It’s Saturday morning. Carol’s off at the hairdresser’s and I’m handing a cup of tea to the plumber. He’s here to fix a leak from the WC that he installed last weekend. He pauses to take the tea from me and we exchange smalltalk.
“So how’s it going then, you all right?”
“Yes,” I reply. “Been doing a bit of cleaning because our cleaner’s away on holiday.”
His eyes widen and his mouth forms a little O. He’s truly aghast. But don’t lots of people have cleaners these days? I prepare myself for having to go into a lengthy justification for hiring a ‘home help’, explaining how we pay her more than the living wage, how we both work so don’t have time to clean the house every week, and so on.
But no. I’ve misinterpreted the cause of his shock.
“So what does the missus do, then?”
Well that takes me by surprise, and I actually tell him the truth; that she’s sitting in a hairdressing salon. What I should have said, of course, was that she was doing some soldering work on her MG before heading down the pub with her mates.
A few days later, I notice the leak has returned.