Man and Machine – a 100 word story

This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt comes courtesy of ©Jennifer Pendergast
To join the challenge to write a story in 100 words (or thereabouts) by Friday, click here
To read other contributions from a great group of writers from around the world, click on the blue frog

Friday Fictioneers prompt for April 10, 2015 ©Jennifer Pendergast

Friday Fictioneers prompt for April 10, 2015 ©Jennifer Pendergast

Man and Machine

There was nothing Gerry couldn’t do with engines. He used parts from the scrap-yard to fix the washing machine and keep his 37 year-old car in top condition.
The restoration projects got ever more ambitious, ranging from early tractors to an entire train. He didn’t call them his babies or his girls like some of the men in the Vintage and Heritage Club. He loved them for what they were.
His wife Mel was settling nicely into a new home with her new man, new washing machine and new car.
Gerry had yet to notice she was gone. He assumed she had finally found a hobby of her own.

©Siobhán McNamara

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67 Responses to Man and Machine – a 100 word story

  1. micklively says:

    Maybe she had! Good story.

  2. Great last two lines! I really didn’t expect them. I only half sympathise with her though – I definitely think we should keep machines going for as long as we can before just going out and buying new ones…although men, that’s a different story!

  3. Sandra says:

    Hah! I suspect she’ll find her new hobby infinitely more rewarding. Nice one. 🙂

  4. Funny and sad at the same time. Great story.

  5. wildbilbo says:

    Very, very good. I chuckled there at the end. Great stuff.

  6. gahlearner says:

    This gave me a chuckle, too. While I, too, like to keep good things working as long as they can, sometimes switching to new, eco-friendlier stuff can be better. That’s a lesson Gerry won’t learn. Great story with a great ending.

  7. Rather sad… and yet I wish I had some of that focus! 😉 Great story.

  8. Lynda says:

    I’m with Gerry. Which is more eco friendly, trashing or repairing? His wife needs a clue. 😉
    Loved this, Siobhan.

  9. The last line made me laugh! Poor Gerry, i wish he manages to balance “real” life and hobby in future

  10. elmowrites says:

    Haha, love those last couple of lines. Sounds like it worked out for the best all round. I love the scathing attitude to calling them his babies or his girls – gives us an extra hint at his personality!

  11. paulmclem says:

    Heh, nice idea. Extra marks for not having a senseless FF death to ruin it 🙂

  12. Not only a new man but a new washing machine and car! Boy, she really wanted to be rid of him!

  13. What a great way to show a man with a one track mind. Fun!

  14. Fantastic story! Really didn’t expect the ending but I’m very happy for the wife lol 🙂

  15. Indira says:

    Good story. Feeling sorry for Gerry, hard working.

  16. Francesca Smith says:

    While a funny story, I cannot help but think she was the one who had the problem. Yes he liked his trains, but in my opinion, a relationship should be based on not only trust, but also acceptance.

  17. Siobhán, this is sad, but I still laughed. 🙂 Poor oblivious Gerry. His wife didn’t like his fixer-uppers, I guess. You told this beautifully. Well done, truly.

  18. Mike says:

    Ha, Ha, — So True. Reminds me of a slogan I recently read that said “To have Friends, you need to be a Friend”.

  19. Ellespeth says:

    Oh man…he’s clueless. Sad. The new washing machine part made me laugh, though. Life is such a mixture.

  20. draliman says:

    Very amusing last couple of lines. I would say “poor Gerry”, but it sounds like he’s happy enough 🙂

  21. Dear Siobhán,

    You had me laughing at the last two lines even though it’s kind of a sad commentary. Very well crafted story. Beautifully written.



  22. Jan Brown says:

    Very amusing! I think she deserves to have that interesting new man–er–hobby!

  23. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Siobhan,

    The way you communicated his utter disconnection from the ‘real’ world was great. he sounded semi-together there for a bit. Who doesn’t want a man to be able to fix or refurbish things with inventiveness and skill? But then you closed out your story with a laugh and the news that your MC is about as far out there as it is possible to be. Great stuff. (That guy is me.)



    • Thanks Doug, I’m glad you liked it. I know a few guys like that too. They are great to have around but every now and then a girls needs a bit of totally unnecessary, superficial newness 🙂

  24. Try being married to doctor. Our spouses always have to compete for attention. Wait, let me see if I still have a husband.

  25. rgayer55 says:

    I certainly admire Gerry’s focus and determination. Evidently, she needed some of her knobs twisted and turned once in a while to keep them in good working order too. Cute & clever.

  26. milliethom says:

    A clever and amusing story! That was some obsession of Gerry’s. On the other hand, it”s rather sad to think that he and his wife had drifted so far apart because of it. Still, his wife – make that former wife – seemed to have coped with the situation extremely well! Nice one, 🙂

  27. I had a great uncle like this, for real. He lived to 90 and had a good long marriage, so clearly he had a bit more balance than Gerry, but I admire this character’s commitment otherwise. 😉

  28. Dale says:

    So busy fixing things, he didn’t see what was going not going on…

  29. Dee says:

    This reminded me of the life of Fred Dinah – steeplejack and mechanical engineer – he too loved fixing things and making things using old bits found in scrapyards etc., and treated his wife in much the same way. You’ve told a multi-layered story very well, loved the last two sentences.

    • Thanks for reading 🙂
      Is he the man who was on TV quite a bit?

      • Dee says:

        Yes he was. He operated a steam engine too as a hobby, which he took to fairs and it pulled a sort of caravan that he and the family lived in when they travelled about the country. I got the impression he wouldn’t have noticed if his wife moved on!!

  30. That was funny. I can’t say “too bad” for him in reference to her leaving him as he hadn’t even noticed, except “too bad” maybe for her. At least she was smart enough to take some of his “works” with her.

  31. I love your story. The ending is so funny and such a surprise – he didn’t even notice she was gone. Hilrious.

  32. Taygibay says:

    Happy the Pirzig way with a touch of monk to it, good for him ;;;
    and for you, good one, Tay.

  33. so wonderful. Particular love the last line! I guess you could say she did indeed find a new hobby

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