When things get separated from their thingummies

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

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We have a receptacle in our house that I like to call The Jar of Good Intentions.

It contains bits and bobs of varying sizes of smallness that have become separated from their mother object.

In the jar you’ll also find tiny items that have been broken, but not quite beyond repair.

The idea of being able to one day salvage these items is key to The Jar of Good Intentions.

It began life as a 340g jar that had once contained pitted black olives and over the years it has been upgraded first to a 400g Hellmann’s mayonnaise jar, then to a 800g supermarket own brand mayonnaise jar.

Not only does this demonstrate an expansion in good intentions, it also shows how the mayonnaise consumption in our household has increased exponentially while latterly being restricted by a budget.

Every now and again I’ll delve into the jar and upon removing an item at random my first words are usually the same - “What’s this off?”

The problem with the jar of good intentions is that most of the items have been in it for so long that we’ve forgotten what they ever belonged to.

On reflection, the jar has been a project in organisation rather than hope. I’m well aware these items will probably remain orphaned for the rest of their lives, but just having all these orphans in the one place satisfies my need for order. I’m beginning to get a feeling of Daddy Warbucks’ motivation in life.

In some cases, even at the time the items are put into the jar, their origins are unknown. In these instances The Jar of Good Intentions acts as an archive for unidentified objects, in the hope that one day the thing to which these thingummies were attached will present itself.

To date this has never happened. I’m convinced that a man sneaks into our house in the dead of night and deposits little random parts of items we’ve never possessed while at the same time hiding all the pairs of scissors we own.

In the last couple of years The Jar of Good Intentions has moved dangerously close to capacity. There are two reasons for this. One is Lucy. The other is Ben.

Deliberately or otherwise, children break things. They also eat a ridiculous amount.

I thought people were joking when they said their children were eating them out of house and home. We’re not quite and the stage where we have to leave both our house and our home, but as I’ve already established we’re having to resort to buying budget mayonnaise to save on food bills.

Last week I lost patience with The Jar of Good Intentions.

I had put on a coat I hadn’t worn in ages and saw it was missing a button. I made a bee line for the jar fully expectant to discover the errant fastener there. It was nowhere to be found.

In a fit of rage, perhaps at my own OCD fail, I threw the jar violently across the kitchen. There was an almighty crack.

Upon inspecting the damage I saw that the jar was somehow still intact, however the top right hand corner of a plug socket had sheared from its electrical moorings. Picking up the triangular shard I realised the error of my ways whilst also finding a solution to the problem.

I popped the broken piece in the Jar Of Good Intentions and went about my business as normal.