A foot in the door......
Another day in the life that can only be that of Julian Race!
I’m sure that at least some, if not most of you will have been in a similar situation before in one way or another and I also assume there are some of you out there who will have a sympathetic ear or two for the situation I found myself in recently. Let me explain….
I recall it was a Friday night and I’d popped off to bed with my steaming mug of Cow & Gate at the usual time of 7.30pm. I placed the mug on the bedside table and turned to retrieve my pyjamas from my trusty trouser press. Laugh if you must, but I do like to keep a sharp crease in my pyjama bottoms because if, in an unfortunate situation one has to evacuate ones premises in the middle of the night, you do not want the neighbours seeing you standing in the middle of the street sporting scruffy, creased sleeping attire whilst the reason for the evacuation is being attended to by the relevant emergency service. For reasons unknown to me, the trouser press had a particularly strong grip on my night wear, and try as I might, I could not free the pyjamas from their mighty jaws. After grappling with the machine for several minutes and trying out several wrestling moves which I had picked up from watching repeats of Saturday afternoon wrestling on the television, I noticed from the corner of my eye that my neighbour was peering over the fence directly into my bedroom window. I gave her a cheery wave during which I realised I was undressed. She actually waved back as the step ladders she was standing on slowly slid to the left and out of sight. I saw her prized blue Ceanothus Concha shudder above the fence indicating it had repaid her nurturing by cushioning her fall. I gave the trouser press one last “Boston Crab” and a Forearm Smash before accepting the fact that my pyjamas were well and truly trapped! Having no other option, I ended up having to sleep as nature intended but only after having left a well-intentioned note pinned on the outside of my bedroom door warning any member of the said emergency services that may in the course of their duty, wish to enter my room, should it be necessary, of my state of undress.
Having slept soundly, I awoke early on Saturday morning at around 08.15am and turned to see that my wife was still in a state of slumber, mouth wide open and that tell tale line of dribble running from the corner of her lips. As I regard myself as a “new man”, I resisted the temptation of nudging her with my elbow, unintentionally of course. I decided to pop downstairs to make my wife and myself a well-earned cup of tea. As I passed, I tried unsuccessfully to unclamp the trouser press to retrieve my pyjamas, so was forced to go downstairs minus any clothing.
Fortunately, our kitchen window is not overlooked by the neighbours so was perfectly safe from any prying eyes, apart that is from any potential burglars that may possibly be in my garden and in the process of robbing my shed of any potentially worthwhile objects. I popped the kettle on and surveyed the garden, I was in luck, no burglars at least I could mow the lawn later if the weather buck’s up! I put the tea bags in to the cups and when the kettle had boiled, poured in the boiling water, mindful that any splashes could prove embarrassing to explain at the A+E department of the local hospital. I tried desperately to erase the vision of that old seaside postcard of the matron saying to the newly appointed nurse “I said prick his boil nurse” and reached for the milk. As I did, I heard the doorbell ring. I looked at the cups, at myself and then at the front door. The bell rang again. I called up to my wife but there was no answer. I put down the cups and grabbed a “large” tea towel to wrap around myself to avoid exposing any parts of the skin and cause any embarrassment. As we have an integral garage, I nipped into the garage and shouted to whoever it was on the other side of the door that I was on the way. I unlocked the metal door and opened it just wide enough for me to hide behind it without exposing myself to the visitor. Yes, I called. I then felt a thump at the bottom of the door and saw a shoe wedging the door open and preventing its closure. I noticed from the shoes design that it was 80% more likely to be a man on the other side of the door which, given the circumstance was better for me than say a court shoe or stiletto. Yes, I called again, and a boyish voice replied, “Double Glazing”, can we have a chat about your windows? Now, being a totally open sort of chap who does not have any deep-seated views and has always been open to others interests, his question was not one that disturbed or agitated me, it was just rather inconvenient. I’m not sure it is convenient for both of us at this particular time I said looking down at my imposition. It’ll only take half an hour or so replied the visitor; his shoe still firmly wedged in the door. He called out to some of his colleagues who were I assume at my neighbours houses who, it seemed had either spotted them approaching or were still fast asleep. I made a mental note to bring this up at the next neighbourhood watch meeting as clearly these visitors had slid through the net and the usual 3 rings on the telephone line had not occurred! I heard a lady’s voice reply to the salesman’s call and I heard footsteps coming my way. I insisted that I did not think this was a suitable time and pushed on the door in an effort to save my dignity. The door just flexed against the persons hefty shoe. Can I give you a leaflet instead called the owner of the shoe, and one appeared through the gap in the door?
Well, I don’t know if you can recall that Saturday 27th April 2019 was a particularly windy day and storm Hannah as it was named had touched down during the night with 82mph winds recorded somewhere in Wales. I was mindful of the possibility of flying sheep but clearly this was not a concern for the salesman. As I took one hand off the door to retrieve the leaflet whilst the other was firmly gripping the tea towel shut, Worditch, which is where I live, must have beaten the 82mph recorded wind speed in Wales as a gust of wind caught the garage door and blew it wide open causing me to be thrust backwards by the sheer wind force. The tea towel I had used to protect my modesty resembled a flag flapping in the wind behind me, whipping me sharply on occasions which I had to ignore whilst also avoiding any facial expression indicating the pain I felt during this crucial time. My initial deduction was correct as it indeed turned out to be a man at the door and for a split second, I was grateful. I had visions of myself in front of the beak pleading my case. “Well m’lud, I can explain everything, you see it all started with a trouser press….” Reality hit home and I noticed the man who was once the other side of my garage door well and truly on my side of the door. He was staring down at my nakedness, I don’t know if it was in admiration or pity as it was a particularly cold and biting wind. Nonchalantly, I said, well, you may as well come in then but strangely enough he declined the offer. He fumbled in his bag, eyes affixed on my now naked groin and passed me a leaflet which in all honesty would be placed into the recycling bin later that day and after he had disappeared.
No one else appeared at the door and I heard footsteps hurrying away from the house. Without looking, I closed the door firmly and replaced the two sliding bolts firmly into their clasps. I folded the tea towel back into it’s crisp creases and placed it back on to the kitchen work surface beside the kettle, added milk to the already prepared tea and ventured back to bed.
Now I have to offer a couple of pieces of advice to readers who may in the future find themselves in a similar position and recall my dealings with the situation:
1: This is a particularly risky way of getting a Double-Glazing Salesman’s foot out of your door!
2: Always ensure your trouser press is fully serviced regularly by a competent professional!
Suffice to say, to date, there have not been any repeat visits or requests for further discussion regarding the quality and or replacement of my double-glazing units. In addition, praise has been overwhelming at the bi monthly neighbourhood watch meeting as the early warning system adopted by the committee has been somewhat redundant of late and visitor numbers, especially by the double-glazing fraternity had reduced considerably!
©Julian Race 09/07/2020