A Matter of a Pinion


I was born into a family of mechanical engineers. I think all of my relations are still puzzled as to how I managed that. Though I am completely inadequate in the field of engineering, it seems I have been equipped with certain artistic capacities that they have not. This odd match is rather satisfying sometimes, as we can easily impress one another with our opposing skills.

My mother, father, grandfather, stepfather, and my only sibling, are, or were, mechanical engineers. Many a dinnertime I would be found making some kind of design with my peas or something while others discussed bits of metal and suchlike. One day they were debating where a pinion should go on a particular piece of machinery, or whether it should be a pinion at all. It was all getting rather heated. I seized the one and only opportunity I have ever had to contribute, exclaiming:

"It’s all a matter of a pinion!"

They did actually stop talking and all looked at me aghast. It was potentially an emotional moment for them if I really was contributing to a technical debate. I suppose to them it was like a child once thought to be mute suddenly bursting into speech, or one thought to be blind suddenly describing the view.

My moment of glory was short-lived. They realised within seconds that I was just being facetious, and went back to their discussion. I went back to my vegetable drawing, chuckling long and hard at my own quip.

Sumangali Morhall
November 2004


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