Evidence that arriving home is not always the pleasant experience you thought it would be

Something unpleasant was on my doorstep when I got home from the shops today.

Before I tell you about it, here are some things I would like to have sitting on my doorstep when I arrive home from the shops.

1. A parcel from Amazon, containing books entitled 'Clooneyfy your Husband in Six Easy Steps' and 'Eating Flapjack Mixture Straight from the Pan Without Guilt'.

2. A package from Camelot with a note in it saying, 'Dear Fran, Even though you do not actually take part in the Lottery, we have decided to send you £61 million pounds in cash anyway as you are such a nice person.  It is so much money we couldn't get it through the letterbox.  Enjoy!  (And with your new riches, we are sure that your fifty-fourth letter to George Clooney's agent will result in a meeting.)'

3. A representative from Penguin Books or Faber & Faber waiting for me to get home so that I could sign a contract for a three-book deal worth a six-figure sum.  If said representative looked like George Clooney, all the more fun, but I'd take a pig-ugly one if not, as the book deal itself would be cool and one doesn't like to be greedy.

4. A free supply of Ben & Jerry's Rum and Raisin icecream and a DVD set entitled 'Every Film that's Ever Had George Clooney in It' to watch while I'm eating it with a ladle.

Fran really really wished they would stop putting pictures of fat cows on the tubs

Anyway, what was ACTUALLY on my doorstep waiting for me when I got home today was ...

A small plastic Elvis figure with one arm missing.

I think, bearing in mind what I'd LIKE to have left on my doorstep, this is what is called 'a let-down'.

I don't quite know how to interpret it.  There is something very sinister about it, like the bizarre equivalent of having someone stick pins in a voodoo doll and leave it outside your front door.  What does it mean?  Have I offended someone?

I am tempted to google 'small plastic Elvis with one arm missing on doorstep' but am worried that it will direct me straight to a website called 'How to Tell When You Have Enemies' or 'Cheap Alternatives to Voodoo Curses.'

I have brought Elvis indoors.  I thought it would be safer, because nothing would be more scary than to find that my new enemy had sneaked back in the night, taken off another arm, or his head even, and left him there for me to find tomorrow.  It would smack of a progression in the hate campaign, and there's something about a torso on your doorstep, albeit a plastic one, that wouldn't be a great start to the day.

So for the moment Elvis is lying on top of a pile of gardening books which we have on a shelf in the hall.

And I bet I'm the first person ever to have written that sentence.


  1. Surely what you really want to find on your doorstep is George Clooney himself, holding a large tub of ice cream, a big lottery cheque and that three book contract, and saying "I've come to fetch my one-armed Elvis doll?

  2. Frances - Oh my, you have me sussed.

  3. Elvis has entered the building.

  4. George & I have a relationship--in my dreams. We date but not exclusively. Last time we went out, he said that he'd love to meet you. He was fascinated by the facial hair in your picture. He asked me if I knew if you were Italian.

  5. PS--I apologize to any Italians I may have offended. My wonderful son-in-law is Italian!

  6. All those people who've seen Elvis manning a gas pump in Nevada/selling shoes in Idaho/hiring deckchairs in Florida will now be making a pilgrimage to your front garden . After all , it makes much more sense that he should be reclining on a hall shelf in the Midlands .

  7. I wouldn't worry about Elvis. He sounds armless enough.

  8. Do you know what, I bet if you Google 'Elvis lying on top of a pile of gardening books in the hall', you will come top of the listings.

    I am now proudly first in the Google listings for 'Butterfly on a Fire Engine'.

    It really drives the niche market to your blog.

  9. I want to know who's doorstep the arm is on!

  10. You've just all got suspicious minds...don't be cruel to Fran! It could be someone thought you were lonesome tonight. Perhaps you could 'return to sender'?

  11. someone once left a battery powered disco-singing Jesus on the bonnet of my car.
    Have never figured out why or whom but it was pretty odd I must admit

  12. Good lord I wonder if the missing arm was holding a mike. I left a plastic dog poop on my ( horrible) neighbours' path when I left Spain. Wish I'd seen the wife's face when she saw it as it was so realistic but I was on the ferry by then.

    Beats having a garden gnome I suppose or a baby left in a basket.

  13. Steve - he has, he has, and he's still lying on the stairs.

    fishducky - tell him I AM Italian. I love pizza, anyway.

    SmitandSon - I wondered who that crowd were outside, looking in the windows ...

    Martin H - there's always one person you can rely on for Corny Comment of the Day

    Annie - I really want to google as you suggest but feel very, very silly ..

    Charlotte - that is a very sinister thought indeed. I wonder if they've written a blog post about it.

    brokenbiro - love it! Your jokes give me fever.

    tedandbunny - pretty odd is an understatement. Do you still have it?

    bad penny - we've had a plastic dog poop on our doorstep too once. Was that you?

  14. Were you all shook up when you saw the one armed Elvis?
    Anna May x
    ps: Georgie Baby and I are planning to renew our vows this Summer, and he has confided in me - he whispered it hot and urgent into my ear actually - that he HATES Rum and Raisin ice cream.

  15. I'm dying! This is so stinking funny-- especially that you're dealing with it relatively calmly. IF you do get brave enough to google it, it just brings you back here... nothing to fear.

    and yes, I did google it. It was that or finish laundry.

  16. I think you should leave him on the bus. He would be a woeful distraction from the gardening books.

  17. Anna May - He's having you on. Or he was putting on a very good act eating his icecream when we were on holiday last year in Marbella.

    I'mbeingheldhostage - you did google it! I love you.

    Elizabethm - leave Elvis on the bus? With only one arm? How is he supposed to ring the bell?

  18. As someone has already probably said, don't worry, there is no harm in it.

  19. I've just come home to find a dead chaffinch on the back door step, right beside the catflap. No one is owning up. The cats are whistling insouciantly as they stroll round the living room, pausing only to sharpen their claws on the sofas.

    I'd have preferred Elvis.

  20. I wouldn't have preferred Elvis by much, mind you.

  21. Oh poor Elvis! He was so busy trying to wave his magic wand and make your dreams come true that his arm fell off. Hmmm, maybe I should rephrase that.

  22. Alan - yes, they did, but it bore telling a second time.

    Isabelle - I am glad to see that even though you are now retired you are still using words like 'insouciantly'. I am reassured. I didn't want you slacking.

    Chris - I knew what you meant, don't worry!

  23. Fran !!! I have found an arm ! It is grey but could be painted up. It was on the pavement so I picked it up. It's a left arm with an open hand like it could hold something. Would you like it for Elvis ?

  24. Yes, I was pleased to find myself using this word and did wonder whether I'd ever typed it before. I thought not. One must, however, keep up standards even though one is a retired person and aged granny. You might like to read my latest post about improvised sonnets, by the way. Could you emulate this chap? Insouciantly or otherwise?

  25. Hahahahahahaha! I'm so glad I didn't miss reading this post.

    Still giggling.


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