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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peter the Gorilla

gorilla
 
Okay, he was an impulse purchase. 

See, I'd never been to an auction before, the idea of sitting bidding against a room full of strangers, never held that much of an appeal to me.  

However, this was different, as I'd known and become very familiar with the place where this auction was to be held.

It hired furniture and stage props out to various theatre and film production companies.  Not only did I pass this building daily, I also often supplied temporary staff there, and had been a regular visitor to them for years.

No, I am not making an excuse, I'm just saying, is all..

Sadly, they were shutting up shop now to relocate their premises to the other side of London, but before doing so, they planned a massive, great clearance to auction off all the stock surplus to requirement.

I ask you, who wouldn't be intrigued? 

Imagine if you will, tiers upon tiers of floors, all of them stuffed full to bursting, and resembling nothing short of one huge, alluring Aladdin's cave; mock King Louie IV matching sideboards, stacked next to a twelve-foot metallic space rocket, it leaning up against a Victorian grandfather clock, which is in itself is wedged in between a giant dismantled flower-swing and an elaborately painted, four-foot long wooden ladle.  Then glimpse further, discover the Gondolier boat pinned behind there, or that box filled with duelling pistols standing next to it, and all the other yet endless arrays of useless, must-have objects, ever stretching back into the furthest bowels of the darkest corners.   

Dusty rows upon rows of the mundane and the impossible, be it either practical or outrageous, bizarre, modern or period, there lay in there a whole cornucopia of undiscovered delight, each impatiently calling out for me to burst them free from hiding.

Yeah alright, so sue me if I'm prone to getting a wee bit carried away, but I ask you, who wouldn't want a frolicking rummage about around in the likes of there?

Maybe I ought to digress here for a minute to explain it wasn't all (entirely) my fault.  Nettie led me on.  I should never have taken her with me.

I ran a fairly casual ship at work, my main office lay only a convenient block away from home, mainly so's I could walk little Bessie-Boot's, my darling Border Collie, there with me each day.  Nettie, my long suffering office assistant (self-proclaimed) P.A., took it upon herself to devote an hour each working day to throwing Frisbee's around on Wimbledon Common for her to fetch, an arrangement that worked quite well, as Bessie usually then returned to sleep happily under my desk until home time.

Not that I spent a whole lot of my time there, aside from other offices to oversee, I spent most of my time bribing visiting with or lunching our existing and potential clients, chasing them up for new contracts, or trying to justify our rates .  Jill, my brilliant office manager ran the day to day business there, and she had a great team behind her to cover her arse for support.  

My Putney office was my baby, with it being the first Agency I'd ever opened, and I found myself blessed with an intact, close knit team of staff who bullied, nagged, protected and shamelessly blackmailed me, all in equal measures.  Little Nettie first joined our group just after her 17th birthday, and settled in to stay for over seven years  (only leaving to give birth to my God Daughter).

Her job-spec often extended way over and above the call of duty.  Any sane woman would have long before quit, aww, but you see, that's what we all loved about her, she was easily equally as demented as all the rest of us there.

Some of the things I had that poor lass do, shameful so it is!

Like carting up to 2K in cash wage-packets over in person to the building site every Friday, for us to pay the contract workers there.  We'd help her stuff the envelopes of money down her boots, up her bra, and about her person, to lessen the chances of her being mugged along the way, only for her to then unload it all again inside the cover of the on-site, smelly port-a-loo's, to innocently exit and dispense the workers wages .  

I had several specialist Agencies: Legal, Medical, Architectural, Accountancy and a couple Secretarial, but the Building off-shoot, though rather less up-market, proved a profitable enterprise, and Nettie, bless her heart, encountered the weekly wolf-whistles and thinly veiled sexual harassment in stride, eventually marrying one of the worst of the offender's, two years later (tho'I never did like him, and told her as much, but only after the divorce).   

