London, England Guy Fawkes and Osama bin Laden
|Big Ben and Houses of Parliament London England|
The year was 1961. I had just accepted an assignment that required me to live in West Africa for two or three years. At the time, I was living with my parents in a little row house in the suburbs of London, about ten miles from where Guy had come unstuck in 1605. My first problem was the transportation from London to West Africa of my books, sports equipment, clothes and the like. How, for example, does a cricket bat fit into a suitcase? A buddy of mine told me to throw all my gear into a big crate and to call up a shipping line to handle the problem thereafter. Moreover, he would provide the crate. The packing department of his company would make it. What size did I want the crate to be? Foolishly, I asked him to have it made four foot square. A few days later, a fine wooden crate of exactly those dimensions was delivered to my parents' little house.
|Elder Dempster Lines African destinations|
I then returned to live with my parents in London again. They were pleased to see that I had no crate with me. I was vague when they enquired as to its fate. Yet, approaching the little house a few weeks later, I saw a large and familiar object standing outside. The crate had returned! I turned around and headed for the hardware store, not simply to buy tarpaulins but also to delay the inevitable confrontation with my parents. They soon made it very clear to me that, while I was welcome to stay, the crate must go. The answer to my problem was supplied by the Guy Fawkes' Day celebration that the neighborhood was about to hold.
|Guy Fawkes bonfire|
This piece, written by Bob, was originally posted on our website on November 9, 2008.