The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

April Showers

Derek looked out at the torrential rain from the window of his workshop. ‘Let’s have a beer,’ he proposed, bending down and opening a hidden trapdoor in the floor. ‘Mavis doesn’t approve of alcohol,’ Derek explained as he withdrew two cans from the camouflaged compartment and handed one to Peter.

‘What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over, as they say,’ Peter ventured.

‘True enough, my friend.’ Derek closed the trapdoor. ‘This workshop’s been a bit of a bolthole - Mavis seldom comes out here.’

Peter turned a page of his newspaper. ‘Out of sight, out of mind, as they say.’

‘So,’ questioned Derek, changing the subject, ‘what do you reckon for the three-thirty at Doncaster?’

Peter concluded his intense study of The Racing Times, closed the paper and placed it on the workbench. ‘Live and Let Live,’ he predicted decisively.

Derek slid open a secret drawer in his workbench, removed a mobile phone and dialled the local bookmaker. ‘It’s Derek Smith here. Twenty quid to win on Live and Let Live in the three-thirty at Doncaster, please.’ Derek replaced the phone in its hideaway. ‘Mavis doesn’t approve of gambling,’ he clarified in response to Peter’s glance.

‘One man’s meat is another man’s poison, as they say,’ Peter responded sympathetically. ‘Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.’

‘Mavis doesn’t approve of TV, either,’ said Derek as he pressed a concealed button in the ceiling. A television descended from an unsuspected recess. ‘We can watch the race on this.’

They settled down to cheer on the selected nag. ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as they say,’ sighed Peter, reflecting on Derek’s wife.

Derek flicked a switch on his chair arm. A flap in the arm opened to reveal tobacco, tobacco papers, cigarettes, cigars and a lighter. ‘Smoke?’ he offered.

‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say,’ joked Peter, selecting a Havana.

‘Mavis doesn’t approve of smoking,’ Derek lamented, rolling some Gold Leaf.

‘You certainly need to mind your Ps and Qs, as they say.’

Derek adjusted the volume on the remote. ‘Too true, Peter.’

‘That’ll pay for some new supplies for the workshop,’ declared a delighted Derek, twenty minutes later, as Live and Let Live romped across the line at odds of ten to one.

‘Make hay while the sun shines, as they say,’ encouraged Peter, also realising that the noise of rainfall on the roof had abated. He highlighted the latter fact by pointing upwards with his finger, and then he consulted his watch. ‘Time and tide wait for no man, as they say,’ Peter continued, rising from his chair.

Derek also stood up, moved to the window and surveyed the clearing sky. ‘Yes, you’d best go before it pours again.’ He opened a fanlight. ‘This rain’s a bit of a nuisance. Mind you,’ he queried with a knowing smile, ‘you know what they say about April showers?’

‘I certainly do,’ joked Peter, taking his meaning and returning a devilish wink. ‘They say it’s the best DVD of the series - better than May Bathes or even June Takes a Sauna!’ The true significance of Derek’s question suddenly dawned: ‘You’ve got a copy haven’t you, you old dog?’

Derek removed a wall panel to reveal his extensive collection of artistic magazines and DVDs. ‘Keep it under your coat as you leave,’ he cautioned, passing the disc to Peter, ‘Mavis doesn’t approve of pornography.’

‘A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse, as they say,’ replied Peter in a conspiratorial tone.

Peter stepped from the workshop into the wet grass and felt the refreshing sprinkling of a final few raindrops. He looked at the droplets on his hands and then up at the passing clouds. ‘They’ll bring May flowers, as they say,’ he remarked to himself as he crossed the lawn. ‘Even Mavis would approve of that.’