D is for Doors #atozchallenge

For the last two years I’ve joined in the #atozchallenge, namely to post every weekday in April using each letter of the alphabet in turn. In 2015 it was places I’d been to, in 2016 it was London themed. This year it is a dictionary of my family, recounting incidents small and large that have taught me lessons down the years, caused me consternation or generally seared themselves into my memory.  I hope you enjoy them. To find other bloggers doing the challenge and maybe be inspired yourself, check out the A to Z Blogging Challenge Blog, here

Is it me or are doors essentially failed comedians? As a child I’m pretty sure the first joke I didn’t ‘get’ was:

When is a door, not a door?

When it’s a jar.

My mother did her best to explain the play on words but such jokes are pitifully useless if you don’t know both meanings in the first place. And is there anything more unappealing than an explained joke, apart from dentistry in all its ghastly forms, mistaking grapefruit sorbet for pineapple and Russel Brand?

my parents’ garage door; easy to shut on your foot though I was the only one to manage it

And it’s not just glass storage containers. What about preserves?. The door jamb. There’s a joke there, only there isn’t because when you’ve shut your fingers between the door and the jamb – truly jamming it in place – the joke dissolves. I might have understood

When do you find splinters on your toast?

When you spread it with door jamb.

But no one seems to have bothered trying to make it work.

And then there’s the door knob, a nudge nudge, wink wink opportunity if ever there was one. But again maybe some poor hard at work humorist had just crafted the perfect door knob joke when someone opened the door in question quickly reacquainting his scrotal sack with his long released testicles.

Why do you have to stand tall when you open the door?

Because the door knob works best when you’re erect.

As a new parent there are several things you need to bear in mind as your child begins to develop: the only control a child has is to refuse and/or regurgitate its food and it will use that negotiating ploy from early on; you will eat your body weight in secondhand food by the time they are two; baby poo is still poo; and you mustn’t pigeon-hole them.

I was pigeon-holed as clumsy from an early age. ‘You have heavy hands’ said one grandma – I knew this to be true because, if I relaxed, they headed towards the floor until my arms stopped them.

I did break things. I tried to kill myself in ways that the authors of the Darwin Awards might find too stupid to include. For instance, I was found sticking a small butter knife between the plug and the socket, creating a rather pretty flame which, had I not been holding the small bone handle would have electrocuted me. Here it is

and you can still see the small melt marks where the metal blade rested across the old two pin plugs we had back in the late 1950s.

However doors are a recurring theme when it comes to accidents. In no particular order

  • I have shut my head in car doors on at least three occasions.
  • Just last week I accidentally lent on the carboot close button of the key fob as I was changing out of my walking boots and floored myself with the boot lid as it shut.
  • my right thumbnail is wrinkled from shutting it in a safe door on my second day at a new job as a trainee lawyer. ‘Are you alright?’ they said and maybe wondered why I didn’t speak for quite some while.
  • My parents’ front door and I fought a long and arduous battle that ended in a  stalemate; it’s job was to deny me entry or only on terms that involved me slamming into some part of it – I hated that door.

    sodding thing….

  • Fed up with my increasingly successful destruction of her crockery my mother invested in the latest unbreakable cups and saucers – made of melamine – and was understandably furious when I managed to snap the handle off a cup by shutting the door on it; by this point she had learnt the error of asking ‘how did you do that?’ in case I showed her.

Perhaps my greatest failure with a door came when the Textiliste and I bought a run down Victorian house and set to to do it up ourselves. Yes we bought in a lot of help with stuff like plumbing and electrics but the basic stuff – decorating, re-carpeting, tiling – we did ourselves. Towards the end of this project, I laid a hard wearing cork flooring throughout the hallway but in so doing I found the increased height meant the small downstairs toilet door would not open. One Saturday afternoon, when the Textiliste was out I decided to plane a little off the bottom of the door to free it up; she was understandably rather fed up with the lack of a functioning toilet door.

I took the offending door out back and fixed it on the work bench I had. I planed off a cautious few millimetres and rehung it. Nope, more needed. I tried again without noticeable success. As I was rehanging it for the third time, the Textiliste returned.

‘What on earth are you *&^%$£()_*& doing?’ or something along those lines.

I was a bit put out. Surely it was obvious. I suspect I sounded a little petulant as I explained.

‘Come here.’

I came there.


I looked. The door, still failing to move, sat inside the frame. A slice of yellow light from the bulb inside the toilet stained the hall ceiling with the shame of incontinence incompetence. I had shaved the top off the door.

We laugh about it nowadays. We also know a very good carpenter if you need one. These days, you see, the joke is not the door, but on me.


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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39 Responses to D is for Doors #atozchallenge

  1. Lucy Brazier says:

    There is nothing more unappealing than Russell Brand, I agree.
    Doors are wonderful, I have a real ‘thing’ for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ritu says:

    Oh my His Geoffleship!!!! Seriously umyou make me laugh so much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You might want to avoid doors ! and maybe…carpentry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Geoff, je t’adore – teehee

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Doors always a symbolic thing in literature. Very amusing, I would leave your door shaving as it was – adds character and makes for a good dinner party story 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gordon759 says:

    Brother – how you have managed to survive so long amazes me. if you had been around when the first wheel was invented, it would undoubtedly have run over your foot.
    And surely you cannot have forgotten the occasions when you walked fast through a doorway (doubtless trying to avoid their malign influence) only for the door handle to catch in your pocket with substantial damage to your jacket or trousers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Liam says:

    Ouch. Wasn’t expecting so much pain from this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. trifflepudling says:

    😂 You must have offended the door deities at some early age and they’re out to get you!

    My blundering mostly involves coffee accidents, the best one of which you said you may include in a book one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. noelleg44 says:

    My best day was when I slammed my younger and obnoxious brother’s hand in the car door Except he, the blue eyed, blond little wonder boy, got all the attention and I got the threat of the switch.
    Except I didn’t do it on purpose…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ah but you were the older sibling so deserving!! In my family I don’t recall getting benefits for being younger… but I guess that’s the way if it…


  10. Oh cheeses Geoff – how you escaped childhood alive is completely beyond me! The knife and the ‘pretty flame’ 😀 The second bullet point was coffee spluttering worthy. Luckily for me I had just put my cup down, so I was able to guffaw safely – though it alarmed the cat somewhat!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Old grey-haired Hippie Lady says:

    Entertaining. I smiled all the way through.
    Why are so many people checking into their DNA ethnicity?

    GENEALOGY – Why are so many people checking into their DNA ethnicity?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. willowdot21 says:

    Sorry just laughing out loud❤️💜

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh my goodness, I have tears coming out of my eyes… Be careful!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I could barely get through this post without having to stop and wipe away the tears of laughter. Oh it does my heart good that you are as clumsy as I am. Having said that , we had some melamine cups and plates in our caravan and not even I managed to snap a handle of them!! You area class act Geoff! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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