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Drizzled Hope
by Avis Hickman-Gibb

As far as I can see it’s black and white. Is the damn thing working or not? You’d think - a simple answer to a simple question - it’s not too much to ask, is it? Well you’d be wrong!

I had to call out a plumber because the water spillage coming from the washing machine was threatening to float everything not screwed down out through the door. My method of choosing an expert was well thought out - a pin in the yellow pages seemed as good as anything. Disappointment was lurking right there at the start; no appointments available until next week. This was the same whichever pin prick I ring.

Then I am told I will have to wait in for the obligatory 14 hours on the day specified for The Operative to make an appearance. Sorry no, it can’t be narrowed down to morning or afternoon – do I still want to go ahead? I manage to say yes.

By the time the appointed day dawns, the dirty avalanche of clothes is tumbling from all receptacles made for the job of containing such. Maybe I should have gone to the Launderette last weekend? So now I wait as the hours slip by and the sun fades in the sky, along with my hopes. With what seems like only minutes to go before I can declare The Operative delinquent, I greet the chime of the doorbell with relief. In shuffles salvation.

A short time later, after being shamed into making mugs of tea, I am standing there like a divvy, smiling a forced rhictus and finding myself patronised by either an uppity, spotty adolescent or a creaking, wheezing fossil. Take your pick; they’re like Laurel and Hardy!

After much head shaking and sucking in of breath – who repaired this last time then? A professional was it? A sly knowing glance snakes between the two. More head shaking, and then The Wheezer begins The Explanation (you understand this must appear to add value to the whole process, while also adding extra minutes to the call out time).

I want to shout: I don’t want the problem explained in nauseating, vivid detail; I simply want the frigging thing fixed! Just tell me the worst, I can take it! After all, I could get a replacement here in less than a week. Just tell me the worst!

I find in these situations it’s not the despair that gets to you – it’s the faint hope of a resolution drizzled out over too long a time, which really shrivels your soul.