I Can’t Stay Mad At You

By Posted on 2 Comments 3 min read

I’m going back a long way now, probably to the 1970’s. It was a time when people were having their houses covered in mock faux Cotswold stone which only helped it to look like a Disneyland castle. All the DIY stores that sprang up at the time were full of wallpapers with different stone patterns. You could paper a whole room and it would look like the inside of a medieval dungeon.

The vast amount of realistic brick pattern wallpaper was staggering. I think every type of brick that was manufactured, had a wallpaper to match. London bricks, Cotswold stone, Yellow bricks, Cream bricks and on and on. Shelves full of roll after roll of the stuff. Now, you maybe wondering why I’m telling you this.

One of the strangest things that ever happened to me was when the chimney on our first house started showing signs of, well, disappearing! It was in a serious state of terminal crumble, with the bricks looking like they had been dumped on the roof in a pile and left with two pots sticking out. A good strong wind and the lot would have come crashing through the roof.  Ours wasn’t the only house in the street like this. Albert, who lived a few doors down had the same problem as did Doris, a few doors up from him.

As luck would have it, a roofing company was in the area at the time and as they seem to spend nearly all of their daylight hours looking into the sky, they soon noticed the sad state of our chimneys. They called, and as there were several of us needing work on our rooftop appendages, they offered a hefty discount if we had it all done together. Sounded a great deal to me and the neighbours, so they were booked  and ready to start work the following Monday.

wallpaperSure enough, bang on 9:00am on the Monday morning, they were outside with their wooden ladders and buckets. No scaffolding was required in those days, you could just go up there in your shorts and flip flops and do whatever! You would have thought, a couple of guys working on at least 4 houses would have taken perhaps a couple of days or more to carry out the work? Nope! By 10:30am, they were finished, all 4 chimneys fixed and I have to add, looking fantastic! All of us were pleased at what we could see from the ground. So we parted with 30 pounds each, which was a lot of money in those days, and the guys thanked us and gave us a card to ring them if there were any problems.

Everyone seemed happy enough, the builders were happy, Albert and Doris were happy, I was happy. Until next morning!! I got a knock on the door and dear old Albert was frantic, jumping up and down as though someone had set him on fire. He dragged me into the garden and pointed at the roof. All I could see was my chimney, in a pile, as it was before the repairs. So was Albert and Doris’s chimneys! Albert had a piece of rolled up wallpaper in his hand, and I think you can guess the rest of the story.

Yes, we had been well and truely conned. That’s how they managed to carry out the repairs in 90 minutes, they just wrapped the brick patterned wallpaper around the old pile, and from the ground it looked like it was a sterling job!! We phoned the number on the card and of course just got a beeeeep. We were fuming, all of us, raging like demented Tasmanian devils while the rest of the street was laughing their socks off!

It took a long, long time to get over that, not only financially, but emotionally too. Eventually, we had to accept what had happened and put it down to experience, and say I can’t stay mad at you forever. The Daily Post Challenge Daily Prompt Challenge.

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2 Comments
  • davekingsbury
    November 26, 2015

    There’s something very funny about this story, though I don’t suppose you laughed much at the time. Made a good blog, though …

    • admin
      November 26, 2015

      Thank you. It’s funny now and I think I have to respect the con mens initiative at the time!




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