Oh, and I had her shadow me a couple of times when I went through my advertising in Lonely Hearts columns phase, too.  Well, some of them might have been a bit dodgy, I dragged her along for insurance giving her strict instructions not to be spotted.  Usually I remembered to give her the thumbs up if the evening took off, so's she could nip off home again, but I have to confess there were some times I got so engrossed and caught up in my new date, I clean forgot all about her. 


My, that girl had a temper on her!  At least she always had the good grace to save it 'til the next day.


So, when I announced to the office about this up-coming auction, the girls decided I might need saving from myself, and volunteered Netty out as my minder.  They often did this.  Usually when I had to drive somewhere new for the first time.  I don't map-read, and am a crap driver.  It rarely actually helped having her along, since she tended to ride with her hands over her face anyway, but she often came in handy as a solid, biased witness to the accidents. 

Frankly, I felt glad on the day of auction for her company.  We'd turfed up a few hours early clutching a catalogue, hoping to find something worthy to bid on.  I had my eye out for a dining room table and chairs, but was open to anything else that might catch my fancy.  We trolled along the musky warehouse digging for any hidden nuggets of treasure, stopping off to inspect the odd curiosity, and checking out what ever table we might trip across.

Then, hold up..

Waaaay back in the farthermost reaches, I spotted what looked to be a potential flasher suspiciously lurking about in the corner.  Well, there were the two of us, weren't there?  And I wasn't having none of that.  Shoving Nettie (way) ahead, I assured her I was right behind her, as we marched on up to investigate..

Turned out Peter (as I later christened him) was no stalker at all.  True, he smelled a bit unsavoury, had lost a bit of his stuffing, and had sure seen far better days - but for me it was nothing short of love at first sight.

I had to have him.  Nettie recklessly agreed.

Oh, imagine the adventures we'd have!  

My mind was set.   

('Sides, how the hell was I to know these places don't deliver?)



..to be continued.

58 comments:

Land of shimp said...

Oh that's not fair. You can't leave off there!

I was promised a story of incidental, impulse gorilla. Then tantalized with Loo Dwelling Assistants Laden with Cash.

To be continued? To be continued!

This is not to be born, this shall not be born! I am on my feet! (err, in spirit).

Please? I wanna know about the gorilla!! *tugs at sleeve, meekly offers chocolate*

Akelamalu said...

LOL I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

Nick said...

Yikes, I thought that was a real gorilla. Put him in your window, and noone will ever bother you. Glad you like the uninvited guest story. "Blessing of the animals" this week.

Charlene said...

I thought it was a real gorilla too!

My husband and I used to love to go to auctions. My dad was an auctioneer, though I never heard him call except on a record.

TechnoBabe said...

Nettie was good to have along in case you needed a biased witness, huh? And she still asked you to be Godmother? Wow. I hope you had a large car because I am picturing you stringing Peter on top of your car?

Leslie: said...

Dying to know how Bessie-Boots reacted when you brought him home.

Portia said...

I am looking forward to the the next chapter of this episode!

Pat Tillett said...

great (and interesting) story! Don't wait too long to post the rest...
good one!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I would go batshit crazy in that place.buying up everything. I hope you made it hope with peter..

Cheeseboy said...

You are so the story teller. I love the way you write. I can't wait to hear how this gorilla went home with you.

Kate said...

I'd of bid on the duelling pistols, but the gorilla is not bad. I like his square brow bone. Perhaps he could be your sidekick when you are driving instead of Nettie? Maybe he knows north and south and no unsavories will mess with you.

Nancy said...

Can't wait -

I agree with the opening - that sale was just too good to pass up!

mrsnesbitt said...

Yes - definately! Bring it on - waiting for next installment!

Shrinky said...

Alane, you think I'd be so cheap as to sell myself for a bar of chocolate? (Darn, she's found me out!) Okay, you win..

Hi Akelamalu, this post has been a long running private joke, at least three years in the making!

