“Hi.” said Fat Jim over the phone, somewhat drearily. “I need a favour.”
“Nice to hear from you Fat Jim. You need a favour eh?”
“Does it involve effort or expense on my part?”
“No, not really.”
“Okay then, shoot.”
“Do you have Stan’s number?”
“Yes, yes I do.” I replied, wondering why he wanted the number of our friend, the handyman.
“Can you send it to me please.”
“Why? What do you need doing?”
“Nothing major. But I really need him in the next hour or so.”
This was intriguing. Requests for home improvements rarely come with a time frame of less than an hour, so unless his new wife wanted him to re-tile the bathroom while she was at Waitrose I was completely lost.
“Tell me why you need him, and I’ll text you his number.”
“It’s a bit embarrassing.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone.”
This was true. I have not told anyone about this. And technically, I am not telling anyone about it now. I am merely uploading certain relevant pieces of information to the Internet. What happens to it then is beyond my control.
“Don’t laugh, but I’ve locked myself in.”
“Ha! You mean you’ve locked yourself ‘out’, obviously.”
“No. I’ve locked myself IN. I’ve broken the lock mechanism and can’t open the front door from the inside. I need to be somewhere in an hour, and I think if I leave through the front room window, one of my neighbours will call the police.”
“What if you call the police first, to warn them? Just let them know that you are the owner of that property and that you will be breaking out in the next hour or so. It is your duty as a law abiding citizen.”
“Look, can I have the sodding number or not?”
“It depends, can I tell people about this?”
“Fair enough, I can see how it would be a bit embarrassing if it got out. I’ll text it to you now.”
I was still chuckling to myself a good ten minutes later when Fat Jim sent me a text message.
“I am an idiot. I deleted that message, can you send his number again please? Pretty please?”
He’s right. He is a fucking idiot.