Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I'll be dead before I see you again boy.

A few years ago I had occasion to have to deliver an Electric cooker to a pensioner. Install it and take away the old one. No problem. Except the cooker was sealed into the work top. I tugged and tugged at it but it wouldn't budge. Eventually i got a flat bladed screwdriver and started chiselling away at the seal which turned out to be thirty years of dirt grease and filth. After ten minutes of chiselling. I gave the cooker another big tug. There was a huge crack and the cooker flew forward, the over door fell open and a tray of blue green granules fell out onto my shoes.
"What's that?" I asked the old man, who was standing there, still in his Jim Jams with his tool hanging out the front opening. The cleaning lady and daily help fussed round him.
"Now the Mr ****** you just let that young man get on with his work. And don't be letting that little man of yours escape." and she rearranged his pyjama bottoms.
He wouldn't be turned though, and he looked at me dead straight and said "It's rat poison."
"What? you've got trouble with rats?"
"Not anymore boy." and then he turned and allowed the daily to usher him to his chair in front of the TV.
He sat down. Settled himself and looked over his shoulder at me. "Them were big buggers too. The size of cats."
"Really?" I said, humouring him, from behind the cooker.
"When I were young we'd blast the buggers with a shotgun. Chase them round the barns an blast 'em. There wouldn't be much left for the cats after that. Bloody useless cats anyway, they were all too damn scared of the buggers. Silly devils would run away."
I finished installing the new cooker and turned to the old man "There you go you can cook whatever you want now."
"There'll be no cooking done on that bugger, I get meals on wheels boy, meals on wheels."
"So what did you want a cooker for then?"
"I don't want a cooker. It's bloody free isn't it? If them thar government wallers are daft enough to buy me a new cooker I'm gonna let 'em. Bloody social workers coming round telling me my cookers aint safe. Bloody do gooders wanna give me a nice new safe cooker, well let 'em tha's what I say let 'em and hang the lot of 'em. I got me meals on wheels and my TV. I got all I need. I don't need no bloody social worker. So if they wanna do that, it's their money, what do I care? I'll be dead afore long any road."
"Well I'll be seeing you then." I said cheerfully, picking up my tool box.
"I'll be dead before I bloody see you again boy. Hey and don't forget to put that rat poison back in the new oven. Bloody Rats........"


Blogger Quink said...

Superb. A scene that could have been lifted out of my childhood.

Ok, I was brought up in South Lincolnshire. You live in Cambridgeshire, or Peterborough if you prefer. And this was from one outgoing Bishop of Norwich to his successor. But it holds true:

"If you want to lead anyone in the Fens, find out where he's going and walk in front of him."

8:34 pm  

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