Tag Archives: misadventures

The Second Morning of the Rest of My Life

After yesterday’s energetic start I faded. The afternoon was OK but the evening tailed off and I fell asleep in front of the TV, woke up, flicked through three old writing magazines from 2002 (decluttering throws up some strange finds) and went to bed. I was, I admit, resigned to the fact that I was likely to face anti-climax in the morning.

I was amazed to find myself almost leaping from bed this morning when the alarm went off. I’ve dropped Julia at work, abused a few drivers and had an interesting time with the shredder already this morning. The COVID testing station at the County Council offices is, as usual, well lit and well staffed by people wearing high-vis jackets and masks. All they need is somebody to test.

The shredder is a large and impressive shiny plastic box. I have inherited it from my father. It seems right and proper that shiny mechanical things should pass down the male line, particularly as we threw the box away and I am operating it without instructions. Wives all over WordPress are nodding wisely not and saying “Yes, shiny mechanical things with sharp blades and no instructions have been a feature of married life for many years.”

Let’s face it, most instruction books could be reduced to two points –

(1) Switch on.

(2) Do what you like. We know you aren’t going to read past here. Even if you got this far.

I normally stop reading after ‘on’.

Last week I used the shredder. Julia had left me with a pile of documents and instructions that the shredder would probably need emptying at some point. What she actually meant was that it was full and needed emptying.

I wondered why it had two lights when one would be enough. Seems the second one was telling me to stop because it was full. You’d think they’s make it more obvious. Anyway, as long as it kept cutting, I kept feeding stuff in and the light kept blinking.

Then it stopped.

Even I can tell that means it’s probably full. At that point I found that I didn’t know how to empty it. Despite repeatedly pulling at anything that looked vaguely pullable nothing gave so I rang my sister, who told me what to do. It didn’t work. I waited for Julia to show me after I collected her from work. Nothing.

Eventually we opened a drawer slightly and Julia, having smaller hands than me, was able to scoop some of the shredded paper out, which eventually allowed us to free the drawer and empty the rest. This is a cross-cut shredder so the paper debris is not all ravelled up in a big ball, but cut into tiny migratory pieces. I’m still finding them on the floor.five days later.

Today I have started it and jammed it. There was, it seems, a piece of paper stuck in front of the sensor that tells it that it is full. I found that piece of paper after removing several dozen others.

I’m now ready to take another leap into the unknown and see what other interesting adventures occur when I start shredding again. You’d have thought, by 2020, having sent men to the Moon and built a Space Station, that we’d be able to design a shredder that actually works for longer than twenty minutes at a time.

My sister has sent me some oiled sheets you use occasionally to clean the blades. I’d never heard of them until last week. I can’t wait to see what areas of disaster open up as I feed one of them through.

It’s just turned 10.00 so it’s not been a bad start – all that and 600+ words. At this rate I’m in danger of actually achieving something.