The Ballad of Toaster

When she stabbed him there were only two people in the house.  Her and him. That’s why in court it was super difficult to determine what had actually happened beyond: she stabbed him 5 times with a carving knife.

People say there are always three versions of a story: yours, theirs and the truth. Unfortunately, we are rarely able to hear the objective truth.  However, there is almost always something that would know.  A couple of things that bear witness to everything you do, and they’re in your home or office or public garden right now.

“She’s going to lose it.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Well she’s just bashed him with the frying pan so I think we’re definitely headed towards a serious skirmish. She’s looking pretty psycho with make up all over her face and the hysterical crying.”

“To be fair, he shouldn’t have been at it with Susan from number 12”

“Well no probably not.  But I don’t think he quite deserves the level of maddened behaviour we’ve got going on here.  I mean, a carving knife? Really Karen? Get over it. He seems like a pretty solid bloke.”

“Wow, Clock you seem pretty calm considering what’s going on here.”

“Seen a lot of murders in my time, Sideboard.  Back before the days of cheap Swedish furniture we’d get to stand in tens of living rooms and dining rooms, and see a ton of things. I saw the whole industrial revolution from the window sill of a small medicine shop back in Nottingham.  How things have changed for the Boots’.  No use getting worked up over any of it, just sit back and watch them. What can we do?”

 “BLOODY HELL HE’S BLEEDING ALL OVER ME!! PHONE!! She’s stabbed him!! Call the police”

“You know I can’t do that, Rug.”

“What can you do then?”

“Same as you, Sideboard you idiot.  You know very well we can’t do anything except sit here.  There’s no control over anything.  I wouldn’t know where to even begin thinking about lifting my receiver.” 

“Wonder how we’ll get divided up? I’m not sure they’ll bounce back from this.”

“Can’t see Keith bouncing back from 5 stab wounds in his chest at all Lamp. Probably sold – Oi, Toaster! Did you come here with him or her?”

“What have you asked him for? You know he’s mad.”

 “Doomed to watch the world are we,

Sitting on the side,

People come and people go,

There’s nowhere they can hide,


They think that we’re unconscious,

Not capable of seeing,

But we’re here and we’re watching you.



“Alright Toaster mate, we’ll figure it out later. Didn’t his poems used to rhyme better than that?”


Imagine the stories they would be able to tell if they really could talk and watch.

It would probably be a mix of trauma like witnessing a murder or complete mundane day-to-day things like;

“Gladys wakes up at 8am every day.  After I’m boiled she makes a cup of tea and head out of the room.  I don’t see her again until 2 when she comes in to make lunch. On Sundays she fills me up right to the top because her kids visit.”

Antiques would probably be the most fun pieces of furniture to interview.

With family heirlooms being the most protective over the humans they’ve watched grow up and live and die over and over.

Older furniture probably has a sense of permanency while the newer Ikea era furniture knows it’s more temporary and less likely to be passed down.

Older furniture probably thinks more traditionally about itself and its other furniture colleagues; while, newer furniture is more likely to be open to non-traditional pieces of furniture joining its ranks, like sofas made of palettes and storage shelves made of cardboard.

And so, to conclude, your furniture’s watching you. It’s got opinions on what you’ve matched it with and where you’ve placed it in the room.  They’re probably keen advocates of Feng Shui.  It’s most likely a reluctant accomplice to where you hide the extra biscuits, and knows exactly where that pair of glasses you lost is.

One thought on “The Ballad of Toaster

  1. Wow, amazing piece, I am never going to look at my nightstand or book rack, as just inanimate objects, I hope they are happy with me ;). You truly are a gifted writer, you keep the tone light, yet it has many layers and delightful depths. Please write more, and have a great day.


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