Hi Nick, aw, who needs a gorilla to scare folk off, when you have kids?

Oh wow, Charlene, really? Wonder what got him into line of work?

Um no, TechnoBabe, (blush), I don't want to spoil the punchline to the end of this, but he didn't arrive home via car..

Leslie, she was a bit surpised I think, it took her weeks to lose the cringe as she passed it, he scared the bejesus out of her.

Hi Portia, I felt the post was growing too long to complete in one sitting!

Cheers Pat, I'm working on it..

I did Jackie, and also with a table, eight chairs, two candlesticks, a lamp, and a tailor's dummy.. (grin)

Aww Cheeseboy, that's high praise indeed, coming from a fine writer such as yourself, thank you for that!

Oh Kate, you have no idea how close to the truth you came, writing that! My lips are for now sealed, but you are SO close to the mark!

Nancy, he was a steal at £25, what was a poor girlie to do?

Lori said...

This post had me smiling all the way through...and now I have to wait for the rest???? :)

I love that they volunteered Netty out as your minder. Too funny. :)

Looking forward to the rest of the story! Hope your Monday is marvelous!

gaelikaa said...

Well, he was worth it all, I'd say!

Rock Chef said...

Can't wait for the rest!

Hm, I take it you don't drive in Kent too often. Please don't change that just for me :-)

mythopolis said...

I definitely would have bid on the gorilla! Also the 12' rocket ship...it would look great in my front yard!

If you ever need an assistant to help stuff cash in Nettie's undies, I volunteer!!!

Shrinky said...

Oh Rock Chef, I'm wounded here, where's your sense of adventure?? (Wink)

Haaaaaaaaa, I'll let her know, Dan..!

BRUNO said...

There now---that didn't hurt as bad as you thought it would, did it?

Of course, there's still part-TWO!

And, that's NOT the same "Peter" that I saw in your original-picture, with Peters' reflection IN THE MIRROR! LOL!

I don't see CHEWY on here, yet. But I can bet she ain't far away!

I seem to recall there was quite a crowd at one time, demanding to see Peter show public "on the balcony", so to speak...! ☺

Suldog said...

A gorilla was purchased? Do not leave us hanging for too long. Please! This is too good to be true!

chewy said...

OMG - PETER - the tale that never would be told!
Finally... and in grand introductory fashion. (clapping hands)

You little stinker. (holding nose)

Hilary said...

Oh you do know how to flirt with suspense. Always an adventure with you.. :) Looking forward to part two!

Joanna Jenkins said...

What!?!?! "To be continued!"

I LOVE this post and Peter too. And Nettie!

More, more, more.
jj

Shrinky said...

Hi jj! Yes, Nettie was a true trooper, bless her heart (smile).

Hello Hilary, oh, Peter and I had many adventures together..watch this space!

Shrinky said...

Yeah, I caved Chewy, after three years of having you and Bruno prodding me about Peter, I've finally given up and decided to post and be damned! The reason I've been so hesitant before, is because thanks to my slimy toad of an ex, I no longer own one single photo of him to my name (shrug).

Shrinky said...

Hi Lori, the girls were a great bunch, I do miss those days!

Gaelikaa, he sure was!

BRUNO said...

You mean you don't even have a copy of the pic, in the original-post?

I could've SWORN that was his-reflection, in a mirror in the background???

(I'd better leave her alone now, or she'll "wuss-out" on us...!)

Skunkfeathers said...

Enjoyin' your gorilla tactics ;-)

Parabolic Muse said...

Peter?!

this better be continued...

Shrinky said...

Bruno (sigh) one of the reasons it's taken me over three years to posting this (and even closed down my original blog over it) is because I KNEW you'd ask for the friggin' photo's. I don't have them. I have no intentions of explaining why - if you'd ever lived with a bunny boiler, you might understand why I don't want to go there (so there, sticking my tongue out)!

Shrinky said...

