Katrina Spencer, a 19 year old college student, had just completed her A level exams and had decided that there was no better way to celebrate her summer holidays than to spend them with the one person whom she loved immensely; her dear Uncle Jack. She had idolised him since childhood and found him hilarious and always fun to be around with because he reminded her of an absent minded professor.
Uncle Jack, who was in his late fifties, lived alone in a country cottage and spend most of his time in his back-garden shed, which he had converted some time ago into a work-place using his expertise skills in D.I.Y. Now it was his private den and he spend most of his day hidden away inside doing the one thing he relished the most; inventory. He also had one distinct feature which set him apart from everyone else, and one of the reasons Katrina wanted to see him; his unique laughter. He had the most hilarious laugh one could imagine and it was very hard not to laugh at it. Katrina’s mother, Janice, would drive her to the cottage and warned her time and time again to keep a straight face as it was impolite to laugh at elders. After all, Uncle Jack couldn’t help it.
Janice pulled up the car just outside Uncle Jack’s cottage and gave her daughter a stern look.
“Now are you sure you’ll be alright, Sugar?”
“I’ll be perfectly fine, Mother. Don’t worry, please just go. I’ll ring you when I want you to pick me up.”
“Good girl. Oh, and Katrina. I want you to promise me that you won’t laugh at Uncle Jack’s laughter.. Put your hand on your heart and cross it.”
“Oh Mother, you know I love him to bits. I’ll do my level best not to. I promise.”
“Alright, well you just take care. Bye, Sugar.”
And with those reassuring words, Katrina opened the front passenger seat door and made her way out. She waved to her mum as she drove off.
“Uncle’s going to be really pleased to see me,” She said to herself, ” I’m going to give him a surprise!”
She knew her way around the place. It was like a second home to her and she came and went freely as she pleased. And so, she made her way quietly through the back-door entrance and saw the distant shed with Uncle Jack inside. As always, he was busy making something.
“Uncle Jack, it’s me, Katrina!” ” There was no reply. “Uncle Jack!” She walked right up to the shed and tapped him on his back. Suddenly, Uncle Jack raised his hands up.
“Who is it? What do you want?” Katrina walked around him so he could take notice of her. “Oh, it’s you, Katrina! Ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw.” Katrina pursed her lips very tightly and backed away.
“I thought it must be a thief! Haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw.”
Katrina peered across at his work-bench.
“You’re making something again, uncle. What is it?”
“Ah ah ah. Nosey nosey. I’m not going to reveal my invention until it’s completely finished and in working order.” Katrina shrugged her shoulders and sat on a stool close by. Uncle Jack lovingly patted her hair.
“Why don’t you go inside and help yourself to some cookies, Katrina. They’re in the top drawer of the kitchen cabinet, by the microwave.”
Katrina knew that Uncle Jack was aloof by nature so she didn’t take his remarks to heart and made her way to the kitchen.
Later that afternoon, Katrina heard a loud whirring sound coming from the shed. She ran out the kitchen to see if Uncle Jack was alright. He stood there, staring right at her, with a large smile planted across his face.
“Uncle Jack, what was that loud noise?” He moved aside to unveil his latest invention. “Ta DA!!” There on the work bench was a beautiful sleek cylinder connected to a pump and plugged into a socket.
“Now, Katrina, I want you to press that switch on the left side of the cylinder.” Katrina approached the switch hesitantly.
“Go on, it won’t bite you. Ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw.” She pursed her lips tightly, resisting her laughter and pressed the switch. Suddenly, the whole apparatus began to move and the same whirring sound was heard.
“Alright, now I want you to release the switch gently and watch what happens.”
Suddenly, to Katrina’s surprise, a plastic cup popped out from beneath and a pink drink poured out followed by a voice. “Your drink is served, Mistress Katrina.”
There was a glow of joy on Katrina’s face. “Oh, it’s the pink lemonade maker I always dreamt of…and it has a voice too! I love you so much, Uncle Jack, ooh thank you!”
“The pleasure is mine, my dear Katrina, Haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw haaw.”
And this time, Katrina couldn’t help herself and joined in.
“AAA aha ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw!”
The following afternoon, Katrina’s mum, Janice, came to collect her, after her call and thanked Uncle Jack who presented Katrina with the Pink Talking Lemonade Maker as a gift of love to her. As they drove off, Uncle Jack waved to them and called out,
“Thanks for coming over to see me. Looking forward to seeing you again very soon, Ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw ha aw.”
All in all, that entire afternoon had been something to look forward to