I had to get myself up and out of bed early this morning because the locksmith was coming.
Yes, we have a bit of a Door Emergency,
as in, we can’t open our back door. Try as we may (and, boy, have we tried!) it remains resolutely locked, for all the world as if our house were Fort Knox and our back door the last line of defence.
We did try our Home Emergency Service to see if this would count as an emergency under our policy but they didn’t view it in quite the same way as we did. As far as we are concerned, it is a true emergency –
how will we transfer the card table and four spare chairs from the garage to our lounge on Wednesday afternoon ready for the fortnightly invasion by our Nomination Whist Group? We will have to go the long way round via the front door and risk trampling on
the daffodils which are already trumpeting their arrival in the front garden. The Home Emergency Service does not exist for the Protection of Daffodils. The fact that we have another door by which we can enter and exit our house means this is not an emergency
in their eyes. So Mr B consulted the Yellow Pages and called the locksmith.
The locksmith says he will come on Monday and his call-out fee will be £59. Which
seems very exact but more or less in line with all the local locksmiths we try. When I say “we”, I mean Mr B who believes strongly that this kind of thing is Men’s Business. He really is too poorly to be dealing with locksmiths and
locked doors and the like. For more than a week he has been suffering from what might be either a heavy cold or man flu, depending on one’s interpretation of the latter. Whatever, he is Proper Poorly. I am trying my best to be a good nurse,
but my nursing approach has always been of the “tough love” variety. My poor children always had to go to school unless they were (i) running a temperature or (ii) covered in spots. Interestingly, all four were hardly ever ill – they
grew up and flourished, like hardy weeds. That isn’t an insult – truly beautiful weeds abound. Especially in our garden...
I offer the locksmith
a cup of coffee which he accepts with gratitude (two sugars, please). I think about deducting the price of a cuppa from his £59 call-out fee but decide this would be uncharitable in the extreme. The locksmith sips his coffee and delivers the bad news:
it will cost such a lot to replace our lock that we would be better to replace the whole door, in the interests of greater security. Mr B remembers that we also need to replace our patio doors. Suddenly we have catapulted from a £59 call-out fee to Major
In the Jacuzzi at the health club (yes, I made it this afternoon) a very unlikely couple are discussing property purchase. You know how sometimes
you see a couple who just don’t look as if they belong together? He has a very loud voice, she has a very soft voice. They appear to have been looking around a number of sea-front flats and are weighing up the pros and cons of each. I don’t really
want to eavesdrop, so I head off for the shower. “Check the locks!” I want to advise them, as I clamber out of the Jacuzzi.
Mr B is remarkably
sanguine about the impending cost of the replacement doors. Through his stuffed up nose, he tells me that these things are sent to try us. He names a rather large figure – and reassures me that this is much less than he thought it would be. I think
back to the moment when the locksmith turned up this morning and asked us to sign a form to guarantee we would pay up the £59 call-out fee. If only we had known then, what we know now. Innocence is, indeed, bliss.
I take myself down to the shops and save £1 on £3 worth of vegetables with a coupon from the Co-op.
I feel vaguely the better for it.