Thursday, June 23, 2005

Builders' Songbook

Oh dear. I've had to come in from the garden again.
Not the heat or the insects this time.
The usual tranquillity of what I grandly and misleadingly call the Lower Terrace is being disturbed by builders working on a nearby house.

It's not so much the banging and crashing. Nor the tanned, half-naked bodies that keep insinuating themselves into my peripheral vision as I try to read The Guardian.
No, it's that other thing that builders do. They sing single lines from many different songs. It's like flicking the tuning dial through dozens of Classic Gold radio stations and catching short fragments of lyrics.

'You are the sunshine of my life..........the minute she walked in the room..........and I was only 24 hours from woman, no cry..........I like to ride my bicycle..........never gonna give you though your heart is breaking..........'

You'll have gathered that most of these particular builders have long since progressed from the foundation stone of youth and are balancing precariously on the rickety scaffolding of the male menopause.

"Do you do requests?" I shouted with ill-concealed sarcasm.
"What do you want, squire?"
"Shut the fuck up".

I didn't really of course.
I don't have a death wish.
And the youngest member of the gang has the surly look of a chav with a grievance. And a chav who works out at the local gym.
That said, it's undeniable that his tool belt - worn slightly off the hip - really suits him.


At 4:14 PM, Blogger cello said...

A classic post. There's whole sitcom waiting to be written around it.

Glad you got some small compensation for the noise, Willie.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Now you mention it, there's definitely a touch of the Victor Meldrew about that scenario.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Wyndham said...

The actress Eileen Atkins was once greeted by a builder on the way into Harrods, or one of those stores, with the words: "Nice tits, darlin'." While walking around the store she became more and more irate at the builder's temerity and stormed out to tell him he "had a very smally willy". She felt much better after this, apparently, right up to the moment she rounded the corner as saw the guilty man again. She had gone out the wrong exit and insulted a totally different builder.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

That's a terrific story. Thanks.
Of course, middle aged males sitting in their garden are unlikely to be the target of sexual comments from a neighbour's builders. But I can't decide whether that's a good thing or not.


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