Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Waterworld Too - Tuesday
The rain is back with a vengeance, as I battle through rush hour traffic for a late viewing. You can see why the more sprightly pensioners head for Spain in their early dotage. I’d advise them to keep a foothold in the UK property market, not sell-up completely for the lure of all day piss-ups and a pool, but you can’t tell them. They trickle back when their health starts to fail and they discover the much-maligned NHS its still better than a paid for clinic, more used to dealing with drunken British teenagers than early onset dementia.
I pull out slightly to avid a great sheet of standing water adjacent to a bus stop. I’m rewarded with a nodded thank you from two people in the queue and a bolshie blast on the horn from some boy racer coming the other way. I open my hands in question at the spotty oik as he speeds past oblivious to the road conditions, and get a single rigid finger thrust at me in return.
‘Tosser.’ I mutter towards the headlining. Not sure if Ford deliberately targeted the Ka at semi-literate retards with more tattoos than brain cells, but they seem to have cornered the market in aggressive kids who have somehow passed their driving test, but have more chance of becoming Prime Minister than successfully parallel parking.
‘Terrific.’ I mutter to myself as I crawl down the appointed street looking for a parking slot. These terraced houses were built just post-war and planners didn’t envisage owners, or more accurately around here renters, with three cars per household. The rain is lashing down still, as I finally find a space half across the double yellow lines, and switch off. As the downpour refuses to abate I wonder how those new houses they plan to build on what everyone who 's lived around here for more than twenty years knows is a flood plain, will fare.
As the car clock approaches five minutes before the appointed viewing time, I twist awkwardly to retrieve my umbrella from the back seat. I’m rewarded with a stabbing pain in my lower back and a view of a slightly soiled squab - that old woman viewing the retirement flat turned out to be as incontinent as her aroma indicated - devoid of anything other than a yellowy stain.
‘F**k!’ I bellow, as a vision of my brolly, sat by the office door still dripping from my earlier failed valuation, swims - appropriately - into view. The car is still rocking from my expletive as a teenage mum, with a toddler on one arm plus twin babies in one of those double buggies struggles past, looking at me suspiciously. God knows what she’d doing out in this weather, unless she’s searching for the fathers….
I stand on the doorstep, clipboard in hand and watch the rain lashing down. The owners are at work, not home until late obviously, how else could they service a mortgage without both working punishing hours? They are, needless to say, childless. I try not to become a Daily Mail reader, as I pogoed to The Clash in my youth, but some days I can feel my angry middle-Englander trying to escape.
Fifteen minutes later I’m still surveying the soggy street and trying to avoid a persistent drip that is determined to get down my shirt collar. I could go inside, I have the keys, but there’s one of those passive-aggressive stickers on the door’s side panel, warning Hawkers, Circulars and cold callers to not knock. They might as well put up those offensive notices from the fifties telling Irish and blacks they can’t rent round here. I’m guessing the woman of the house will know if I’ve lurked around inside without potential buyers with me, and you never know when people have motion sensitive cameras rigged any more. It’s taken all the fun out of the knicker drawer…
‘Have they rung in to cancel?’ I ask when negotiator S eventually answers the office phone.
‘Do they ever?’ She answers, semi rhetorically.
‘They’re not coming are they?’ I say, completely rhetorically.
I’m sinking here.