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Monday, September 03, 2007

General hatred - content caution

WHAT is the point of ANYTHING? Why do we exist in this meaningless, vain universe!? Why? Why I ask you? Dammit, WHY?

Various such questions and accompanying epithets nudged my sensitive nature over the weekend when everything golden that I touched turned to dust and ashes in my fingertips. No, I had not suddenly developed a rather macabre superpower although I DID wish for super-human strength so that I could pussy-whip the "electrician" into a bleeding mass with my bare hands.

Last week, I over-enthusiastically pulled the light cord on my ceiling fan/light and the cord broke, leaving me bathed in permanent unnatural light. The only way to prevent increasing my carbon footprint (and the risk of fire) was to take the bulbs out.

So I called an electrician who had been recommended by my mother. Well, I do like to try to do things myself to save myself the hassle of waiting in for someone, but there was no way I would deal with electricity myself, especially after I offered to help mum do her lights last year and got stung by quite a few volts, which she thought was funny.

The conversation went thusly:

"Hello - is that Barry?"
"Yes, who's asking?"
"Oh, my name is ********* and my mother ******* recommended you to me as you recently did some electrical work for her."
"What do you want?"
"Well, I've broken my ceiling light and I cannot replace it myself - it is on permanently and there is no light switch on the wall for me to turn it off."
"Can't you use the light switch on the wall instead?"
"No, there isn't one. It's a ceiling fan/light and I pulled the light cord too hard."
"Well I can't fix it."
"No, the part's too small. It's gone. You can't fix it. What, did you expect me to fix it?"

At this point, part of me wanted to say:

"What the fling flang jang did you think I was ringing you for, you butt-wipe? You're a bloody electrician, aren't you? Of course I wanted you to fix it! For the love of mercy!"

However, I did not. I merely replied in a clipped tone worthy of Helen Mirren:
"Yes, actually, I did."
"Well I can't. If you buy a new light from Homebase I can fix that for you. Go out, buy the light and I will fix it for you this afternoon."

I thanked him, and decided to take his advice. After all, mum had said he was a bit old and crotchety and I thought maybe he was not used to phone conversations or had not had any lessons in basic civility.

However, a tense and fraught trip to homebase later (during which I argued with my mother, fell over on the bus and got chatted up by some bloke while his wife was standing in the queue in front - ew! Icky, icky man!) I called him.

"The person you are calling is not accepting calls from this number. The person you are calling is not accepting calls from this number."

EITHER he has the best sense of dark humour in the world, like the Cable Guy, or he's a complete and utter freak. I DO NOT STALK ELECTRICIANS.


Verge said...


Quite right, too. One must have standards, observe certain hierarchical protocols and so forth. Stalking sparks would be decidedly non-U (not to mention unwise for a creature of the deep end. Water is a rather good conductor, as you may know.)

The only person I ever (very diffidently) stalked, long time ago now, went on to achieve dizzy heights in publishing and TV, so my quality-control instincts were spot on, at least. As it turned out, my compulsively drooping round to h** rooms (student days) to see if this person was in turned out to be for the best (given the time-frame on Paracetamol and liver-damage...and no, it had nothing at all to do with me, I was a peripheral figure at best in that little drama.)

The Hitch said...

Good lord woman
That flat of yours sounds like a death trap.
You dont need an electrician you need a husband , as no doubt you mother informed you.
If you have the fitting its dead easy, turn off the mains, get up some step ladders, unscew the old one and then bolt the new one on , then turn on the mains. Get yourself an mains testing screwdriver as well ,also remember to turn of your PC.
Another tip , it helps if you dont do DIY whilst pissed , the Hitch has found this to his cost many times over.

gimme a minute said...

Perhaps he was intimidated by your unpronounceable name.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

"If you have the fitting its dead easy, turn off the mains, get up some step ladders, unscew the old one and then bolt the new one on , then turn on the mains"...

