Did you miss me?
I’ve just got off the phone from Bernard. He’s had a call from India. (Not all of it, obviously, just a man in a booth trying to do him a good turn.)
The chap was trying to flog him ‘solar pants’ – underwear powered by the heat of the sun that would keep him warm in winter, and probably the summer, too.
Bernard says he thinks the fellow ‘wasn’t the full shilling’ because he wanted to know which way his roof faced. This puzzled Bernard who couldn’t see the link between the top of his house and what he wore for comfort. When the man asked again, Bernard gave in gracefully and told him it faced the sky – which roofs generally did, in his opinion, otherwise they weren’t roofs.
Changing tack, our man asked if the thing pointed west, which puzzled Bernard even more. ‘It doesn’t point anywhere,’ he informed his assailant (his word not mine). ‘It generally just sits there and does nothing. Except in a strong wind when it tends to shed a few tiles and howl like a bear’.
The man became quite agitated when Bernard asked what colours the pants came in, and did they do them in Extra Large?
The chap’s spelling wasn’t up to much, apparently. He seemed convinced there was an ‘e’ in the word ‘pants’, no ‘t’ and an ‘l’ holding up the rear. It made Bernard think the fellow wasn’t phoning from Delhi at all, but from somewhere in the UK. Bernard has a jaded view of our national education system and went so far as to suggest it might have been an English teacher down on his luck. (I think he has a bee in his bonnet.)
In the end, the man said he would pass Bernard over to his ‘supervisor’, after which things went from bad to worse.
This new chap said they would send a man round to ‘take a few measurements’, and would Bernard be in on Tuesday? Bernard said his ‘measurements’ were his own concern and he wasn’t letting a man in a booth shove a ruler down his trousers. When the man said they would bring their own ladder, Bernard said he wasn’t that tall and they were obviously having a laugh.
He told me he put the phone down at that point, though I suspect it was a close-run thing.
Thought for the Day
‘You know it’s summer when the chair you’re sitting on gets up when you do.’
Henry the Hot (Duke of Burgundy 1103-1147)