Wednesday, July 14, 2004

That's what it's like in the electrical trade.

Tonight is my slobbing night. I got really ill a few weeks ago because I was doing too much. Burning the candle at both ends and then in the middle. Thursday we played Geneva's and stayed til 03:00am next night I was up til 02:00 the next night we played the Fox at Folkesworth played until 02:30. Sunday I went to bed early and a friend phoned me at Midnight. Couldn't get back to sleep. So by Monday I was a zombie. So due to old age I have decided that at least one night a week I've got to ease up. OK it's a token gesture. My doctor will hate me for it. I daren't tell him about my real lifestyle he'd lock me up, for my own good. But I can't sit still. I've got to be doing something.
So tonight I've been playing guitar. Practicing a few things Tony wants to do in the band.
We're playing a mini music festival on the 1st August. Our band is the headline act. There's going to be six bands throughout the afternoon.
Well it's official Simon has sold his Lotus Esprit and bought a J200 guitar and Pete Townsends old guitar or was it John Entwhistles? A J200 for the uninitiated is the guitar of choice of Elvis. he wont tell me exactly what it cost but it was in four figures.
Meanwhile Tony last night told me he was buying an Ovation guitar. You may have seen themthey are those guitasrs that have the rounded plastic backs. many years ago I was delivering a cooker to a guy and as I walked through his front room I noticed a fender stratocaster leaning against the sofa.
"You play guitar? " I asked
"No I just buy and sell them I'm selling this one for £80."
"What? I'll buy it."
"Sorry I've already sold it."
"Have you any more?"
"Not this second I had a crappy plastic backed one last week."
"what sort?"
"I dunno.It began with an O."
"Ovation perhaps?"
"yeah that's right. Fucking useless piece of shit. I got rid of it for £20. Who wants a plastic guitar?"
Well me for one. The twat didn't know what he'd got.
I almost died. £20 for an Ovation? I console myself now that they were probably stolen.
Delivering cookers is an entertaining line of work. One day the DHSS asked me to deliver a cooker to an old man. I got to the house and knocked on the door.
"Fuck off!" shouted this voice.
"I've come to deliver a cooker."
"Fuck off!"
"The DHSS sent me."
"Fuck off! Before I call the police."
So I went to the kitchen window and looked in to show him my I.D.
I was looking down the barrel of a second world war Luger. Shit! They don't pay me enough for this.
Another time I was sent by the DHSS to deliver a cooker to a house and as I got there the "Meals on Wheels" guy was handing a dinner through the kitchen window. He turned to me and said "You're not going in there are you?"
"Yes I've got to fit this new cooker."
"Well wipe your feet on the way out then.I wouldn't go in there if they paid me double or even treble wages."
I stood at the door and it was opened by this really scruffy guy. I was knocked back by the smell. The old guy said "the kitchens this way." and walked down an uncarpeted hallway.
"Shit!" he said. He'd trodden in something. Yep it was dog shit."'scuse me" he said as he opened a door and wiped his shoe on the carpet of his living room. I was almost gagging by now. I looked about me there was dog shit everywhere. The smell was incredible it crept into your clothes, your nose, everything.
"would you like a cup of tea?"
"no thanks." I said, perhaps a little too quickly.
I just wanted to get out and at that moment knew why the "meals on wheels" guy handed him the meal through his kitchen window. It was hell on earth.
I had to drag the cooker throughthe living room. In the middle was a single tub washing machine. It was on a boil wash. The water was grey and fetid. The air was steamy and gut wrenching. God what was he boiling? Body parts? The kitchen was horrendous. Mould everywhere and bottles of rancid milk on the window sill. The floor cluttered with empty cartons and rubbish. Every surface was covered with a layer of filth and grease. The dogs sniffed around my legs. Two german shepherds who had never seen the light of day in years. Crapping and pissing where ever they stood. It was obvious that this guy was never going to use this cooker at all. So why the hell was I here? Perhaps to provide him with another surface to cover with his filth. Perhaps so the DHSS could say they did their best. They've done their duty. How can people live like this? Until you've been there you will never know how fabulous fresh air is. Just to stand outside this house and breathe deeply, suck in that beautiful air. Cleanse yourself. I had to change my clothes and have a shower after that job.
The DHSS has a lot to answer for. one time they sent me to deliver a cooke to this woman who was having a nervous breakdown. She lived in a second floor flat with no lift. I had to haul that cooker up thirteen stairs. At the top I encountered and empty flat. Absolutley nothing in it apart from a bed roll and a "Goblin teasmade". The woman was painfully thin and had black teeth. She asked me if I wanted a cup of tea. Standard question in this country. I said "OK" even though I didn't really want one.
"I've got no milk." she said.
"That's OK I have mine black anyway."
"I've got no sugar either."
"oh well perhaps I can do without."
"I'm fresh out of tea as well." she said, "I can do a nice cup of hot water."
"That's OK I'll do without." And I got on with fitting the cooker.
Suddenly she slinked up to me and said "You've worked hard perhaps you'd like to lie down a while." And she lay down on her bed roll and patted it waiting for me to join her. Flashing her black teeth at me. Eeeek! I said " this is a little more difficult than I thought I better get our other engineer onto the case." I ran out the flat.
Back at our shop I went to John and said "I've got an important job for you. You've got to fit a cooker. her's the address."
John said "OK" and disappeared he was gone two hours. When he got back he came up to me and said "You bastard. You knew she was a nutter. She tried to rape me. She had me down on the floor and I had to fight her off. You'll pay for this."
I must admit I had to laugh. But then that's what it's like being in the electrical trade.

May your god be with you



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