Hitch! The light is really heavy... I can't hold it on my own :( If my late uncle were here he'd fix it for me, as he was a brilliant electrician.

Verge: I do have standards - only celebrities of a certain age should be stalked. Like Gary Oldman. Mmmmmmmmm.... purrs contentedly to herself. But you are right - electricity and water do not mix. Fried Mermaid would not be nice.

Gimme - I trust you are referring to ********** and not to my actual real name, which is also unpronounceable and which, if you knew it, would mean that my identity has been shot. DARN IT!

The Hitch said...

well you could try
A friend of my ma reccomended them.

If you are in west london I know somebody reliable, and if he cant make he will know somebody who can.
btw, this isnt a cunning plan to find out where you live ,I just know what a pain in the arse it is finding a decent builder, and how many of them will take the piss out of a woman customer if they can get away with it.

Anonymous said...

what do you expect really? Some of these people are complete sharks he probably reads your blog and thought you might stalk him or set you bat-eared cat on him

nonny said...

Hoe did you pull it out in the first place?

nonny said...


Mermaid of Moorgate said...

I just pulled the cord too hard... actually I was not expecting to leap out of bed so quickly and I sort of used the cord as a means to stop myself falling over.

The Hitch said...

you got it right with HOE
maybe I should have typed
Wid Hoe

True Blue said...

Anon 11.42am : Mermaid may like to meet a shark and if she stalked him he could just eat her !

idle said...

Swissidle the sparky says:

Repairing a "ceiling fan/light" is like making love to a beautiful man.

First, get up close. You might need a contraption to do this; in which case, make sure that full erection is achieved before putting weight on to it.

Second, ensure that you respect the electricity surrounding you and take care to avoid putting fingers into inappropriate holes.

Third, ensure the bulbous appendage is not too hot; blowing on it will cool it sufficiently to rest it in the palm of one hand while attending to the unfinished job.


Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Trubes - tis true, sharks are another natural enemy, so one must carry a plentiful stabilo bros pouch of staple guns.

Idle - thanks.. I think... But will sparks fly? And what will happen if the plug is pulled too soon?

Ed said...

I'll come and give you a hand Mermaid - I fitted my own light* all on my own!

*a really simple one with two wires and two screws...

idle said...

My own stationery knowledge is sparse, I admit, but surely Stabilo BOSS...

Jon M said...

Get a torch and switch off all your electricity something fixy with the ceiling...old cranky electricians aren't the only fruit you know! Let your the walking...sorry. I can't help you there at all.

the man who was thursday said...

He had probably already charged some woodentop £500 to change a fuse and had finished for the day.

Lippy said...

OK the early indicator that all was not going to end happily in that little tale were the fateful words "reccomended by my mother".............

electro-kevin said...

Goodness, you're a DIY disaster area.

But quite wise to not touch the lecky unless confident. How did you break the chord ? Have you been putting on weight ???

True Blue said...

Electro: If Mermaid is in "Pod" there could be shoals of little Mermaids swimming around the pond! A few, young fresh, Mermen may be nice tho`, particularly for some of us "laydee" swimmers !

Scroblene said...


Bugger all this, just tell me where you live and I'll come round and fix it for you!

Blimey, you have to put up with all this to get nowhere don't you!

Mu Tai Dong said...

Like it then years, old pages for the useless. Brat and thats it pyramic.

Old Tarf said...

Nothing quite like Ohm, Sweet Ohm.

Turn off your fuses at the main panel. Then disconnect the light fixture and put a new one in. Then turn on the main fuse panel and lots of light.

Call me and I will tell you all about Kitty in my Jeans.

Geoff, live and unleashed said...

No, but you do have a habit of stalking waiters, dustbin men and bus drivers. Seriously, you need to chill - maybe a nice relaxing bout of baby seal clubbing? Although watching baby seals dancing to 50 Cent and R. Kelly is just weird. Much like you, my crazy fish lady friend.

