Mum rang today to say she’s “having the drive done tomorrow,” which immediately conjured up horrible images of scruffy people with next-to-no-teeth – you know, the sort of people that have a horse on some string – going door-to-door trying to get people to let them do their drive to “get rid of this bit of tarmac” they had left over from something.
Probably a theft from the tarmac factory, or something.
As it happens, I’m going over to mum’s tomorrow to tackle the garage – it’s been a year, we really should do something – so I’ll be around to make sure he’s not some kind of conman charlatan type who thinks he has found a vulnerable old lady he can squeeze for all she’s worth.
It’s funny because it always used to be a thing with my parents that you never went with anyone who just showed up at your door. That was one of the rules.
There were many.
Never open the door to old women selling apples was another. Because, apparently, our rules came mainly from Fairy Tales. I’ll never forget the time my mum kicked the spinning wheel away from my sister just before she pricked her finger on the needle and fell asleep for one hundred years. That was a lucky escape. Which I have entirely made up for comic effect.
Other rules were things like never buy the last of anything, there must be something wrong with it otherwise it would have been bought already.
So it wasn’t all Fairy Tale-based. Although you could, in a way, relate that to Jack and the Beanstalk because why had no-one else taken those magic beans, hmmm?
Anyway, so the rule about hiring itinerant workers has gone out of the window completely. And there is a small part of me that does worry about the whole vulnerable woman-nefarious workman dynamic you see on Watchdog and things of that nature. And I love the fact that my mum, during discussions in which she haggled him down on price, kept mentioning discussing it with her son and that I will be there on the day that he happens to be there. Which is a complete coincidence, but he doesn’t need to know that. I’ll just be in the garage staring at him through the window and doing that thing where I point at my eyes and then at him in a menacing fashion.
Unless he’s massive, in which case whatever mate, help yourself.
But there’s another part of me that thinks, and knows, that neither me nor mum can in any way be arsed enough to weedkiller the drive, pressure wash it, scrape up any remaining weeds and re-sand the whole thing. Not now. It’s reached a point where it’s above and beyond the scope of our interest to do it. It’ll be fine to maintain it from this point onwards, but no, getting a man in to do it is amazing. It has been abandoned to the elements over the last year and has begun to look a lot like a ruined city in a post-apocalyptic movie.
Even if he turns out to be the slipperiest of all conmen, if he at least does the weedkiller and washing bit before vanishing with the money then I’m happy with that…