Dave is not a happy man.
He phoned me back on Thursday evening, and declared himself baffled. The distress in his voice was evident. He clearly regards this latest setback as a personal affront.
I’m none too happy about it myself.
He returned yesterday morning. It took him the best part of an hour to wrench our elephant-proof cistern away from the wall, and undo all of Thursday’s work. Having studied the innards from every conceivable angle, he puffed his cheeks and ruefully informed me that, ‘it needs a new do-nut’.
For one dreadful moment, I feared he’d finally lost his reason. Had mastic had its day? Were fried desserts his plumbing tool of preference now? A crazy thought, I know, but with Dave all things seem possible.
Fortunately, the ‘do-nut’ turned out to be a rubber washer, and not a small, sugary treat. Dave had a spare in his van, which he welded into place with glue. The usual procedure followed: screwing, tightening, fiddling and – no surprise – more mastic.
After he had finished, Dave flushed the loo seven times (I counted!), and pronounced the cistern finally – and officially – leak-free.
Which it was.
Until about 20 minutes after he had left.
I phoned him again. He’d just got home.
I can’t be certain, but, just before he put the receiver down, I thought I heard him start to cry.
He’s coming back on Tuesday morning.
With a brand-new cistern.
He says that will solve the problem once and for all.
I’m saying nothing.
Thought for the Day
‘He’s turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed.’
David Frost (TVam, 1984)