Saturday, October 16, 2010

Speak Of The Devil...

Satan...and he's sure to appear and ask for your compost bin.

No, that wasn't what I was expecting either but it was what I got last night.

Regular readers of this blog will know of my love/hate relationship with our window cleaner, Wayne. Well. I'm not sure it's love/hate. Possibly hate/hate. Certainly irritation/relief that I don't have to clean my windows myself.

Anyway, none of this is important. What is important is that through sheer wussiness I find myself putting up with his monthly visits to collect his £7 for cleaning our windows simply because I haven't yet told him to go and sling his chamois round somebody else's sash window.

Wayne is weird you see. As expounded further in the link above he is a commie hater. Beneath his cheeky-chappy gor blimey guvnor smile is a festering Bible spouting end-timer who wants to see all the bankers of this world boiling in the devil's own hot sauce. I don't really want to get into a protracted conversation with him. I certainly don't want to have to risk his ire by laying him off and then find myself on the wrong end of a McCarthyist witch hunt. I literally just want him to wash and go.

But - jumping through time to last night - we hadn't seen anything of Wayne for weeks. He hadn't been round to collect his fee for last month. It had lain in the kitchen untouched (amazing given how brassic we are at the moment) awaiting its master's call. Wayne didn't even seem to have been round to smear up our windows this month. Normally he puts a calling card through. But there had been nothing.

I know I was foolish to do this but I chanced fate. I turned to my wife and posited aloud the theory that maybe we had seen the last of Wayne. Maybe he had gone out of business, fallen off his ladder or had embarked on a crusade to the Holy Land? Maybe I could be allowed to reclaim that £7 and place it back into the forlorn pocket of my wallet?

Now this is no word of a lie. I haven't messed with the timings here just to cobble a blog post together and inject it with some semblance of drama. There was literally a knock at our front door the second after I had stopped speaking. A smart business-like rap.

I turned to Karen; it couldn't possibly be...? She had turned white. She suggested it was a late delivery of something or other. Clutchable straws perhaps?

I girded my loins and opened the front door... and found myself staring into the crazy shotgun eyes of Wayne the window cleaner. "Hello Mr Blake..." he announced and his Max Wall hair seemed to lift in a breeze that stank mildly of brimstone.

Not only had he come to collect last month's money but he wanted this month's too 'cos he'd done our windows on Tuesday. He just hadn't put a card through. Gulp. But I only had money for last month and I'm totally skint until I get paid on the 19th. From deep below Wayne's feet I swear I heard screams as if a billion souls were being tortured by trillions of imps who all (for some reason) looked like miniature versions of Russell Brand. What would he demand as payment?

He looked me in the eye and said, "No worries, Mr Blake, just give it to me next month, it'll be fine... er, by the way, is that a compost bin in your trailer...?"

Er. I told him that yes it was. It was our old compost bin in fact. We'd bought a bigger one. Emptied the contents of the old onto our winter beds and were going to take the old compost bin down to the local recycling centre.

"Oooo," said Wayne (though it sounded quite demonic to my ears and not so effeminate as it appears in text), "I could do with one of those..."

"Please do take it," I offered/begged. "It's yours if you want it; we're only going to dump it anyway..."

"Cheers, Mr Blake, I'll be back in the morning with my truck." And off he stomped into the night.

Now, Karen bless her, being an accountant, pointed out that actually that old compost bin cost about £7 - the equivalent of a month's window cleaning. If I'd been canny I could have bartered the month I owed for the bin and completely wiped out my debt.

That's a fair point. But I'm just glad - though slightly unsettled - that when push came to shove and the ol' devil could have demanded my soul fair and square he instead sized me up and went for our mouldy old compost bin instead.

But what the hell does that say about me?

That I'm untouchably saved? Or just not worth wasting good hellfire on? Or I have a superlative taste in compost bins?

Answers on a trident to the usual address, please...


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38 comments:

LöstJimmy said...

