Sunday, 8 June 2008

Would You Adam and Eve It?

What a lovely weekend it's been. We've spent most of it a) in the garden digging, or b) in the garden, drinking or c) in the garden rather pissed and silly, pruning things which shouldn't be pruned in such a random fashion with the kitchen scissors. I've come in before it's too late and my beloved garden takes on the look of a bad haircut from a visually impaired barber with a red wine hangover.

Anyway, yesterday, to enhance the loveliness of our courtyard garden (sounds so much posher than "the patio" doesn't it?) we decided to ponce it up a bit with some solar lights. I went on the internet and had a good look around, finding just the very thing at John Lewis, but unfortunately at a price which made the husband snort with derision. Apparently he would expect a fitted solar panel on the roof of the house which powered all our lighting, heating and hot water for that sort of money, so back to the researching I went. Although not wishing to spend an arm and a leg we didn't want anything that was too tacky, naff or unacceptably hideous, but finally much to my surprise I found just the very things at Wilkinson's. They were actually metal and glass as opposed to plastic and plastic, looked a bit John Lewis-esque but were at a gob-smackingly amazing price - five pounds each! Needless to say I wasted no time at all, got out of my gardening gear, slapped on some lippy and whizzed down to Wilkinson's to get a trolley load.

Back home and triumphant (did I tell you they were only FIVE POUNDS?) it was just a matter of screwing all the bits together, charging the little suckers up in the sunlight and hey presto - nearly all of them worked, with just one refusing to charge or glow at night (the party pooper). Despite the fact that there were only a fiver each (have I mentioned that before?) I got back in the car and took the faulty one back and changed it. Back home once again I found that although the replacement lantern was fine the little hooky thing it was supposed to hang from didn't screw together properly. Flange bracket a) just didn't want to fix into flange bracket b) or c). Oh bugger.

So back into town I went, this time a bit hot and bothered as I had by then been to the goddam shop three times and still not got a full set of working lights. Yes I know they were only a fiver, but still they should all work shouldn't they? And by then I'd spent more than that on parking and petrol. Grrr.

At the till the cashier was a bit puzzled to see me again so soon and even more so when I tried to show her the problem.

"You see these three pieces of metal tube? Well, that one should fit into that one, and this one should fit into them both, but they don't. The problem is that there are three female ends and no males."

She stared at me a bit, slightly taken aback.

"Three female ends and no males. I don't understand what you're talking about."

I tried again. Someone standing behind me had a little giggle.

"Well, somewhere along the line, there's got to be one end that goes in, the male, and another that receives it, the female, and I've got three ends that receive and nothing to go in. Three female ends and no male."

I hear several sniggers from the growing line of shoppers in the queue.

"Still not quite with you there love" - the cashier shook her head and gazed and me, mystified. I think she is definitely having me on, but I can't be quite sure as she remains dead-pan.

"It's simple," says I, undeterred, demonstrating with my left hand fore-finger and thumb, making a circle and using my right index finger to poke through it to demonstrate the problem visually. "It goes through like this, only with more screwing." I am too intent on my mission to fully realise the visual impact of my action at this point, or the fact that my mime might in some circles be considered obscene, but I am aware that I am causing a bit of a stir. I'm pretty sure I saw the cashier's mouth twitch a bit at the corners, as if trying to suppress a smirk.

The muffled tittering behind me is turning into a the sort of laughter a stand-up comedian would be pleased with. I can't understand why the cashier isn't getting my drift if everyone else is. Or is she? I begin to wonder if they are laughing at me, not her. Her lip is definitely quivering.

"Sorry, she says, smiling broadly. "I still don't understand the female receiving and the male screwing bit. I'm just not getting it"

From the near hysterical queue behind me, a highly amused middle aged woman, helpless with laughter, chimes in:

"You and me both, dear. You and me both."

Next time I'm selling tickets.


Expatmum said...

Tee hee! I think she was playing dumb for maximum comic effect!

Maggie May said...

Yeah....... She was having you on! And what DID happen to the light in the end? Did it get the right bit?

