The Firemen of Widdon

Every day at precisely 3pm, something unusual happens in the village of Widdon. I’m not sure what it is exactly, as the people of Widdon very secretive – especially when it comes to this daily strange activity – but I am told it has something to do with fire. Nevertheless, there is a story about one man, whose name may or may not have been Eric Binn, that everybody knows. And if you don’t know it, then here is your opportunity to find out just what happened when Eric took on the firemen of Widdon.

It was half past ten in the morning on the day after Friday, and Eric Binn was just waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Unfortunately for him, his bed was against a wall, so it was a painful rise. As he put on his pink fluffy slippers that his short-sighted mother had bought him one Christmas and he hadn’t had the heart to refuse, he contemplated what he might have for breakfast that morning. Toast, he thought. Toast is a common breakfast of humans that involves heating up bread and often covering in something spreadable, like butter or jam or earwax.

When he got to his kitchen cupboard, however, he was disappointed to find that not only did he have no bread, but he also had no kitchen. During the night, someone had stolen his kitchen and left one cupboard on the floor. Fortunately, the cupboard contained some eggs, so he ate them whole for breakfast. After breakfast, he got dressed and sat down to watch some television. It was now eleven o’clock and the television only had 2 channels, so it was a toss up between the news or Loose Women. Since Eric was not in the mood for committing suicide today, he opted for the news. And it’s a good job he did.

“Villagers are warned that today’s 3pm fire could be the biggest yet.” warned the badly dressed female presenter. “The fire is expected to take place in a kitchen, so villagers are being asked not to enter their kitchen unless absolutely necessary. Like if you want a nice warm bowl of Heinz tomato soup for example. But if you don’t want any deliciously smooth Heinz tomato soup, stay out of the kitchen! This is the 11 o’clock news, sponsored by Heinz.”
Eric smiled. For the first time in 40 minutes, he was happy that his kitchen had been stolen. Perhaps, he wondered, the fire would occur in his stolen kitchen and the thief would get his comeuppance. Little did he know that this would not be the case.

For the rest of the afternoon, Eric occupied himself with meaningless tasks that added no specific achievement to his life. After he’d voted in the elections, he returned home to make himself some lunch. Since his kitchen, and therefore his food, had been stolen, he stopped off at the supermarket on way home to buy a sandwich. He chose cheese and ham, but the shopkeeper made him buy a turkey salad sandwich instead, as was the tendency of the pushy shopkeeper. As he sat eating his sandwich and watching Strictly Come Dine With Us, Eric glanced at the clock and noticed it was almost 3pm. Part of him was strangely excited to see what would happen, given that he knew it wouldn’t affect him, but another part of him – his left big toe to be precise – was slightly worried, as it had been reported to be the worst fire yet.

At 2:59, Eric heard a rumble outside. He rushed to the window and looked out of it. To his surprise, he saw a crane carrying what, looked like 14 kitchens all in a big bundle, high above the streets. Seconds later, he was horrified to witness the crane, which was now dangling over his house, release the kitchens, which came plummeting down and crushed both Eric Binn and his house. At exactly 3pm, there was a massive explosion from the destroyed Binn house, and the biggest fire that the village had ever seen.

Unfortunately, neither Eric Binn nor the little Chinese man hiding in his wardrobe survived the disaster. After months of investigations, it turned out that it was the 9 year old girl who had stolen Eric’s kitchen who was responsible for dropping the 14 kitchens she’d stolen on Eric’s house. But because she looked cute and had big, sad eyes, nobody could bring themselves to punish her and so she got away with it. But amongst all this tragedy, there was one positive outcome: there was never another 3pm fire in the village after that day. Most of the villagers now believe that it was Eric Binn himself who caused all of the fires. And they’d be right. Well, sort of.