I think he has bigger plans for you...by the way, the Russell Brand comment is a bit too much, aren't we tortured enough with his inane presence on the telly already without thinking he has a permanent torturing gig in the halls of the Pit?

Being Me said...

It means you don't need him to come and clean your windows every month if you didn't notice he'd even been. He's got you! He knows you've got legs of jelly. I'd be the same, by the way, totally.

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: it's the only surefire way to keep people on the straight and narrow.

Being Me: good point. Of course Wayne will point out that he maintains our windows so well they always look clean. Curse him and his infernal logic!

the fly in the web said...

Could try telling him you're now into the barter economy in protest against global capitalism and that unfortunately you no longer have anything to barter.......
I think it ominous he addresses you formally.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: didn't the devil invent bartering...? The formality thing is disturbing... what's worse is he knows my exact age, all my darkest thoughts and my dirtiest desires. He cleans a mean window too.

Gorilla Bananas said...

It says that you're a wuss, but that's not the point. The point is there's no need to sack the man unless he makes a hash of cleaning your windows. Whenever he spouts off about bankers or communists, just change the subject to windows. Say: "funny you should say that, because I knew a banker who had stained glass windows put in his mansion which required a special kind of soap to clean." Whatever he says, keep talking windows, soap, windows, soap. It will confuse and flatter him, which is just the combination you want.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I like your style and your logic is sound. I wonder if such a technique would work on Satan himself... lovely place you got here, that fire is amazing, how do you maintain this level of heat so effortlessly? I might ask Wayne next time he pops round for his 30 shekels.

Clippy Mat said...

tch there was I just trying to erase dreadful images from my damaged psyche of Russell Brand in that horrible movie "Get him to the Greek" (or whatever) which I watched last night for want of 'entertainment' and you had to go and bring him up again!
Coincidence?
I don't believe in 'em.
;-)
p.s. 7 quid for cleaning windows these days? I used to give my window cleaner 50p. that WAS 28 years ago however. Not a bad number if you're considering boosting your income until the
19th perhaps?

Steve said...

Clippy Mat: thus proving that the devil and his minions truly are everywhere. As for the price, Wayne used to charge £6.66 put put it up when the VAT was restored to the normal level earlier this year.

Alienne said...

I don't like the sound of him at all. I just don't clean my windows - they don't seem to get any worse after a couple of years!

libby said...

I'm with Karen....should have charged him for the bin.......

Steve said...

Alienne: we tried it for a couple of years but living by candlelight soon lost its allure...

Libby: I know. I'm kicking myself. Mind you, he's not come round to collect it yet...

joebloggs said...

Didn't realise that even the Legion of Darkness recycle and compost! Talk about jumping on the band wagon.... Vote Green and be ruled by the Dark Overlord.
Mind you at least we will be able to look through clean windows as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse gallop down the High st.
You should charge him for the bin though, 30 pieces of silver should cover it.

Steve said...

Joe: ol' B.L. Zeebub has been recycling on God's behalf for years... all those old manky souls that the Big G doesn't want all get dumped in the biggest compost bin in the cosmos. You should see God's rose bed... bloomin' marvellous it is.

Heather said...

was there a clap of thunder and a distinct smell of sulphur just before he appeared? that's a dead give away that is...

Steve said...

Heather: there was a distinct smell of cabbage. Does that count?

TheUndertaker said...

Hm, is this one of those instances when they can only come into your house when invited, otherwise they cannot cross into your house? Maybe try a cross next time, just to make sure which team he is playing for...?
At least he can't clean the window to your soul, so he can't see in...

London City Mum said...

Who is he planning to put in the compost bin, eh?

All the IOUs?

Just a thought...

LCM x

The Sagittarian said...

I have never got the idea of cleaning windows, you can usually rely on it raining about 10 minutes after the job has been done. I never bother. Just once did I clean windows as a punishment for some minor misdemeanor at boarding school, I had to clean the dorm windows using meths and scrunched up newspaper...they did shine tho'.
Love the sound of your devil window guy....

Michelle Twin Mum said...

