The other day I noticed that the shower was dripping, even though I had turned it right off. I turned it on again and got totally wet. Luckily I was in the shower at the time, so it didn't matter. I turned the shower off and it continued dripping.
I decided to phone Peter the Plumber. That's what it said in the advert in the local newspaper. "Phone Peter the Plumber - No job is too small or too big!"
"Great," I thought, "whilst he's here he can also change a light bulb in the garage which has just died. That's a small job, isn't it?"
So I got dressed first, before phoning Peter. I'd read somewhere that some people use the phone whilst naked. Can you imagine? You phone your friends and they answer the phone without any clothes on?
After I got dressed, I tried testing the shower one more time to make sure, and I got wet all over again. So I changed once more and phoned Peter the Plumber. He said he'd be round in thirty minutes. He did not say what shape he'd be after that.
Well ... it took over forty-five minutes before a white van arrived outside our house. The man that came out of the van was round all right. So I assumed he was Peter who had retained his shape from a few minutes beforehand.
"Are you Peter the Plumber?" I asked.
"No ... I am Paul the Painter!" he replied.
"Where is Peter the Plumber?" I asked.
"He is at my home painting the ceiling," he replied.
"Why did he not turn up here?" I asked.
"He didn't want to stop half-way through a job, so he sent me instead," he replied.
"But ... can you fix the shower," I asked, "and change the light bulb in the garage?"
"I can try," he said, "Peter said he'll talk me through it on the phone. A bit like landing a plane when the man on the ground talks you through it ... you know, like in the movies!"
He looked at the shower. Turned it on and got his clothes wet. I did not offer him a change of clothing. He was round ... and I am not.
Talking on his cell phone he used a wrench and undid a nut somewhere. There was water bursting everywhere. He asked me to turn off the stop-cock. That is a mains handle type thing that turns off the water in the whole house when repairs are to be done. I knew the mains cut off handle is in the garage; just where the main water pipe enters the house.
I rushed to the garage but could not get the lights on. The bulb had died previously the day before this one, but I did not change it myself preferring to get an electrician who also had a no job is too small policy. Instead we got Paul the Painter to replace Peter the Plumber.
I tripped in the dark. Stubbed my toe against something or other. The pain shot right up my leg. I took off my shoe to rub my foot. Walked a few more paces and stepped on a Lego brick that the children must have dropped and started dancing in pain and curses on all plumbers, painters and electricians too for good measure.
Eventually, with the water turned off, and Paul on the phone to Peter he tried fixing the dripping shower.
He made small conversation with me whilst talking to Peter. Why do workmen insist on making small talk? Plumbers, painters, electricians, taxi drivers, hairdressers ... they all make small talk whilst working.
"Have you been on holiday yet?" they ask.
"What's it to you? You nosey so and so ... just get on with your work. I have hired you to fix the shower not start a conversation whilst flooding my house like happened at the time of Noah!"
In this particular case, I was making small talk conversation with Paul the Painter in my bathroom, and Peter the Plumber on the cell phone in Paul's house painting his ceiling. A three-way conversation with two tradesmen doing one job ... for me that is. I hope they don't charge me for painting Paul's ceiling as well!
Anyway, Paul the Painter told me that he was a Christian. He told me his conversion story.
He used to be a cheat and a scoundrel. He used to thin the paint with turpentine to make it go further, and he charged his customers full price for the paint.
One day he was painting the outside of a church. As he was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly
completed, there was suddenly a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky
opened, and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over
the church walls, and knocking him clear off the scaffold
to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by tell-tale
puddles of the thinned and useless paint.
He realised that this was a judgement from above …
He got on his knees and cried:
“Oh God … oh God … help me … what should I do?”
And just then a thunderous voice replied:
“Repaint !!! Repaint !!! And thin no more !!!”