Tuesday 3 August 2010

You wanna check that mate.

The other day, elsewhere, I was sitting in an upstairs kitchen when the downstairs front door bell rang.

I had been told to expect the plumber so I went down, loosened several locks and threw the door open.

A bright and diminutive man, dressed in red was standing their holding a small identification card that made me think of those people who try to rip you off in the street by pretending to be good causes.

He beamed at me and said, “Good morning, I’m Michael Mulkerrin.”

I was gob smacked, I was not expecting this; I know Michael Mulkerrin and this was not he!

He would never wear red trousers.

“Sorry?” I stammered.
“Hello, I’m Michael Mulkerrin.”
“No you’re not.”
“…I am,” he looked as confused as me now, and he handed me his I.D.
I held the laminated piece of paper that looked to have been drawn by a five year old and read the words Mike Mulkerrin.
“Um, and?”

It turned out that he was the plumber, and he was Mike Mulkerrin , but not my friend who is also Mike Mulkerrin, who isn’t a plumber (though I wouldn’t put it past him – he’s one of the most talented people I know) but he was nice enough to be a friend and is also probably, for all I know, very clever.

I just wish he had started by saying “hello, I’m the plumber” when I had opened the door; it would have confused me less.

And probably him too.

The last time Michael (the non-plumbing one) appeared in these pages was, er, hang on I need to check.

May 6th. 2010.

Before that it was, hang on, 15th April 2008.

It’s not often enough.

The good news though, is that Michael is coming to visit on Thursday - he is leaving England even as I write and there is a fair chance that we will have a few good hours and days together before he drives off south to Spain.

We may even get to do some remedial work to a project that we started together at least 14 years ago and which lately- the last two years- has been driving me to an early grave.

Some of our projects together have reached fruition – a sketch where he played a dog and me a milkman that made stage-light in Ulm, Germany: an exploding cake in a French restaurant during a London Comedy Festival: Mr Memory Man (though it ruined a few good shirts): The Whip.

Others were abandoned – the attempt to beat the world record for assembling a full deck of cards from those found discarded in the street (when inadvertently I crossed the path of an angry gambler who had thrown his deck down in disgust): The Night with Fiona (the least said the better).

And one that remains in Limbo.

Annoying Limbo.

It’s a writing project - turn based - dictated by the moves of a chess game that started by post.

14 years ago.

It’s his turn.

It has been for two and a half years!

I’ve urged, I’ve cajoled, I’ve snarled, I’ve tricked and I’ve even threatened to slash his camper van’s tyres so he is unable to leave my field until it’s done.

In reply, he claims that his notes make no sense and that when he comes on Thursday we can consolidate.

And added – “we’ll talk about it.”

Oh no we won’t make! You’re training to be a psychiatrist, I won’t stand a chance!

Now if you were a plumber…..


Anonymous said...

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Is this possible?

popps said...

Everything is possible!
There are even link to thingies at the end of the post but if you mean something else let me know.

popps said...

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