Spot the idiot!
I have two hates in life, buses that are late, and cold callers. My personality changes, I go from being a reasonably normal person, to doing (I am reliable informed) an impersonation of Penelope Keith from the comedy sitcom 'The Good life'. Sarcasm and pompousness coming quickly into play.
Being a reader for 'Ask The Answer' I always like to prepare myself before I sign in, by doing at least 15 mins meditation before I go on line. The other morning was no exception. I was in the middle of a deep meditation, when suddenly there was a loud banging at the front door. I looked at my watch, 10am, too late for the postman, I don't have milk delivered. I'm not expecting a parcel, who on earth could it be? They kept on banging. Eventually I couldn't stand the noise any more.
Now extremely irritated, I opened the front door, and was greeted by what can only be described as a mess. Standing at about five foot five and looking as though he had just got out of bed. His hair was all over the place, unshaven, and looked thoroughly disgruntled.
Your attention was quickly drawn to the right side of his lapel, were there was an old worn name tag with a British gas emblem on it, and his name, BERT in bold letters. He looked in his 50's. His facial expression was one of 'he really didn't want to be here'. His scruffy and smelly clothes didn't do anything to enhance the situation.
'What do you want' I had asked in the most pompous, intimidating voice I could muster. 'I be right sorry to bother you miss, ma names Bert'. His Norfolk accent quickly coming into play. There was short pause as he took out a crumpled piece of A4 paper out of his back pocket. 'Lets see now, Mmmmm, Mrs Broadmoor, yea, yea, Broadmoor. You should 'ave received a call yesterday saying we was coming to this 'ere address'
'Broadmoor' I had replied in amazement, snatching the bit of paper out of his hand, and turning it up the right way, then impatiently handing it back to him.
'I think you'll find that's a lawn mower bill from a garden centre in Derby'
'Oh, silly me, wrong piece of paper. Left me glasses at 'ome. Left in such a 'urry this morning. Forgot me lunch to, that's sitting somewhere, but I've forgotten where, aye' He quickly rummaged in his other pocket, and eventually found another bit of crumbled paper, 'Mrs Clydesdale. That's a name of an 'orse isn't it'?
'Bert, now that we've worked out that your definitely a candidate for Master mind, could I just ask you to read the sign in large letters, that is beside this front door, in bold gold letters'.
He read it very slowly 'NO COLD CALLERS. No, no, see I'm from gas board. I've been told to check ya gas meter, and do reading, as you 'aven’t rung in like what you should have dun'. There was a short pause as he put the bit of paper back in his pocket.'
'I think you'll find your wrong' I had replied calmly.
'No no' It says ere on bit of paper', he took the piece paper out of his pocket again, tapping it. Quickly Unfolding it, cleared his voice and as though about the read a verse from Shakespeare said; 'According to our records 'ere, lets see now, bla bla bla, yup, 'ere we go, opey doopy do, Bla bla bla. You ain’t paid your gas bill for over four months, naughty'. 'Bert, watch my lips, I'm all electric, there is no gas here', and my name is ….......'
Bert impatiently interrupted me, 'Look miss, you don't understand. I'm having a very bad start to the day' he looked at his watch 'It's only nine o’clock in the morning, and I'm already annoyed' he pointed to the sky. 'That 'ere sun is very bright, and it is getting 'otter by the minute. You see this morning, I got into the wrong van see, and I got no tools, cos it's in the other van, and me partner James there' Bert turned and pointed to a man who was bending over a large man hole cover, to the side of the road, seemingly talking to himself. 'That be James see, me partner. See. He's not a happy bunny at the moment either'
'I suggest that James there' I pointed in his direction 'Removes himself fairly quickly from the said man hole cover, or there is every chance he will get run over, and will be going to meet his maker a bit sooner than he planned. There is a bike race on this morning and its estimated there will be about two hundred plus bikes coming through this village, and they will be travelling very fast. Where are your traffic cones and fluorescent yellow jackets. It's a good thing I'm not running your company, there would be some serious changes'
'Yea, they'd all leave' Bert had muttered under his breath. 'Now are you going to 'elp us or not? 'Ere, you couldn't make us both a nice cupa of tea could ya. Three sugars for me, and one for me partner there, only I've left me flask on Kitchen table'. There was a brief pause while he scratched his head 'Or did I leave it at depot, ummmm, Mmnnnn. I'll have to think on that'
Suddenly, James called to Bert. 'Ask her if she's got a man hole hook, failing that, man hole cover lifter'
Bert folded the A4 sheet, and put it back into his back pocket, and started walking back to James, who by now getting very agitated. Bert shouted loudly, 'What was that you say, what do you want me to look at?' Unexpectedly, Bert stopped, and putting his hand to his head said, 'God love us, of course, why didn't I think of that before' Quickly turning around, came back to the front door and asked 'Haven’t got any spanners ave ya?' 'Spanners' I replied in amazement. 'What type of spanners? Long ones short ones, thick ones, square ones, enlighten me Bert. What size would you like,' I continued sarcastically, '2 Inches, 6 inches, 12 inches. Flat ones, round ones, oblong ones, colourful ones!' .
'Of course' he said tutting to himself, as he touched his forehead with the inside of his hand. His tone of voice turning to mild excitement ‘A set of chrome vanadium metric wrenches, that’s what we need. Don't suppose you've got any, hav ya luv? Always useful to ave in case you want to change a tyre, or even service the car. I swear by 'em. Known in the trade as a combination wrenches, usually six in a set.'
'Bert, now I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm going to say to you. One, I
have no gas, two, no wrenches, and three, my name is not…'
Suddenly James called to Bert. His voice extremely irritated 'Come on Bert, we've got the wrong 'ouse. Its barn down road' Bert laughed nervously, 'Sorry luv'. Turning quickly, walked back towards the road.
Suddenly, the phone rang. 'Oh please, don't let it be from the gas board!'