I have some but it’s more violet really.
Annie craned over to peer into Mary’s large blue cross body bag from Knightsbridge.
It was full of music tapes.
Why have you got those tapes?I thought they were out of date.Most people have MP3 players now.Whatever they are!
Well, I got a little machine to convert them to files but I find I can listen with headphones and there is a superb one of Elgar’s cello concerto.In a way, the sound is more mellow than a CD.
Annie leant over to see if Mary had a vibrator or some other rude items in her bag.Though why anyone would take a vibrator out of the house was puzzling.Maybe they could help arthritis in the fingers.She saw five!
Suddenly there was a crash.Annie fell down over the remains of her chair which was yellow like Van Gogh’s.
Good heavens.You are getting like Stan.Is his ghost here?
Yes, they heard his voice say.I am missing you both in heaven and I miss Dave too.
What about me, miaowed Emile loudly.
I miss you the most of all,Stan cried.Ring 999.
Hello, can you send the ambulance The chair has literally fallen to pieces.,
In a few minutes Dave arrived in a red and black jumpsuit and purple trainers.
Look, Annie’s chair broke but it is Stan’s fault.
Don’t speak ill of the dead, Dave said gently.How can he have done it
I am here, whispered Stan.I made Annie lean over too far by placing rude things in Mary’s handbag.
Where did you get them from, Dave enquired.
Boots.They sell everything.
Could they see you?
No, they cried out.Look, the vibrators are moving by themselves… is it the new batteries?
So Stan had taken them without paying a penny.What kind of spirit does that?A holy one? Unlikely, but who knows?
Taking them out, Mary flung them into the recycling bin.
You can’t put those in there, Annie muttered.
Well, I can hardly leave them on the garden wall for anyone who walks by to take.
Why not, Emile asked plaintively.
Because I want to be respectable, said Mary.What would all the neighbours think?
I doubt if they would know what they are, said Annie.And of they did, they would not be respectable themselves!
My, you are so intelligent, said Stan.I still love an intelligent woman.
Dave was busy mending the chair and filling the coal scuttle.Then he looked at the washing machine
It’s a fault in the control panel, he said.
The best thing is just to use it on the programmes it works on and don’t bother wasting money having it repaired.Then put the money towards a new one.Nothing is made to last now.
OK, said Mary.I can use rinse & spin or the hot cotton wash.Plus the mixed wash so it will be enough.She was a little weary as she was studying the book of Job in betweeb doing the housework and sorting Stan’s books.
Stan, it’s a shame you can’t take these books away, she told the dear Spirit sitting by the door looking at the garden.
We don’t bother with books where I am, he said nervously.They might set alight!
Don’t say you are in hell, the women shouted in anxious voices.
Not yet but I am on probation, he admitted.
I thought once you got to Heaven that was it, Mary replied.
I’m still in purgatory, he admitted.With luck, I’ll be moved up soon.
Why,it’s like being back at school, the women said in amazement.
But when they looked again, Stan had gone.They were having egg and chips in purgatory and he loved that meal.Still the same even after he has died.What a puzzle it all is.