One, Two , Three, Many

“One, two, three, four
Tell me that you love me more
Sleepless long nights
That is what my youth was for
Old teenage hopes are alive at your door
Left you with nothing but they want some more

Oh, uh, oh, you’re changing your heart
Oh, uh, oh, you know who you are”


We are stocktaking at work today, counting things that have not been counted since this time last year, along with things that were counted only yesterday, and things that we never realised we had. This used to be a traumatic time for me. In the bad times our financial year end could be determined by the value of our stock and the figures were carefully analysed, criticised, and weaponised by our creditors and bankers. These days we never really strain anyone’s credit department, our bankers have largely forgotten who we are, and John and Gerry get very stressed about the stocktake, and I feel that there’s no need for all of us to be stressed about it, so I leave them to it.

Probably the best business decision we ever made was changing the end of our financial year to June instead of December. Many relationships were tested to their limits crawling under shelves in the freezing cold in between Christmas and New Year, at 2.00am, counting tee shirts and ear plugs that were in the same untouched box that you counted them in a year ago, and arguing with the second counters whether your ‘7’ was indeed a ‘7’ and not as they suggested  strongly, but wrongly ,  a ‘1’.

The only break in the stress in those days was Vincent’s utter hatred of the Pogue’s ‘Fairytale of New York, which played on the radio a lot on the radio over Christmas, but which our Stephen added to his Spotify playlist, every third song , and would switch to it from the radio whenever Vincent wasn’t looking, and we would all wait for it to start again and to be greeted by Vincent roaring “For FUCKS sake has that fucking radio station no other fucking records !!!” and this would give the rest of us a warm glow and keep us going for another 20 minutes ..until it played again.

In other, older, simpler times the stocktakes could be over rather quickly if no one argued with Dad who would get tired of counting things after a while and grandly declare that most of the things on ‘that shelf’ were the same, and rather than count them individually, he would give them an average value, and count them all as the same thing. This system was employed a lot, and generally without argument, especially if it was particularly cold, or the rest of us had plans that evening. This changed the moment our John, an engineer, joined the business.

This then led to a conspiracy between Dad and Vincent where if there was anything fiddly, or awkward to count, such as disposable gloves, especially half opened cartons of them, they would simply hide them on John, by placing them on the highest shelf or placing them behind full , unopened cartons of something else.

It was always a terrible conspiracy because Vincent always found a way to let John know what Dad was doing, and everything would have to be counted again. Dad and John would huff with each other for days and Vincent would be happy for 17 minutes until the Pogue’s ‘Fairytale of New York’ came on the radio again.

The closest we came to a murder being committed on account of our stocktake was the year Vincent had prepped everything on a Friday evening and written on large yellow post-it notes on every carton in the warehouse what was in each one, so they could be finally written on the cartons themselves on the Monday morning before the count. Our kids were tiny kids back then and I had to call into the warehouse on the Saturday to collect something and while I was doing that the kids played hide and seek , ot at least I thought that’s what they were doing. Jake had organised himself , Robyn and Elliott into a contest to see who could gather up the most Post-It notes, and I came into the warehouse to call them back to the car to find them each with a fistful of yellow Post-it notes. We left them on Vincent’s desk and although we lived a mile away , we were awakened the next Monday morning by a distant rumble which sounded like the wind rushing towards us with the echo of a once raging roar “Forrrr….Fuckssss….Sakeeeeee !”

Down through the years the warehouse was used on a Saturday night as a cinema , giant hide and seek venue, and a quite cool Nerf War battle arena. When the Liddys would visit us each summer we would always end up at least once camping overnight in the warehouse, watching old movies, Dave , Ger, my Soulmate and I drinking wine, our kids and the Liddys drinking Coke until it came out their ears, and then having Nerf hide and seek /last man standing battles that some people , Ger and Eileen, took more seriously that any of the kids.

Even now we still find the occasional Nerf bullet in the warehouse during the stocktake and they always make me smile.

As today’s stocktake approached this week and despite my best efforts to ignore it, I have found myself counting things.

Sandbags retrieved from Rossmore by Stephen and Stefan for use in Emy Lough – 137.

Stories written by Jake that made you cry – 1

Distance run with Ray on a Tuesday in kilometres – 5

Time taken to run 5k with Ray on a Tuesday in minutes and seconds – 31.49

Raisins from Ray’s Rum ‘N’ Raisin ice cream eaten by a robin – 3

Almond fingers eaten by Elliott when we called to Mum and Dad’s after work – 2

Finches that walloped into Mum’s window while Elliott was eating all of the almond fingers – 1

Weights lifted in gym on Wednesday in kgs –  all

Selfies taken while lifting all the weights – 7

Times smiled involuntarily when looked at by Soulmate – 9-ish

Songs recommended to Robyn – 1

Songs recommended by Robyn – 3

Gentle requests received for promised local club sponsorships – 2

Lawns mown – 2

Sticks thrown for Molly – 1,876

Cool dreams – 12

Ideas for free Drumlin Giants kids events in the Park that involve water fights – 2

Concerts you had tickets for but gave away …reluctantly – 2

Taylor Swift tee shirts received – 2

Random messages from old friends – 6

Random messages to old friends – 19

Euro football matches half watched while scrolling social media about same matches – 3

Cream buns in the canteen bought by Philip, as he thought everyone was getting stressed about the stocktake , at 11.01am – 13  

Cream buns from Dinkins in the canteen bought by Philip, as he thought everyone was getting stressed about the stocktake , at 11.07am – 1 , the custardy one that no one likes.

Wee dogs wearing a green bandana lost in Rossmore – 1

Social posts uploaded about wee dogs wearing a green bandana lost in Rossmore – 1

Phone calls received from people thinking it’s my wee dog wearing a green bandana lost in Rossmore – 3

Bands called Problem Patterns discovered this week – 1

People that I promised to get back to this week hat I’ve only though of now as I’m writing this – 3

Breakfast rolls ordered for collection in 30 minutes from McCleary’s for the stocktake – 11

Counting can be fun.

It’s good to take stock every once in a while.



P.S. This is Feist’s wonderful 1234

Author: paul

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