A Walk–in Pantry

"I'd like a walk-in pantry love," Now did I hear that right?
I shook me head to clear me brain. A feeling of delight
Had suddenly deserted me so early in the day.
Me missus had approached me in a sweet seductive way.

It's just a little trick of hers to get me in the mood,
But really all she wants is bigger space to store more food.
I'll have to get me brain in gear; I need to be on guard.
If I am to survive this one, I'll have to think real hard.

I do recall the supermarket special days with pain,
And now I'm petrified that I will have it all again.
Also I'm thinking back to when we did the bathroom taps;
The prices have increased since then—now can't we let this lapse?

"And all of my ingredients could be so close at hand,
"Think of the convenience with menus neatly planned.
"When visitors drop in and stay for cakes and cups of tea
"With biscuit barrels handy I could feed them instantly.

"You just take this old cupboard out and put it right in there."
"We'd have to shift the wall," I said, "there's just no space to spare."
"You always make things complicated," she went on to say,
"Why can't you be a bit more kind, for once see things my way?"

She threatened with the water works with trembling lip and chin;
Against me better judgement then me spirit just caved in.
I said, "OK, we'll save some dough, I'll do it DIY."
She gave me such a winning smile and wiped a teary eye.

Well pretty soon the kitchen was a demolition site,
I laboured all the afternoon and far into the night.
Eventually, just tired out, I crawled into me bed;
But then I heard strange creaking noises just above me head.

I went to sleep in spite of that, me body tired and worn.
Enthusiastic, up again before the crack of dawn.
The crack of dawn was not the only crack around the place;
The ceilings had all opened up; me heart began to race.

"I think we need an expert in," she gently said to me.
That penetrating voice and look spelled trouble, you could see.
More cracking sounds, and dust was falling even as we spoke,
Another piece of plaster in the kitchen ceiling broke.

I called a proper builder then for this emergency
Who put off all his other jobs, gave us priority.
Now this was going to cost a bit, (as if I needed proof)
That kitchen wall was structural—was holding up the roof!

His team of workers all turned up, they came in no time flat
With truckloads of equipment, and all sorts of this and that.
And propping up the kitchen from the ceiling to the floor,
I saw me hard earned savings disappearing out the door.

To get the walk-in pantry done, he had to shift the wall
The only trouble is, it's left the lounge room rather small.
We've had to sell the comfy bulky lounge suite that we had
And buy some skinny furniture that all looks rather sad.

The end result of all this work would nearly make you cry,
It don't look so inviting as it did in days gone by.
And visitors don't call in now as in those bygone days.
So now we get to feeling like we're social castaways.

And so because we never have folk calling at our place
Me missus thinks we now don't need this extra pantry space.
But I ain't got the money to restore things how they were,
The family fortune's long since gone; it's all because of her.

We're watching for the supermarket specials here and there,
And spending every penny with the utmost frugal care.
The builder's gone on his world tour, a river cruise and all;
But we'll be lucky to afford a coffee in the mall!

© Tom Chapman 2008