Monday, 29 December 2008

The Wrench's Prologue and Tale

I once earned the undying respect of an astonished boyfriend by mending the starter motor on his VW beetle. Some years later I was bought drinks by eternally grateful male colleagues after fixing their battered car in the middle of a Bosnian battlefield using the Swiss Army knife I always carried in my pocket or handbag (until airport security decided it made me a terrorist).

This weekend I did it again.

Monsieur Mustapha our friendly plumber came and fixed the leaks. Watching him I realised I could have done it myself. He was, I thought, a little heavy handed with the pipework given its age and propensity for springing leaks. I winced but said nothing. He added a second washer to the washing machine feed pipe. I said: "The thread's gone. The hose needs changing." He agreed but explained he couldn't change the hose because if he pulled out the machine the rotten cupboard around it would collapse. He stuck in the washer gave it a quick spin, double checked everything and cheerily pronounced us leak free.
Of course it wasn't. You don't live in a 200-plus year-old building commissioned by Napoleon's sister that has not been properly maintained for a large part of the last century - if ever - and get off that lightly.

Not ten minutes after Mustapha left we turned on the washing machine. Drip, drip, drip. "The hose needs changing," I said. To cut a long and boring story short, after the Frenchman emptied and cleaned the crud out of the cupboard next to the machine, I squeezed into it and bent double and twisted managed to loosen the "unchangeable pipe" with the monkey wrench and, yes, change it. It's true the plumber, a splendid but portly chap, could not have prised half his lardy backside into the cupboard and at over six feet tall the Frenchman was similarly handicapped even had he known which end of the wrench was which. We turned on the machine. No drips. How true it is: if you want a job doing, do it yourself.

The Frenchman hugged me as if I'd just performed pioneering heart-surgery. He said in English, and I quote: "What a wife?" I put away the wrench. Respect; it's the same in English and French.

7 comments:

Dumdad said...

You're my hero!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this site on car maintenance may prompt more women to be more like you and get some drinks bought for them :o)

www.carbasics.co.uk

Stinking Billy said...

michelle, how I envy you your practical nous, but your Frenchman would have been hard-pushed to improve upon "Vot a Voman!" I am not sure which language it represents but I guess maybe Jewish. I am minded of the brothel-keeper wringing his hands in ecstasy as a satisfied client saunters off, with "Vot a business, you sell it and you still got it. You sell it again and you still got it!" x

Iota said...

I've changed a couple of tyres in my time, but plumbing... that's for real women.

Femin Susan said...

Hi………
Absolutely fantastic post! Good job!
Great! Keep posting
Good week………
" A Happy New Year''

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Good for you.
My lack of DIY skills are legendary. Few shelves stay up weeks never mind months.
Super post

小貓咪 said...

成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇,成人,做愛,aio,情色小說,ut聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風,伊莉,伊莉討論區,伊莉論壇,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,plus,痴漢論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性愛,性感影片,校園正妹牆,正妹,AV,AV女優,SEX,走光,a片,a片免費看,A漫,h漫,成人漫畫,免費A片,色情網站,色情遊戲,情色文學,麗的色遊戲,色情,色情影片,同志色教館,色色網,色遊戲,自拍,本土自拍,kk俱樂部,後宮電影院,後宮電影,85cc免費影城,85cc免費影片