Skunk, stick with me, I've only just got started here..

Shrinky said...

Chrissie, hmnnn, to coin a well worn phrase, "I've started, so now I must continue.." (Wink)

secret agent woman said...

You bought a gorilla?!

Scott from Oregon said...

Oh but he's so "manly" cute!!!

simon said...

well, as a full time auctioneer I can tell you its our ability to pick the buyer who has become emotional about their purchase and then....( to be continued).....

Shrinky said...

Simon, you little tease, you!

Secret Agent, not a live one (well, not anymore).

Scott, hands off the gorilla, I saw him first!

Jude said...

So lifelike! Update us nowwww

The Blue Zoo said...

Oh my gosh, you crazy girl! Did you really get a gorilla??

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, my goodness!!!! I LOVE him!!!! PLEEEEASE finish your yarn!!!!! I want to hear how you managed to purchase and get him home!!!! LOVE THIS!!! Love you, Janine XO

Jessica said...

You are brilliant! I love your writing! (BTW: count that as three flashers for this post.)

That auction sounds like heaven ... if only. ::sigh:: I would have totally taken that flower swing and ladle.

Shrinky said...

Hi there Jude, cheers for that - I'm working on it!

Blue Zoo, I figured someone had to (wink).

Aw Janine, you sure know how to make a girlies day, I so love when you comment, you lift me up every time! ((x))

Oh Jessica, I came away with a whole host of useless, gorgeous junk.. AND I even found that table, too (I still have it)!

chewy said...

Sooooo.... part two?

Grayquill said...

Of course he smelled...he's a gorilla :)
You think stuffing makes a difference?
BTW - maybe Netty should do the driving from now on:)

Shrinky said...

Nag, nag, nag, Chewy (grin), okay, I'll pull my finger out!

Hi Grayquill, ah, it's near 20yrs since Nettie and I last shared a ride together - now it's my kids who close their eyes as I ferry them around - blush..

Deborah said...

What a great story, and you tell it well. This is what's so much fun about Blogoslavia - I really doubt our paths would have crossed anywhere else. Just also read your previous post about the Isle of Man, which was QUITE fascinating. (Thanks for leaving word at my place - I've been very remiss in responding to comments lately.)

Shrinky said...

Hi Deborah, thanks for those kind words (smile). I agree, this blogosphere is truly an amazing meeting ground, linking us up to all kinds of people we ordinarily would never meet. It certainly puts the fun into blogging.

Margaret Benbow said...

Shrinky, I'm worried about you and King Kong! At least I know you lived to tell the tale!

Malisa said...

Oh, my! I am a sucker for an auction too...specially an auction with unusual items! Wish I could have been there with you. I am sure we could have tied Peter to the hood of the car for the ride of his life! Can't wait to read part 2!

Malisa

Shrinky said...

Ah Margaret, this was only the start of the adventure - all of it good!

Hi Malisa, ahh, I know beyond doubt from your site that this type of place would have been right up your street!

Fen said...

oh lovely lady you have such a compelling way with words, can't wait for the next instalment.

Shrinky said...

Fen, oh what a lovely thing to say (hugs), thanks for that!

Shen said...

I always leave here with a smile... you are so clever, building the anticipation and leaving us hanging, but also leaving us with a handful of laughs and a sense that we were right there with you.

thanks for that

Shrinky said...

Hi Shen, this all happened over half a life-time ago, now. It's odd how I'd virtually forgotten about Peter, and his presence in my house. Blogging refreshes the memory, helps me to relive some of my by-gone past glory days (smile)!

that girl said...

what the ....????
i will be back! LOL

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

WAT the? Sum scale, pleez! How big is that gorilla?

Shrinky said...

Hi Bob, oh, standing on his plynth he measured way over 7ft!

Hey That Girl, great to see you again, thanks for stopping by.

david mcmahon said...

Lass, your autobiography is going to be 3000 pages long and every page a hoot.