Tina said...

Hope you got it sorted in the end! And well done on the War Child entry.


David said...

Too funny. She was having a chuckle for sure. I do admire your tenacity at getting them all good however. I wish I had you with me for my own episode with a retailer in todays post.
Thanks for the laughs

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Expatmum, think the whole lot of them were in on it. Swine.

Maggie May, hi. Got all my male and female ends together at last, but only by opening several boxes first. Now I know why they were a fiver.

Hello Tina, thanks for the congrats re War Child, and thanks so much for encouraging me to have a go. Was so surprised they accepted me, especially with the swearing and all. xxx

David, hello. I am really good at taking stuff back to shops, if there was a degree in it I'd have a first!

softinthehead said...

Classic stuff - but we need piccies of that lovely courtyard with lights!!

DJ Kirkby said...

Congratulations on having your story accepted into the charity book 'You're not alone'! After laughing at this post I am really looking forward to reading you're entry in the book!

Frog in the Field said...

Gosh only five pounds!!
That's very funny, this could so easily have happened to me only Darling Husband hides the carkeys on a Sunday. So glad I'm not alone in hideously embaressing myself....I couldn't even have decent picture of myself in the Telegraph..did you see the s**T on my wellie?


Thank goodness I wasn't standing in the queue behind you - I would have wet myself laughing! As it is I've spat coffee all over the keyboard.

Mind you - I should know better (being a single mother and all), those bloody male and female parts never did work for me either!!

Casdok said...

And congratulations to you too!!
I was also very surprised!!
Cant wait to read it!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Where are you when I go shopping? I never get to see or hear anything so amusing! Please move to my town.

Working mum said...

I wish I'd been there! You demonstrated it? And she still didn't get it?

I've had the same conversation in the hardware shop about TV aerial leads and no-one batted an eyelid. Makes sense to DIY men!

Swearing Mother said...

SITH, will have a go at getting a photo on the blog, but I am useless at technology.

DJK Hi. Thanks so much. Are we famous now?

Frog, I have a degree in embarrassing myself. So much practice!

Mzungu Chick, I am so good at making a fool of myself, good job I can laugh.

Hi Casdok, will we be asked to sign autographs do you think?

Hi Wakeup, you'd hate it if I went shopping with you, everything seems to happen to me.

Working Mum, she was definitely taking the proverbial and having a secret laugh at my expense.

CrazyCath said...

That is absolutely priceless. I believe you. Because you couldn't make it up!
Wish I was there.
I don't get the male screwing bit either.... ;0)

Swearing Mother said...

Cath, that's the whole problem. No one gets the screwing bit, or not nearly enough of us anyway.


travelling, but not in love said...

Classy. Although some of us would have been very happy with the three male and no female combination.

You were just waiting for me to come over and say that, weren't you?

Swearing Mother said...

Travelling: Yes of course, I was expecting you over any minute! Even thought of you at the cash desk, couldn't wait to report this little fiasco.

All lights working now, looks like a regular dingly dell.

travelling, but not in love said...

How lovely. Every ladies 'garden' should be lit up like a dingly dell...I hope you keep it well trimmed now that you're drawing such attention to it ;-)

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Three words

You've been had!!!

Hope you got there in the end


Swearing Mother said...

Travelling, am always very particular on the topiary front. But thanks for the tip.

MMOF: She definitely saw me coming, several times.

Norman said...

When I were a young lad... I were an engineering APPRETICE. Male and female screwing (of pipes) was the first thing you learned. Kids today, (i.e. anyone under 40) don't know nuffink.
I wonder how she'd have coped if you asked for a flat bastard file?

GoneBackSouth said...

What a cow. I'm all for buying cheap, but sadly many cheap things are crap and don't work. Anyway that was a very funny post (more guffawing at your expense - sorry).

Swearing Mother said...

Norman, hi. Aye lad, she'd have been reet puzzled indeed. Should have asked for a long felt want, that would really have got her.

GBS: You are not wrong there, but I am having tremendous fun trying to get all the lights to come on altogether, at the same time (i.e., night).