On The Job – (Fiction)

Good morning. Please come in. The drain in the kitchen sink is blocked, and the cold tap won’t stop dripping. I don’t want the water flooding over the top, so I called you urgently. Do you think you can fix it?

Yes, of course, I can fix it, madam; I’m a very experienced and qualified plumber. I’ve been doing this job for twenty-five years now, so I know my stuff. Let me have a look. I expect you’ve been putting fat down the sink, haven’t you? You housewives are all the same.

No, actually, I never put fat down the sink.

Huh! You know, you should never do that. It ends up bunging up the sewers; then some poor geezer has to go down there amongst all the crap to clear out other people’s shit.

I told you, I don’t put fat down the sink – ever.

Well, it looks that way to me. Tut! This job will take extra time to sort out.

Oh, dear – is that going to cost a lot more? I don’t have a lot of spare cash. You know, I used to do my own plumbing jobs before my accident.

I don’t think women should be casually messing around with plumbing. They don’t know what they’re doing – they’ll only make the problem ten times worse. They should leave it to the experts like myself.  Us men, that is.

There are female plumbers, too, you know.

Really!! They’re not as capable of tackling these tough jobs as we are. They haven’t got the hands for it.

I really think that’s unfair of you. After all, as I said, I used to be able to sort out problems like this, especially in my own home.

Look, madam! I’m a professional, as I’ve said. Do you want me to do this job or not!? If you’re going to cause a fuss and complain, you’d better find yourself another plumber to do the job. I’ve had enough of this. Women are so ungrateful these days. So, you just go ahead. After all, you might be happier with a woman plumber. If you can find one, that is. Ha ha!  Don’t come back to me when it all goes wrong.

Would you kindly leave, please?

With pleasure, madam! Just as soon as you pay me.

But you haven’t done anything.


That’s your fault, missus – you wanted the job done. I charge a call-out fee – that’ll be £85 plus £60 for any time up to the first hour. Think yourself bloody lucky I’m not charging you for the inconvenience.

I don’t have that sort of money, and my husband is at work, but I’ll ring him and ask him what time he’ll be back. Hold on, please.

Well, if I’m coming back later, that’s going to cost you extra – taking up more of my time like this. Hurry up!

“Oh, hello. This is Mrs Warren here. Could I please speak to my husband, Chief Superintendent Warren ……

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR – THIS PIECE ISN’T TO IMPLY THAT WOMEN ARE WEAKER THAN MEN, BUT TO SHOW A POWER STRUGGLE BETWEEN A PARTICULARLY STROPPY PLUMBER AND A SEEMINGLY TIMID WOMAN.

Image by Vien Hoang from Pixabay




Feathers (Fiction)

Flash Fiction (My First Attempt)

Over the weekend and today, I wrote two pieces of coursework to send to my tutor. One was a 2,500-word true-life short story, which I may share another time. The other, today, was my first-ever attempt at flash fiction (under 300 words). As I said to my blogging friend, Jeff Cann, yesterday, I never write fiction, having always said I can’t do it, so this is unusual for me. I thought I’d share it with you here.

FEATHERS

Andrea was washing the dishes when she was startled by a scream from outside. She hobbled over to the kitchen window and looked to see where the sound had come from. A minute later, the phone rang. As she answered it, the irate voice of her neighbour shouted, “your bloody cat has killed a pigeon in my garden,” to which Andrea replied, “I’m really sorry, but how do you know it was my Lucy? She’s never caught a bird before; several cats prowl this area.”

The voice yelled, “Your cat was sitting nearby and looking very proud.”

She smiled to herself and tried to visualise a proud cat. “You’ll have to come and clear this mess up,” Mick demanded.

Andrea explained she’d injured her ankle, so she couldn’t help. She felt quite sorry for Mick now, having to deal with the feathered casualty and knowing how much he hated cats. She felt sorrier for the pigeon, as she loved all wildlife. She apologised, still not convinced it was Lucy’s fault but wanting to keep the peace. They’d always been good neighbours up until now; it would be a shame to fall out over this one incident.

She offered Mick some plastic bags and old gardening gloves to clear up the dead body. Five minutes later, she could hear him cussing as he dealt with the corpse in his back garden. Andrea finished washing up, despite the water being only lukewarm now. She glanced up and was horrified to see Mick, having hopped quietly over the low fence, furtively creeping along the wall to her dustbin. He lifted the lid and unceremoniously plopped the dead bird in.

Now, he was the one who was smiling.