Monday, 9 June 2008

Don't you love farce? No? OK

There are some days when you're happy for your life to turn a bit Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. A little Chuckle Vision. Some days, you feel the farcical elements of life particulary keenly and are happy to laugh at your part in them. You're totally accepting of the plank of wood on someone's shoulder swinging round to hit you, or the custard pie landing in your face.

I got to work today, and as I stepped out of the lift, I saw there was a man just outside the office door, on a stepladder. He was trying to liberate a particularly stubborn ceiling tile. I always find this an unnerving spectacle. What could tumble out on the tile-wrangler's head? Live bats? A body? At the very least, a cobwebby dynasty of spiders. On this occasion, it was filthy grey water,  emanating from I know not where. At first a trickle, and then a gushing jet, straight into his eyes, running into his mouth, like a leaky radiator in an episode of Terry & June. 'Aarrgh!' he said, as I attempted to sneak around the ladder and get into the office. 'Get me a bucket! Quick! Anything!' he said. Unable to leave a tradesman in peril, I rushed into the nearby kitchen, scattering a cloud of fashionistas as I went, and grabbed an empty lunchbox which I tried to wedge onto the top of the stepladder to catch the water. I hope no one was planning to use it as a home for their organic muesli. But as I reached up, somehow my outstretched arms only served to provide a channel for the water to run down, towards my own head and chest.

Obviously it's not ideal to report for a new stint of work with your most grown-up, sophisticated and fash-wan set of employers spattered with rancid grey water, but I would have been in fairly good spirits about this. However, the episode was soured by the grim-faced reluctance of my co-conspirator to share the moment of absurdity. I was laughing. He was scowling and harumphing and muttering how he got all the worst jobs. Of course, he is half-right. That is his actual, real full-time job, whereas mine is to sit in a comfortable office and look at the internet and make tea, and punctuate this with short bursts of non-arduous tasking. But still, he's the sort of person who would probably put a deckchair up first time. It would be no fun to bake a wedding cake in a giant kitchen with him. He probably doesn't even have any inter-connecting doors in his house. 

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