Tapped

If you’ve ever wanted to read a story that’s basically just a load of knackered old plumbing jokes – yes, plumbing jokes – cobbled together, then today is your leaky lucky day.

There was a tap on the door.

Peter looked at it. He reached out and turned the handle. Water gushed over his loafers and onto the carpet.

‘Sharon!’ he called. ‘Is that plumber still here?’

‘He’s gone for his lunch I think, love,’ called Peter’s wife from upstairs. ‘Why?’

‘He’s put a tap on the front door.’

‘A what?’

‘A tap!’

‘Are you sure?’

‘No! I’m imagining a blinking great stainless steel tap on the front door. It’s all in my head!’

Sharon came downstairs to take a look. ‘That’s odd,’ she said. ‘I’ll give him a call.’ She jabbed at buttons on her phone and went into the living room. Peter looked suspiciously at the tap.

A few minutes later, Sharon returned. ‘He said, “did you not want that?” And I said no. He’s coming back round now.’

A few minutes later, the plumber returned. ‘You didn’t like the tap, then?’ he asked.

‘No.’

‘Just that when you called me, you said, “When you get here, tap on the front door.”’

‘Eh?’

‘So I did what you said. I think I got confused. I once had this terrible mix-up with an old man and his stopcock.’

‘Just take it off and go away.’

‘Will I still get paid?’

‘No!’

The plumber scowled, then took to jemmying away roughly at the tap. ‘Don’t faucet,’ suggested Peter. The plumber scowled further.

‘What? I thought you liked plumbing-related wordplay?’

The tap fell to floor with a clunk. The plumber scooped it up into his bag, then skulked off down the garden path.

Peter sighed, then retreated indoors. ‘I’d better check if he’s fixed the toilet,’ he said to Sharon. He went upstairs, and to the bathroom. The flush mechanism was in bits on the floor. Grinding his teeth, he dialled the plumber again.

‘Why haven’t you fixed the toilet?’ demanded Peter, when the call was answered.

‘I tried my best,’ said the plumber.

‘So what happened?’

‘I just couldn’t get a handle on it.’

Peter hung up.

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