Today has been a strange day.
I was off sick Thursday and Friday and returned to work today, brave soldier that I am, only partially recovered but prepared to stand and face the bullets of the French or the Germans or whoever it is we don’t like as a nation anymore.
And instead found something worse than bullets.
My desk was full of notes and messages – hastily scrawled missives from colleagues and work-mates who in my absence did their best to stem the inevitable flow of entropy and dissolution which is my daily bread and butter.
(Should any of you find yourself in Hell in the afterlife I guarantee you’ll find the entire place plastered with post-it notes...)
Among the lists of malfunctioning equipment and diabolical break-downery that hurt my brain this morning was a plea to recover a ring from one of our sinks. It seems some poor woman – let’s call her Joanna Public – managed to dislodge a bit of bling while scrubbing her dannies yesterday and was most eager to have it recovered if at all possible.
Well, I am always eager to perform acts of possibility and so set to work with a screwdriver and little else (though possibly a modicum of goodwill) and managed to remove the trap from beneath the sink that catches all solid matter – or indeed any matter that just happens to be heavier than the water that has washed it down there in the first place.
It wasn’t a pleasant job. The water was black and thick. Mucoid, if there is such a word (my spellchecker is questioning it with an angry red underline). It looked like Sigourney Weaver’s stomach lining after she’d been impregnated with one of them Alien thingies.
And yes I made the age old mistake of pouring the contents down the very sink I’d just removed the trap from so that the water splashed straight down to the floor. Doh!
But I did recover the ring.
Which upon closer inspection was disappointing. I was expecting gold. I was expecting silver. I was expecting a sparkly stone the size of Jeremy Clarkson’s chin.
Instead I got a rather dowdy looking blackened band of indeterminate metal with a dull, very opaque green stone set into the middle of it.
My first thought was: Christ, I hope it wasn’t the water in the trap that did that. But, upon further examination, I suspect it may have been the ring that did that to the water. However, there is no accounting for taste and I am sure the sentimental value of the ring completely outweighs any snobbery I may harbour towards its true monetary value.
Well, it had better. I’d hate to think I’d swilled my fingers through watery vomit for something that fell out of a Christmas cracker alongside a plastic comb and a tiny plastic spinning top that refuses to spin.
Oh what do I care, really? The job was done and I was just glad to be able to ring (ha ha) Joanna Public up and say that I had saved her ring from a fate worse than missing. It isn’t something I get to say very often, after all, and I made sure I relished the opportunity.
A happy ending.
Unlike the hours I then spent reviewing our CCTV footage to catch two middle aged women setting fire to a bin bag dumped outside the building last night for no other reason that it appeared to amuse them.
The resultant fire wasn’t huge and thankfully a staff member happened to spot the blaze and douse it with a good old fashioned bucket of H2O.
I have then spent the rest of the day wading through conversations with police, staff and alarm engineers who have all given me the distinct impression that I am pouring black, vomity water down a sink without a trap onto my own feet once more...
With no ring this time – dud or precious – to make the activity seem at all worthwhile...
Where’s Frodo Baggins when you need him, eh?