Fatman said...

Aren't we all swish with our "elek-trissy-tea" and our lights. Laa-di-dah! Back in my days we used to use candles By Gum! Candles made from tallow that we rendered ourselves from beef-fat or unclaimed bodies from the morgue. (And we tied onions to our belts...which was the style at the time)

electro-kevin said...

Nice to hear your thoughts, True Blue - I'm not entirely sure about mixing water with electricity though.

Infact with a name like mine you would have expected me to have been more useful. Having done many electrical repairs around my home I can at least say I'm still aLIVE - of electricians their rates certainly bring me down to EARTH with a bump and as for their usefulness with regard to minor faults I'm entirely NEUTRAL.

Bzzz - Electro !

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

ED - "I'll come and give you a hand Mermaid - I fitted my own light* all on my own!"

... I might take you up on that one, fellow Lambeth-ian. Although this is a complicated affair with four fan blades and three light fittings.

Welcome, and thank you for your sympathy! Indeed, the past couple of months have issued DIY disasters - toilet seats, blinds, cupboards. Now lights. Ho-hum.

Old Tarf said...
Nothing quite like Ohm, Sweet Ohm.

Daddy!! You're back!! That was a sweet pun by the way :) Will call you this evening xxx

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Lippy - "OK the early indicator that all was not going to end happily in that little tale were the fateful words "reccomended by my mother"..

how true... I should never listen to advice

BEAST said...

Mu Tai makes a good point , i agree 100 %!

All electricians and builders are freaks , they dont live in the real world like the rest of us....the only thing making living worth while this week(now that Big Brother has ended) is the sainted Nigella back on the BBC !

The Hitch said...

Lambeth you say?
Well I was going to offer to bolt your light to the ceiling but I never go south of the river.

Agree with Beast , most builders are **** (In London it rhymes with ants)
They have it far too *******(rhymes with quacking) easy.

Come on woman you supposedly have all these potential boyfriends and a current "flame" why arent any of those up a ladder for you ?

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

I haven't any potential boyfriends, only potential flames... and they're going cold. I've NEVER successfully got a bloke to do something for me. I think I should stop asking nicely and just shout "Fix the f**king thing"

I never get normal blokes who do normal things like fix things. I had a wardrobe door, the upper hinge of which was broken,but the three bottom ones were okay. I suggested to the recent ex that he take the third one down and put it on the top hole.

He held the door for a couple of seconds, then looked round at me.

"It's broken" he said, doing his little boy lost face.

"I know, that's why we're swapping hinges"

Now the door is still off, and there are two broken hinges.

Given that OLd Tarf himself managed to set himself on fire, instead of the bonfire, it seems obvious that to do anything vaguely DIY-oriented, I have to do it myself or pay another.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Better let everyone know that Old Tarf is really your father, Mermaid. You wouldn't want people to think you're the kind of girl who calls her male friends 'Daddy'.

The Hitch said...

I dont do DIY , but I just do MAN
That means that I can look at problems and solve them without bursting into tears.
As to asking , you shouldnt need to, just hint a man will automatically do it.

As to your old Dad setting himself on fire .
Oh please do tell (+:

My Grandfather once ruined bonfire night for about 50 people , he took charge and put the communal fireworks in one big box , big mistake , he lit a catherine wheel , set off a few rockets then a spark hit the box , then the lot went off in one go. Nobody was hurt but from then on it was organised bonfires or nothing.
After the initial terror the adults all found it funny , we children less so, although there is a certain joy to recalling having seen my grandfather running around in circles panicking after having just F**** up my bonfire night.

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

"As to your old Dad setting himself on fire. Oh please do tell (+:"

Old Tarf/Dad (your cover is blown by the way, everyone knows you are the MerKing of Mermedonia. By the way, you now have 100 children).... Please write a blog about the time you set fire to yourself. It never fails to amuse me....

Lilith said...

