‘Really Alice?.. Now?’

The Cheshire Cats’ voice was admirably sarcastic, but that was nothing unusual.

‘Piece of cake Chesh’, Alice beamed, holding the defunct headset and giving it a shake, as though the broken wiring might rattle loudly, just for the occasion.

‘All I have to do is take the casing to pieces, strip some wires, resolder the connection, and sure as cupcakes, these headphones will be back on me, mixing beats before it’s time for tea…again.’

She paused, sucking her lip thoughtfully.

‘Is it just me, or does it seem, more than less, on the larger part, that it’s almost always time for tea?’

The Cheshire Cat sighed. ‘ Then I’m sure you’re aware its already well after midnight?’

Alice nodded absently, turning the headset over. ‘There’s no accounting for the unexpected timing of a well brewed pot’.

He rolled his eyes, ‘You know quite well what I mean’.

She gestured in what she imagined to be a reassuring manner.
‘It’s a simple procedure….in theory..’
She eyed the headset suspiciously, as if her statement might suddenly cause it to act otherwise.

He said more firmly, ‘and you haven’t had even the slightest amount of sleep in over two days now, Alice.
Are you sure your judgement is sound?’

She put the headset back on the desk next to the wide array of mostly unnecessary tools.

‘I’m engaged, as is oft’ the case, in a conversation with a talking cat.’ replied Alice.
I’m not sure why you would have reason to suspect ANY of my mental acuity is even remotely sound’.

She picked up a small prybar and leaned over the plastic casing.
‘Just like a lobster at lunch’ she said, reaching out…

‘ALICE!’
Cheshire’s voice was quite stern.
‘You may, perhaps, recall, that’s an expensive headset you’re about to….pry out of it’s shell?’

‘Yes Chesh. I know that.’

‘You may also recall, that your knowledge of electronics is entirely self discovered….
And you should well remember… what happened last time you attempted soldering..’
His tone was loaded with meaning.

She stared at him without expression.
‘I’m not sure I see your point.’ she said flatly.

The fire had been almost entirely an accident.

She pushed down with the prybar.

The headset split open at the seam with a rather satisfying “Crack”.

‘Wow!’
She shone the light into the cavity,
‘Look at those wires…

They’re REALLY THIN!’

Cheshire sighed again , sounding rather resigned.

‘It’s ok Chesh, I saw this once on a TV show….you always cut the blue wire.’
She paused.
‘Or is it green ..?’

Cheshire coughed.
‘It’s a headset Alice, not a bomb’.

She grinned, reaching for a small screwdriver.
‘ Well then, there’s nothing to worry about….’

…. Half an hour later she made a contented noise, and put the reassembled set down onto the desk.

She looked at it warily.

‘Why do you suppose,’ Alice said to the now sleeping cat, ‘that there are always all these parts left over……?’