Ooookay people...this mornings negotiations have got off to a flyer. As you know I have accepted an offer on my house...even though my thoughts around this are seriously scrambled egg again right now...and today the purchasers surveyor/valuer came to do his thing.
Well it has to be said that I am in somewhat of a cheery mood at the moment as I anticipate the next two weeks in Vegas...and apart from the clothes and shoe mountain which have still not been culled and packed...I'm no longer panicking about this and trying to adopt a 'Jayne type strategy' to deal with it...which basically involves the production of lots of lists,complete with approximate time scales for each task ...oh and a conveyor belt and a cuddly toy to boot.
Sooo... when I opened my front door to Mr. Damp meter (he's gonna need one of them for sure) it was all I could do to stifle an outright guffaw as I was confronted with what for all the world looked like a miniature Jason King...I kid you not, this guys facial hair could have been used as a stunt double for chewbacca. The flared 'vintage' suit was covering the most outrageous platforms I have ever seen and i can only assume must have started life as footwear in Elton Johns wardrobe.
I resisted the urge to begin speaking in my best Mike Myers/Austin Powers voice and welcomed the 'opposition' into my home, as warmly as I could given that the gold cufflinks embedded into the sleeves of his pristine white shirt were glinting wildly in the sun streaming through the windows causing me to squint and shade my eyes with one hand whilst shaking his small sweaty palm in the other.
'Good morning' he said introducing himself...well at this point I seriously needed to remember I was wearing shorts which would have quickly exposed any sign of bladder weakness, the sound emanating from this caricature of a man would have made Joe Pasquale's voice seem like a baritone in comparison, and was bordering on the quality of a grey parrot short of oxygen.
Now I am not good at the 'straight face thing' when I need to laugh...I just have to...but...realising this was not a good strategy should I eventually decide to go ahead with a sale, I valiantly gave my facial muscles the best pre Vegas workout ever, willing them to exert control over my rebellious chuckle muscle...which I succeeded in doing... just...but this had the unfortunate knock on effect of causing my vocal chords to constrict, which resulted in a sound something akin to that of Miss Piggy on speed, and between us we sounded like two extra's from a chipmunk movie.
I managed to trot out a few social niceties about the weather...would he like a drink etc...which he declined, probably on the grounds that he must have assumed I had, had beer for breakfast and was offering him a schooner of the same. This part of an extremely awkward encounter finally ended when he indicated a preference for starting upstairs which I told him was fine, pointing up the stairs and briefly describing what was where... whilst fully intending to stay at the bottom in order to compose myself.
I watched as the platforms scurried up the first flight ...until they reached the top step... at which juncture the platforms clipped the last hurdle much like a horses hoof clipping a fence at a gymkhana , which then sent our Jason King look-a-likey sprawling head first into a bedroom door on the landing, which caused him to emit a sound quite unlike any animal or human noise I have ever heard.
I was completely and utterly beyond help. I didn't know whether to concentrate on the very real threat of a shower in my shorts... ooops too late!! ... or how to control the near hysterical chuckle muscle as it finally broke ranks with quality control ...or to go and help the guy who was by now squawking something about him being OK...offered of course without an enquiry from me as I was completely incapable of doing so.
The inspection upstairs continued...as I desperately searched the ironing pile...which thank fully is located in a kitchen cupboard ...for a change of shorts. Unfortunately a lot of my clothes are in the Vegas mountain and all I could find was the dress I usually wear when I colour my hair... I have used it for years, and the permanent stains over much of it are testament to this. After a speedy costume change I took a seat at my desk hiding as much of me as I could underneath it.
I typed furiously on my laptop when Jason re-appeared hoping that my assistance would not be required at any further juncture ...but this is me you are talking about right?
He, not unreasonably wanted to venture outside...I gesticulated towards the back door as a I typed telling him that the keys were in the door...continuing to type nothing more than shit. shit shit in continued repitition as my mind was, by now, completely unable to produce anything more intelligent.
'I can't find them' he squeaked I turned tentatively to see in horror that they were indeed not where I told him they would be, and that I now had no choice but to leave the sanctity of my desk and go and look for them myself.
I ignored his curious/ incredulous expression at my inexplicable change of attire, as I searched for the keys which thankfully propelled him into the 'outside space' with me thinking that outer space at this point would have been preferable.
I did manage to mow the lawn a few weeks ago for he first time ever...but was sooo cheesed of with it actually growing again, decided to let it do its own thing in protest. As I watched Jason's flared trousers get hooked up in the foot high nettle plants which have erupted in between the long grass...I promoted the words SHIT SHIT SHIT into capitals on the blank A4 spaces in front of me.
The longest hour of my life was finally over... and I was just grateful that my front door handle which has been falling off for a while managed to remain in situ during Jason's visit.
I closed the door behind him... at first sighing with relief... and then trying not to cry as I realised that the door and the handle had chosen this particular moment in time to dispense with their team effort, and I was still holding it the palm of my hand without the benefit of a door.
Negotiating stuff some day's people is not for the faint hearted xxxx