Its crap when things break and you're a woman and you can't fix things. I had some bloke around to service my boiler. He arrived with a black eye after a heavy weekend and managed to set my boiler to meltdown. Only £50 but another £60 to have him come back and fix the wrong part to it which meant it worked whilst he was there. He told me I needed a new thermostat.

Five months later (it was summer and I had an immersion heater) I called some heating engineers in, not some brat with a black eye and a corgi certificate (yes, he had one) but a body builder and his hippy side kick who had it sorted in a trice. And they posted me a reasonable bill. Bloody civilised.

idle said...

Bummer of a title, the Merkin of Macedonia. Tell him he was brave to keep it.

I have a firework tale to tell, but it's so long I'll have to put it on my own blog. Pity, as that means only three people will hear about it.

idle said...

lilith, our plumber always winks when he says "I'm here to service the boiler".

Does yours?

Lilith said...

No, Idle, he looks very big and neckless and his biceps bulge out of his t-shirt in an unatural way. He doesn't do interpersonals. That's what he's got the hippy side-kick for.

electro-kevin said...

Or the British Gas advert where the engineer says to the lady "I'll just go an' check yer back passage." 'strue :-(

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Lilith - "he looks very big and neckless and his biceps bulge out of his t-shirt in an unatural way"

he sounds perfect. Does he do electricals too?

nonny said...

It's only when you live alone that you realise the practicalities of having a bloke about the house, why did nobody bother to point this out to us, I was under the illusion a man’s sole purpose was to give pleasure and make me tea afterwards. Had I have known the there was so much more to them I would have trapped a squealer years ago!

True Blue said...

Idle: Time to start worrying, is when, the plumber says, "I`ve come to service the "old boiler" Guv" winks at Mrs Idle, and she, in turn, blushes furiously !

The Hitch said...

all body builders are if not gay so into themselves that they care not a jot about pleasing a woman.
They also all have small cocks.
Mr Hitch has observed this in the showers.

idle said...

Trube, glad you got the gist of my 3.37 post.

Hitch is almost certainly right about fake-tanned muscle-bound baby oil fetishists. Hung like chaffinches, the lot of them.

electro-kevin said...

Hitch's body building experience - if you're not a body builder then what on earth are you doing in muscle-gym showers ???

A mate of mine was changing in a gym in Catford when who should walk in ??? Lenny McLean - one of the hardest bare-nuckle fighters to have walked the planet. Lenny looks my mate (who is naked) up and down and says "Phwoar ! Nice arse !" Joking and deliberately trying to discomfort him of course.

The Hitch said...

kev I think that would scare most of us.
I dont go to the gym anymore(it shows) just do the canadian airforce work out.
Never into all that muscle mary stuff, just toned (im not)
I love beer more than steroids

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

Yeah, there comes a time when men decide to stop hankering after a six-pack and go straight for a barrel instead

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

The Hitch said...

It is my pleasure pillow.
I can still see my feet and Mr Happy plus the tops of my thighs.
although if I were to sit under a tree in the Congo eating bananas no doubt some bastard would shoot me , turn my hands into ashtrays and sell me for bush meat.
You wax me and I will fix your light for you.
fair swap?

electro-kevin said...

There's a time when women give up on the diets, eat chocolate all day and drag their tits along the ground. They also sit with their legs wide appart at bus stops showing off their bearded kebabs - but no-one wants to look, they're past it. Showing off all they once had. Why didn't they show off in their prime instead ? Funny old world, ain't it !

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

EK - "They also sit with their legs wide appart at bus stops showing off their bearded kebabs"... that happened at an office meeting with one of our directors. Really not nice first thing in the morning. At least there wasn't any noticeable sproutage.

The Hitch said...

all depends whose "kebab" it is.

Anonymous said...

All electricians are out to get as much money for as little as they can do, the merkins

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

What is with the use of this word Merkins? Ever since the Hitch used it on me blog, everyone has been using it! It's been my word of the week!