Monthly Archives: December 2012

Epic Fail 3 – Refund of the Jedi

…It’s getting to the point where even I think I’m making this up.

Quick tabloid-style re-cap: Double-glazing fitters go rogue in rural England and enbark on an orgy of lesbianism, breaking & entry and ineptitude whilst spectacularly failing to install any windows. Part 3…

In a strange masochistic sort of way I was rather looking forward to a third helping of hilarity. The fitter who arrived made a good start by slipping over on the wet grass and banging his head, but then proceeded to fix the broken pane without further incident. ‘All done,’ he announced cheerfully.

‘Oh,’ I replied somewhat despondently, ‘thanks’.

For a few days my housemate and I moped around the house feeling cheated of a suitably rousing conclusion, but as every great trilogy teaches us – It is always darkest before the dawn.

The following week I received a call from a woman requesting payment for the work. When I enquired as to what discount they were going to give me I was informed in a polite but firm tone that their service had been exemplary, and that no discount would be forthcoming. With no small amount of relish I rattled off the list of atrocities perpetrated in the course of providing exemplary service ‘…and then he left me a note on some toilet paper with kisses at the bottom, then he broken into my house, then he wouldn’t return my calls…’ She tried in vain to get a word in edgeways, but I was enjoying myself too much. Eventually we agreed to disagree and scheduled a time for me to come into the showroom and discuss the matter further with her boss.

‘Hi baby!’

The lady behind the reception desk was a little taken back by my overfamiliarity. ‘I beg your pardon!’

‘Oh I’m sorry. You’ve just been given a small insight into what it’s like to deal with your company.’

‘Oh, you’re the window guy?’

‘No, you’re the window guys. I’m the guy getting his house broken into by you guys guy.’

There was a brief silence while we both checked to see if my reply had made grammatical sense. It had. We moved on. Deadlock was quickly reached once again.

‘Look,’ I continued, ‘if you’d made a conscious decision to differentiate yourself from other double-glazers by offering a more amorous, burgular-esque quality of service I might have been prepared to pay a little more. Then again I most probably would have gone elsewhere. I’d say a third-off sounds reasonable.’

A couple of other potential customers had arrived, and the woman was keen to usher me out of the showroom and into the workshop. I was handed over to her boss and we continued our conversation in the next room. Neither party it seemed was prepared to give any ground.

It was looking as though all hope was lost when into the workshop rode Jason – knight in shining armour, writer of love letters, installer of bits of cardboard and all-round good (if mildly moronic) egg. ‘JASON!’ I greeted loudly. ‘You don’t call, you don’t write. You little tease.’ Jason stood dumbfounded; the aggressively heterosexual reward centres in his brain firing on all cylinders but coming back with nada. I could almost see the adrenaline pulsing as his flight or fight impulse chose the former. He turned on his heels and walked straight into a display cabinet.

Conservatively I would say that over the next ten seconds roughly thirty panes of glass exploded. The cabinet fell backwards and knocked over three sizable free-standing windows. They in turn hit other panes, dropping like a deliberately placed set of giant dominos. I watched events unfold with a childlike awe, convinced that right there and then no one on the planet was having a better lunch break than me.

Jason responded in the only way he knew how. ‘F@ck.’

‘This guy’s hilarious,’ I commented, ‘does he do requests? So, about this discount?’

Jason’s boss couldn’t look me in the eye. ‘Fair enough sir.’


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Prolific Fibbery

On three separate occasions in August I received macabre text messages that read ‘When you get home from work, dig a grave.’ The resting places in question were for a brood of ex-battery hens who’d succumbed to a mystery ailment within days of each other. Leonard was the last one to go (poor girl). She spend her final few hours trying to dig up her friends, presumably so that she could eat them like she did everything else.

Over the coming days and weeks the usual school run of young mothers gathered outside my garden with their offspring, hoping to catch a glimpse of the silly creatures. They’d  become accustomed to the hens lolloping over to see if the children were edible (mistakenly deducing that they were not).

‘Mummy, where have the birdies gone?’ one of them was heard to enquire.

‘I don’t know sweety,’ came the reply. ‘I think maybe they’ve flown south for the winter.’

‘Don’t be silly mummy. Chickens can’t fly.’

It soon became clear that the women of Emmer Green were being bombarded and harassed. A number of them collared me by my car one morning and learnt the awful truth, but far from enlightening their kids with the circle of life they preceded to make up all manner of excuses to explain the absence. One told her brats that the hens were hibernating (?), another that they were inside watching television, and another that they had ‘gone indoors for the milking season’ – a comment that makes me fear for her little cherub’s future.IMG_0064

After a good few months I felt the burden of responsibility bearing down on me and set about getting some replacements. One rainy Sunday morning I drove over to a local farm and queued in a muddy field with two boxes stuffed with hay. At the front of the line a farmer inadvertently set off an incendiary device by asking the father of a young girl, ‘Are you here for the child exchange program – you get six hens and I get your daughter?’ Playing along the father nodded. Seeing his affirmation the girl became hysterical which, in turn, sent 100+ chickens squawking into Pandemonium.

Returning home I realised that the coop was riddled with lice and was therefore unusable. I ordered another one online and made a makeshift ‘hen den’ in the house. The hope was that it would suffice for a week or so, but a mere night into our cozy little arrangement the chickens decided to make a bid for freedom. In the morning I surveyed the damage…

But for a quirk of history ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ could’ve been known as ‘Cororan’s Cock(rel).’ Instead of the discovery that dogs become conditioned to thinking a ringing bell denotes food, you’d have the insight that chasing a chicken round the garden with a rake let’s it know that it’s not OK to take a massive dump on your pool table.

My murderous antics were interrupted by the school run. ‘YAY! The chickens are back! Where have they been?’

I wasn’t prepared and, as such, only brought my B-game. ‘They’ve…been on holiday.’

‘Where to?’


‘Did they go on the rides?’

‘…No they…get sick.’

‘Do they like…’

As I steadied myself to answer a series of other queries about what chickens may or may not like a thought occurred to me – What an awful lot of lying has gone into what is essentially a really good thing: Rescuing battery hens and letting kids see them on their way to school. As I pondered this moral quandary fate stepped in and settled the matter.

‘Mummy, why are the birdies so thin?’

‘Because the nasty man doesn’t feed them enough.’

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