It was late in the evening. I was at the table enjoying a bedtime snack of toast whilst my dad was making himself some tea. He boiled the kettle and spooned tea leaves into the infuser of our small glass teapot. Unbeknownst to both of us, the teapot had developed a hairline crack near the base. So you can imagine our surprise when my dad poured the water in and the teapot promptly fractured all the way around. It didn’t go to pieces, but a cascade of boiling water rushed over the bench and down the drawers. Dad leapt back and, thankfully, was unharmed. He then stood for a moment dazedly watching weak tea pour into the second drawer, which had been left open. Tentatively, he reached out and pushed it closed. The hot water continued to drip from the bench. He waited a few more moments for it to cool and began mopping up the mess with a tea-towel.
Having finished my toast by this time, I got up to inspect the mess. (Yes of course I asked if my dad was alright before I’d finished the toast, what do you take me for?) We dried off the bench and the floor and then my dad opened the second drawer, which happened to be full of kitchen tools. He picked out a ladle and several other utensils and began wiping them dry. But we both quickly realised that this was a futile activity because of the water puddling around in the bottom of the drawer. Dad and I exchanged a look. There was nothing for it but to empty the entire drawer to get the water out and dry everything off.
Before long there was a large pile of more or less tea-washed kitchen utensils piled up on the bench. Dad lifted out the entire drawer to pour the remaining tea down the sink. I stood and looked at the pile. Dad looked at me looking at the pile. I looked at Dad. It was clear that, as Cupboard-Organiser in Chief, it would fall upon me to sort through and put away all of implements. There were a lot of them. I had always been meaning to go through that drawer and get rid of all the old or broken stuff we didn’t need. It seemed like now – by which I meant tomorrow – was the opportune time to do it.
In the end, my mum went through first and chucked out a whole lot of old knives (i.e. put them in plastic bags to wonder what to do with later). I was thankful, having a quite natural fear of gashing up my hands on sharp implements. But I made short work of the rest of it and thoroughly cleaned the drawer to boot. Unsurprisingly, we were all very pleased with the difference.