John told Julie that if they were going to the dump they needed to leave early, but she insisted on paying her last respects. Consequently by the time they arrived a long cortège of cars was already snaking out of the gates. John simmered, biting back what he’d really like to say, as they crawled along the queue to the recycling area. They drove past rows of identical machines: Adam… Brian… Roger… before parking in front of the one marked Tim.
“Sorry Luv,” said a man in a yellow safety jacket. “The Tim machine is out of order. Probably will be ‘til next week.”
“He’ll start to smell by then,” said Julie. “Couldn’t we just put him in the Thomas machine?”
“Oh dear no.” said the man indignantly. “That’s what caused this mess. Different sized gears in a Thomas; gums up the machine’s pulpers.”
Julie stood silent, unsure of what to do.
“Try Guildford,” the man offered. “They’ve got a Tim machine. But they won’t give you cash back for the biomechanical parts.”
Julie got back in the car, offering her husband a weak smile.
“Next time,” said John gripping the wheel so tightly his knuckles turned white, “we’re getting a Robert.”

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The Tim Machine by Adrian Faulkner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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