As we head through the door marked Staff Only (a door that has long tantalised me with its allure of the unknown, presumably pristine and neatly organised interior sorting office) I resolve myself to Social Up And Ask A Question.
“How do we get though? It clearly says, ‘Staff Only’ and we aren’t Staff?”
I make sure to pitch my voice to a question, keep it light and try not to be too “bossy” as The Parent has advised me many a time. People don’t respond well to sudden onset bossiness, even if they were in need of being corrected, advised or otherwise informed that they were, in fact, wrong.
“Well, Cindy here could help. Now she’s got her handle she’s good as gold.” Beamed Nanny Hat, gently waggling the axe, now apparently named Cindy.
I suppose my disagreement must be showing on my face, as most emotions are wont to do regardless of your preference to emotional displays. Nanny Hat decided she must reassure me by explaining that Cindy was “almost as old as my hair and older than my teeth!” concluding with a confident (and presumably vaguely denture-laden) grin and a chirpy “She’ll see us through - that door can’t be more than fibre board and glue.”
The moment she began to lift her arms to cleave the door in two, Axe (the person, not to be confused with Cindy The Axe) made a miraculous recovery from his pale and vomitus state enough to say, “You aren’t holding that right, you’ll break your arm!” and attempt to take it from a very reluctant Nanny Hat.
As Axe (the Person) lifts Cindy (the Axe) high above his head, right until her tip nearly meets his back, Nanny Hat meets my eyes and gives me a slow smile-and-wink combo. This means Trouble, the kind that must be capitalised.
While Cindy begins her descent I remember how sweat-inducing vomit is. Clearly Axe has either forgotten or chosen to ignore his damp palms and as a result Cindy shoots out of his hands, missing the Staff Only Door That Was Right In Front Of Him and instead hitting him squarely in his left foot.
I make a mental note that Crocs are nothing like their namesake, in fact they are the antithesis of an actual crocodile in their flimsy, hole-ridden and aesthetically abysmal state. Axe must be wearing them for some kind of comfort, though now he is struggling to remove Cindy from his poor choice in footwear.
Nanny Hat is the first to step forth to assist Axe in the removal of the… axe. With one firm tug and two sharp screeches (one of effort from Nanny Hat and pain from Axe) Cindy is released from her brief imprisonment.
Gnome is hovering nervously at the edges of our gathering, eyes darting to the main room and back before widening. The colour drains from her face as she asks (rather redundantly) “Wasn’t that the same axe you used to kill the cashier?”
Axe begins to cry.