2. Experiences of a coffineer
What’s in a name?
Before I start this piece I should just say (and I think it’s completely appropriate given the subject of this particular post) that this post was very, very close to being titled “The experiences of a confiner”. Not because I thought this was a particularly good title or the fact that I like the idea of being the ultimate confiner, so to speak, but solely due to the power of the Blogger spell-check / auto-correct function.
Yes, the bloggers’ tool had decided in its wisdom that “Confiner” was a better word than “Coffineer” and had tried to outwit me by sneaking in the change. It was only at the last second, as my cursor hovered perilously close to the “Publish” button, that I spotted its dastardly plan and changed it back. You see, the word “Coffineer” for some unknown reason does not actually appear in the OED the Collins or any other dictionary for that matter and so in a way the computer blog thing was right…or was it?
Anyway, back to the stor,y which takes place over a pint or two of Shepherd Neame’s finest ale at the Vine Inn in Tenterden. I was enjoying a drink in the warmth of the bar with my partner, Holl,y and our two friends Barry and Izzy, who had been minding our collection of Curve coffins whilst we packed up the “stall” after the aforementioned late night shopping evening.
As previously mentioned, I had been frozen to the core with nothing but a Woodchurch Scouts’ alcohol free mulled wine – if there can be such a thing – and a last-minute, lifesaving portion of Bob’s chips (bought to me by the delightful Holly) after 4 hours in the freezing cold and so was in desperate need of a pint or two of the amber nectar in the warmth of this fine hostelry.
It was a particularly busy night but we managed to secure a few inches of carpet close to the bar. We are pretty good friends with one of the managers at this particular drinking hole, what with him being a fully paid up member of Equity and what with three of us also treading the boards on occasion, the conversation soon turned to the events of the night and how we were getting on with this ‘ere coffin making malarky.
After explaining that we had had a good night despite some “raised eyebrows” – see later post to come courtesy of Kentish Express – Fraser, for that is the bar manager’s name, asked what the formal address should be for a coffin maker of distinction. Was it a Coffinista, a simple box maker, a death chippie, a screwer and banger or what?
So I, in my finest anglo-saxon, and at the top of my voice, proudly declared “I am a Coffineer – All for one and one for all!”