I wonder if our window cleaner is Wayne too? We have 2 months money sitting here waiting for him and he seems to have dissapeared ..... perhaps into a compost bin?

Mich x

Val said...

You're the only person I know who could have 'paranoia' and 'poo' tags in the same post!
;)
If that guy's name were Mike you could tell him to take a hike. As it's Wayne... er... down the drain, Wayne?

Dunno if I mentioned this before. We had a window cleaner who scarpered and never came back when he saw a family pet - a Python. Maybe get a pet?

Anyway, there's something that might be of interest to you on my blog. Clicky.
:)

Steve said...

TheUndertaker: I have thought abhout putting a crucifix on the door but whereas Wayne only comes round once a month the Jehovah's Witnesses are available every week...

LCM: possibly his old chamois leathers... or possibly that's where he stores them for later use.

Amanda: funnily enough my wife swears by old newspapers to clean windows too!

Michelle: sounds like the ol' devil gets around...!

Val: a pet eh? I think the only thing that would scare Wayne would be a pet banker or a pet Watchtower salesperson...

Keith said...

You have sash windows ! I am eternally jealous, smeary or not. Do they still have their weights, or have they dropped into the eternal ?

Oops, window fetish, me...???

Steve said...

Keith: actually I was lying. I exchanged verisimilitude for a cool turn of phrase. We have standard double glazing.

The Dotterel said...

I sacked our so-called window cleaner a couple of years ago on the grounds that I could make better patterns in the grime than he could... and I can!

Steve said...

TheDotterel: fancy doing ours? I'll throw in a compost bin?

rummuser said...

Hi Steve, I come via Val's blog. She thinks that you are worth visiting regularly. I like what I see and shall return often, that is if you don't mind some banter from an Indian. The original version, not the red.

Some guy bought a new refrigerator for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying:

"Free to good home. You want it, you take it."

For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal.

It looked too good to be true, so he changed the sign to read:

"Fridge for sale ."

The next day someone stole it!

You should have tried it with the compost bin.

Steve said...

Rummuser: thanks for dropping by - age, gender or race is no bar on this blog; welcome one, welcome all, glad to have people along for the ride. Your story just sums up human nature perfectly. I think, you're right. I'll add a "for sale" to the compost bin and wait for some scroty chancer to come along and nick it. It'll save me a journey to the tip and back! ;-)

French Fancy... said...

...and you didn't even notice your windows had been cleaned on Tuesday. Is Wayne not much good with his chammy?

Steve said...

FF: it's possible there was too much dirt inside the windows for us to notice how clean they were outside (we tend not to let Wayne inside the house)...!

nick said...

Goodness, window cleaners are adopting the same views as London cabbies? Can't you just tell him you're in the middle of a very delicate business call to Frankfurt so if he could kindly just take his £7 and go....

Steve said...

Nick: alas he'd wait for the "call" to finish. He might like getting my £7 but he loves putting in his own twopenneth-worth more.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Interesting blog. Many window cleaners are jehovah's Witnesses. That way they can fit in door knocking and window cleaning to suit themselves.

Steve said...

Grumpy Old Ken: I bet the windows in that ol' watchtower of theirs just sparkle. ;-)

Owen said...

I'm wondering what it is in the air around Birmingham that requires windows to be washed so often... corrrr... once a month ?!? I haven't washed the outside of our windows in at least a year, and we can still see out perfectly well. Sort of...
:-)

Anna May said...

Have you considered writing 'You're Fired!' in chicken blood on your windows in time for his next visit?
Or you could pay him £10 an hour instead.
Anna May x

femminismo said...

What does "brassic" mean? No dictionary at hand, here. And I do remember Wayne, the evil window washer. What a "coincidence" he knocked just then. He must have your place bugged. Best let Karen answer the door next time he calls. (what if you did say "bugger off"????)

Steve said...

Owen: it's all the phlegm. It gets everywhere.

Anna: chicken blood on the windows? I'm not sure turning the guy on will help me! ;-)

Femminismo: it's cockney rhyming slang - 'boracic lint', rhymes with skint!