Galumph turned to me the other day and said, apropos of nothing, "How long would it take you to knit sweaters for all of us?"
"Don't tell me!", I exclaimed in glee as I jumped up and down excitedly, "you've finally decided to let me knit you one!"
"Actually", admitted Galumph, "I was imagining that we were trapped in a house somewhere with a terrible blizzard on the way, and we only had a week before it came. Would you be able to knit us sweaters in the week and save us from certain death?"
"Hold up there, buddy. Why wouldn't we just leave the place, if such a nasty blizzard is coming?"
"Aha!", answered Galumph. "Because our car is broken down, and we can't leave. And it's a strange summer blizzard, so we didn't bring any warmer clothes than t-shirts and jeans."
"So we're staying in a house that just happens to be filled with yarn - right? What sort of place is this?"
"Err..." said Galumph, scratching his head. "Oh, I know - it's a former wool store that never did very well, because it's stuck up high in the mountains. But it does have plenty of yarn, and all the patterns you could ever need."
"Stuck in a house with a blizzard on the way and more yarn and patterns than I can poke a stick at? Sounds like heaven - when can we really go?!"
Galumph laughed and said "Trust you! But seriously - the blizzard is on the way, and our car is broken down, so we can't leave. Can you knit the sweaters and save us from hypothermia?"
"I don't get it - why would you set up a yarn business on the top of an isolated mountain?"
"Well", said Galumph, "obviously it wasn't a very sound business decision, which is why she rents it out now as a knitter's retreat slash holiday home. C'mon love - will you save us?"
I stared at him, somewhat hard, I'm afraid. "Why wouldn't we just ring for help?"
"Because we've also lost electricity. And that's why we can't heat the house, and the mountain side is denuded, so we can't even gather firewood. It's dire, honey. "
I pounced at the obvious hole. "Then how the heck did we know about the blizzard? Riddle me that one!"
"Because we saw it on the tv before we lost electricity, and because we lost electricity we can't ring for help. Plus we forgot to pack our mobiles."
"We can't just hike out?"
"Nope - you badly sprained your ankle running into the house to check out the yarn."
I was beginning to wonder if we should cave in and finally buy a tv ourselves if these were the conversations we were going to have if we continued living without one. Taking a deep breath I said "So let me get this straight - we are stuck in the magic yarn filled house on the denuded mountain side, with no car, and no electricity but one sprained ankle, and the blizzard is coming that will kill us all, unless I manage to knit the sweaters to keep us warm and cozy in a week, right? I guess I could if I was knitting every hour I could stay awake... but what about food? I'd need food to keep me going!"
"The owner, thankfully, was kind enough to leave lots of tinned food, and we'd have just enough gas in the cylinders to cook, but not to heat. Hey, maybe I could help with the knitting too - would you trust me with the sleeves?"
I thought back to his last attempt at knitting, and shuddered. Diplomatically I answered "Er, I think your job might be to keep the Tyger entertained, all of us fed and to fill every nook and cranny with balls of yarn to stop blizzardy drafts coming in."
"Hooray!" said Galumph. "I knew your knitting would save the day!"
"Just don't expect any intarsia or cables, buddy. Or anything knitted under 5mm. This will need to be the plainest, speediest knitting ever."
What about you? Could you and your amazing knitting needles/crochet hooks save your family from a chilly death if you, like us, were stuck in the worst holiday home on the planet? Or would you just burrow under piles of yarn and hope for the best, and spend the time plotting how to sue your travel agent?
PS: Although somewhat embellished, this was actually a real conversation. Heaven help us.
PPS: Happy Easter!