A Talk at a Women's Institute
At 8.00pm, I arrived at the meeting place as instructed. Their meeting was in full-swing so I sat quietly at the back. Eventually a woman came over to me carrying a black canvas bag: 'The projector.' she said.
It was a strange make. I battled through with the wires and connectors and complicated array of buttons until the thing worked. Then shifted around tables until the image was large enough. After the talk - which they seemed to enjoy - I explained that my books were available at the price I'd paid for them and put a few out on a table. No one came close - except a woman with a cup of tea. Then, for some unfathomable reason, she went to pick up the projector.
'I shouldn't touch that yet,' I said, 'you have to wait for the bulb to cool.'
She picked it up anyway.
'No, really, if you move it the bulb will break if it's still hot - and they're expensive to replace.'
She let go of it again.
I drank my tea then packed away my books and computer. Then I wound up the leads, packed the cooled projector back into its bag and then slipped away without many people noticing.
Unfortunately I think I have another talk with a WI in the next few months but I am not sure when or where. I do hope someone rings to remind me. But if they don't I am not going to mind very much.