The Wrong Sort Of Interface #blogbattle #interface

This month’s #blogbattle prompt is ‘interface’

‘Of course,’ Lars Tez-Tickle rubbed his jaw ruminatively, ‘it’s your interface.’

Lars understood clients. He’d plumbed for twenty years and in that time he’d had every kind of reaction from despair to incredulity and beyond. He knew to wait, for some sort of response so he could judge which of his many faces – sympathetic, patronising, sharing or cheese-with-a-hint-of-chutney – he needed to employ.

‘Interface?’ Mrs Dundee – was it Dundee, Lars wondered? Some sort of fruit cake anyway. ‘What interface?’

‘You know you have an interface?’ Treat her as informed, Lars told himself. With just a hint of “I’m the expert but you may have googled this” to keep her sweet.

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’

Ah ha, mused Lars, removing his hand from his jaw and reaching for the clipboard – clipboards connoted training and record keeping, of the sort experts used – a hint of the rebarbative mixed with a soupçon of fear. Time to employ the ‘it’ll be fine, madam, trust me, I plumb,’ smile. Couple that with a little ‘I regularly take refreshers so I know the latest science’ nod and a slight ‘but you knew that when you called’ lowering of the eyelids and she’ll be putty in your hands. ‘Your drain is overflowing because of the blocked interface.’

Mrs Drizzle – Lars felt sure she was cake based – squeezed her eyes shut. ‘Is that the best you can do? What interface?’

Lars allowed a larger smile. Those always comforted the…

‘And before you say it, yes I know what an interface is. I just do not understand why the drains might interface with anything, other than the sewers.’

Lars had taken an involuntary step back. He needed to recalibrate this one. The latest ‘Guide To Compassionate Plumbing’ had indicated he needed to make it clear that any form of abuse wouldn’t be tolerated, but he rather suspected that Mrs Sponge – to be fair, she really didn’t come across as a sponge, but something more solid, something one might resort to if involved in hand to hand combat – might try and test the limits of that injunction, and Lars hadn’t just spent a month’s income on the latest in ‘dazzling dentures’ to risk the strength of their adhesion being tested. ‘Of course, and in normal circs, that would be the only interface. But you,’ he paused, not so much for dramatic effect, but because he sensed his client was tensing in a way that reminded him of one of those gory nature films involving top predators and their lunch, ‘you, or rather your drains now interface with the goblin colony at the end of your garden.’

The silence was as unexpected as it was long. Lars sent a series of messages to his features, trying to decide upon the correct mix for the expression he was aiming for, but this quiet was unsettling and it wasn’t long before Lars let his face do its own thing. Even he was surprised when this involved a giggle and a snort.

Those two short sounds appeared to break through the impasse. With a speed and dexterity for which no cakes were renowned, Mrs Stollen – fleetingly Lars wondered if there wasn’t something vaguely Germanic in her attack – launched herself at Lars, downing him in one blow. Before he could compute what was happening, two hands wrapped themselves round his neck.

‘Are. You. Taking. The. Mickey?’

Lars managed to shake his head and was relieved when he realised he could breathe again. He lay very still, triaging himself while his assailant stood and loomed over him. He swallowed painfully and croaked, ‘Something has built a link into your drains and whatever they are putting down it, is blocking yours. I take it you didn’t know about this?’

Lars winced as he felt sure he was about to be hit, but the hand that approached him was merely to help him stand.

‘Thank you. Though why you needed to make up nonsense about goblins, I really don’t know.’

Lars nodded. He wasn’t any sort of expert and a goblin infestation would be unusual in Surrey. He lowered himself into a chair and accepted the proffered slice – Carrot, of course.

Mrs Carrot sat opposite. ‘They’re sprites.’

Lars nodded. Well, there you go. Every day is a new learning experience.

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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28 Responses to The Wrong Sort Of Interface #blogbattle #interface

  1. I found Mrs Stollen more Inyerface than Interface, but she was very sweet really!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aebranson says:

    This was a psycho-social head trip! The social games that Lars plays are very well outlined as he determines how to interact with others, and of course it’s sort of delightful when he discovers he’s not the star player he imagined himself to be. The whole interface and plumbing routine was a wild ride itself. At first I wondered if this was supposed to be futuristic, and then fantasy, and finally figured it was another ‘normal’ day in Surrey. Glad to hear it’s sprites!


    • TanGental says:

      Those Surrey sprites are becoming a real pain. That’s always 5he risk when you introduce another invasive species to such as Surrey. You end up with a dearth of competent plumbers. Glad you enjoyed this!!


  3. JT Twissel says:

    Plumbing certainly is a dangerous occupation!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. arlingwoman says:

    Somehow I’ve come out of this with a hankering for pastry…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marsha says:

    I needed an encyclopedia for this one. I looked up the word sprites and got a computer definition, then a magical one. I liked the magical one best. “A water sprite (also called a water fairy or water faery) is a general term for an elemental spirit associated with water, according to alchemist Paracelsus. Water sprites are said to be able to breathe water or air and sometimes can fly.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was a very funny journey into a Surrey unknown to me. Lars forgetting his customer’s name brought out chuckles. I enjoyed the series of surprises; Mrs Whatever Confectionary’s sudden attack and the entrance into that world of goblins and sprites. Lars’ customer service was good, with experience though he will learn how to ease out the bad news.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Interface | BlogBattle

  8. Human communication is definitely changing and misunderstandings rooted in assumptions are our downfall. I enjoyed the different client’s names.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gary says:

    Wasn’t Sprite also a fizzy drink? Just looking at the Marsha comment about computer sprites… obviously Goblins are more opportune and wouldn’t directly interface a drain. That’s more dwarf territory. Mining and all that, a tunnel going wayward. Instead of a Balrog you get a bog sewer. Although the white wizard did carry a handy stick that might be able to poke out blockages.

    Love that humour Geoff. Very satirical and dare I say British… The dead pan last line of “They’re sprites” is so Monty Python…. No mentions of Parrots required


    • TanGental says:

      Sprite remains a version of lemonade, much like Boris remains a version of a sentient being. Good to have your thoughts on the actions of various fae. The opportunities are legion… and thank you for the comparison to Python. My work is done. I will let it stand for a while and then try a slice…

      Liked by 1 person

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