We’re expecting our hall carpet to get replaced soon. Yep, the landlady’s finally doing something about all the worn carpet. Originally the plan had been for it to be stretched. It would happen shortly after we moved in, we were told. The guy would come, his carpet stretching equipment (which resembles props from the torture scene of a bad medieval movie) was already in the cupboard, waiting.

Well, that was last March and the guy never showed up. Every few days the landlady would ask "did he come?" and we’d say "no…" The questions came fewer and fewer, and the man himself vanished off the face of the earth. We still have his equipment. Presumably out there somewhere in the world is a carpet stretcher who has either moved into another profession, or is extremely frustrated at having forgotten where his tools are.

He probably goes to job interviews.

"So, what carpet stretching experience have you had?"

"Forty years of stretching all kinds of carpets."

"Excellent, excellent. And you have your own tools?"

"Ah… no."

"Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Next!"

Anyway, after ten months, the landlady decided to switch to another tactic. That of replacing the carpet with tiles. So she arranged for a carpet-puller-upper/tile-layer to come and measure it all up. After some delay (oh great, she’s called another fictional repairman) he was finally due around 11:30 on Friday. A public holiday but oh well, someone’s got to work them.

The doorbell rings. Ah ha! I think, the guy about the tiles! I stride confidently to the front door and open. Hmm.. it’s not one guy, but two, plus a kid – probably one of their sons. Well, okay, I can handle that.

I’m about to let them in when I notice hmm… wearing suits. Not your usual workman clothing. Even the kid’s wearing a suit… Oh no, wait a minute, it’s the–

fictional bit begins here

"Hello, we’re Jehov–"

"Yes, come in! We’ve been expecting you."


"This is it, here. The whole hallway to be replaced."

"But we wanted to talk to you about–"

"What, you haven’t brought your tape measures? Here, use ours."

"–the origins of the universe and–"

"Yes, that’s it, and around into that alcove there, right up to the bathroom door."

"–what man can do to–"

"Don’t forget to write it all down, okay, thank you, out you go."

"But hey, wait a minute–"

"Yes, thanks, see you next time!"

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.