Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Midas Touch

Everybody is familiar with King Midas, the much fabled monarch of Greek mythology. According to the legend, King Midas was granted the power whereby everything that he touched would turn instantly to gold. This has led to people applying the expression, 'the Midas Touch' to anybody who makes a success of every venture that person undertakes. 

These people did obviously not read the story, because this week I have had the metaphorical Midas Touch and it brings about anything but success.

When Midas first received the power to turn all that he touched to gold, he tested it on a rock. As expected, the rock was instantly transformed from something worthless into an object of great value. All good so far. However, when Midas returned home and ordered his servants to prepare a feast, he encountered his first problem. Upon picking up an apple to eat, it turned instantly gold, rendering it completely inedible. Even the water and the wine turned to liquid gold once it touched the King's lips. To cut a long story short - The Midas Touch was not a gift; it was a curse.

Turning worthless objects such as rocks into a valuable metal is one thing, but turning everything into gold is nothing less than a nightmare. Essentially, everything that Midas touched was instantly destroyed. Even his daughter was turned into a golden statue. Not even James Bond can save a girl from that fate. Therefore, when I say that this week I have had the Midas Touch, it has been really bad.

It all started when I decided to recharge my phone on Sunday. I have a brand new Samsung Galaxy III Mini that is worth more than the laptop I am using to write this blog post and perhaps rather stupidly, not insured. After plugging in the phone, I noticed something was lodged behind the back of the cabinet I was resting it on. I bent down to retrieve the object (it was the dongle for the wi-fi) and inadvertently got my leg entangled with the cord from the phone. As soon as I walked away, the phone went flying from the cabinet and crashed screen down onto the hard wooden floor of our living room. I now have a used, badly scratched Samsung Galaxy III Mini with a crack in the screen, which is worth considerably less than the laptop I am using to write this blog post.

The next occurrence of My Midas Touch came about when my wife, Katie, asked me to help her in making some chocolate truffles to take up to my family for Christmas. The recipe called for some double cream to be brought to a light simmer and then mixed with melted chocolate. Simmer, boil - it is all the same thing. Apparently not. The components of the chocolate separated and we ended up with ugly brown sludge sitting on a think layer of pure fat.

Not learning from the previous outcome of placing her trust in my ability to help with her baking, Katie enlisted me in the preparation of some gingerbread biscuits. Again, these were intended for my family at Christmas. It started well, as I up-scaled the gingerbread man cookie cutter to the size of a human child, but then things went downhill fast once we removed the life-sized gingerbread baby from the oven. The biscuit had expanded whilst baking at heat, making it an overweight baby. I took it upon myself to rework some definition into our creation and began carving at the body with a knife. We now have a freaky, headless life-sized gingerbread baby.

The list goes on. A kettle with a blown fuse and a car running low on engine coolant that turned into a car with perhaps a little too much engine coolant, to name just two. For fear of wrecking a thus far pleasing first draft, I have not done any work on my latest novel recently. I had also planned on sorting out my tax enrolment this week, but have now decided to wait until after Christmas when, hopefully, my luck will have changed somewhat and I will no longer be cursed with 'The Midas Touch'.

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