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WARD'S WORLD: A bit of a fix

Sometimes excuses can be quite amazing or downright insulting if you are on the wrong end of them, although some are quite creative while others tend to wander into the realms of high comedy.

I was listening recently to somebody who was discussing the merits of getting somebody to sort or repair their whatever it was that needed attention but due to the coronavirus situation, the contractor could not enter their home ‘just in case’ but what the ‘just in case’ might be was not mentioned.

In the last few months the times I have heard the virus being used or stipulated as the reason for not being able to do something or another with the occasional punch line being slung in for good measure being: ‘Well, you never know do you?’ is perhaps into double figures.

John Ward (42825085)
John Ward (42825085)

The virus covers ‘all events until further notice’ excuses and now possibly overshadows those time honoured and cherished ones such as: ‘I can’t get to see you until at least Thursday, but that’s next week’s one as Ron is off sick this week’ or ‘We are waiting for the part/s to come in or we think they may well be discontinued’ etc. with this one a odds on favourite.

Perhaps the best one I have heard so far is or was: ‘We have just had the parts come in but do you still want us to do the job? – the reason I ask is because Colin who knows or knew all about it, well he’s had a thingy breakdown (?) and we’re not sure who else here knows the system as well as he does.’

On hearing this I wondered if the ‘waiting for the parts to come in’ might have caused the ‘thingy breakdown’ (?) but the person who wanted the job done apparently cut his losses and scrapped the item in question and brought a new one.

No update as yet about whether Colin has had his ‘thingy breakdown’ sorted or possibly waiting for the parts to come in to remedy it for him.

One event some time ago my dad told me about, who at the time was quite taken by the ‘gormless approach’ as he put it, with the following from his observations.

Some years ago my mum, of the people for the people, had her washing machine ‘do bit of a whoopsie’ as she put it, but could she get anybody from the local brand’s own dealerships to go to sort or even look at it? In a word, that was a big NO.

Interestingly, for the faint hearted, she had rang the firm she bought it from but was told: ‘we only sell them – what you want is somebody who mends ’em as it’s out of it’s guarantee period’ to which she replied along the lines of: ‘So am I but I still have to keep on going.’

So she rang a few supposed ‘specialists’ as listed in a then telephone directory with the results as she put it tactfully: ‘I have heard more excuses than a government with it’s feasible underwear in decline for not wanting to do the job’

Enter Eric and Rocket.

Eric was ‘referred’ to her by a friend as he was this person’s cousin who was ‘very good with his hands’.

She was also assured that Eric ‘was as good as gold’ to which mum inquired: ‘are we talking the 22 carat solid stuff or the flimsy, cheapo plated variety here?’.

It was pointed out he had repaired ‘hundreds of washing machines’ (?) over the years, although his normal job background was never mentioned, so mum took the risk and it was arranged for him to pop round.

Eric arrived one morning together with Rocket, his black and white cat who he explained could not be left on his own. Eric said the job wouldn’t take very long anyway. This assumption was based on not even seeing the washing machine at that point and mum wondered if he was any good at lottery numbers based on this prediction.

Mum’s cat Sooty was not keen on Rocket as he spent the entire time upstairs in the bedroom while man and cat attended to the machine.

Dad said that when he eventually saw the machine Eric looked at it, walked around it, looked inside and after asking if he could switch it on then got the okay to do so then did just that and surprise, surprise – nothing happened.

He then rubbed his chin on hearing the silence coming from the machine as he then said those inspiring words: ‘It’s not working.’

Dad replied similarly as he asked if Eric had ever worked for the Civil Service in any form or other but nothing was forthcoming so dad put that down as possibly a ‘yes’.

Eric said he had not come across this particular model before but, worryingly, would ‘have a go at it as he was there anyway’ (?!) which mum and dad thought was good of him as otherwise why was he there anyway?

On hearing that, dad began to wonder if the family home had been designated a sort of new ‘up-market’ bus stop with catering facilities and seating as the council were never fast in letting anybody know anything, unless it wanted paying for normally.

Eric dissected the machine and after an hour and half that involved a possible ninety nine percent guesswork, he worked out it was the micro switch on the door needing adjusting.

This was quite a thrill or a relief in some respects as the ace card of ‘I will have to order the parts in’ or the excuse deployed of: ‘the giggle pin on the end of the chuckle shaft has always been known to fail on some models’ was not used.

The euphoria of hearing that was slightly offset by dad noticing Rocket ‘doing things’, not planned, as he said to mum: ‘You won’t believe what Rocket has done to your potted plant in the lounge..’

Eric heard this and said Rocket was very good normally but might be having a ‘hot flush’.

So, the bottom line was Eric plus his furry, four footed friend Rocket had arrived, fixed the machine and drunk some tea (lots of I gather) so all in all not a bad morning’s work.

As he was leaving he was thoughtful enough to say that if mum’s potted plant should die off due to Rocket’s ‘activities’ he would replace it – the potted plant, not Rocket – as he owned him already of course.

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