So there I am the other day, parked outside Briscoes in my usual spot wondering how much money I'm spending inside.
I say "I" in the loosest term of course.
It is Mrs P who is inside, her eyes glazed over, ambling round on auto-pilot with the other zombies muttering "Must buy something".
Luckily this time round her only purchase is a candle.
I figure that is 7347 candles we now own. If our house ever burned down all they would find is a big glob of candle wax.
But the purchase has put Mrs P in a good mood though so on the drive home I chance my arm and bring up the subject of that power tool I desperately need to finish that project I've been desperately trying to, well, er, finish.
It may have been the state of euphoria Mrs P was in, fellow husbands of Briscoes devotees may recognise the symptoms, but to my surprise she said yes. If i absolutely needed it I should get it. I didn't need a second invitation. I sped to Bunnings and the tool department.
There I found the piece of equipment I wanted. It needed a battery to go with it and I required help regarding the right one for the job. Problem. All the staff were tied up.
Luckily my mate Sparkie from XYZ Electrical (not their real name to save embarrassment and legal action) was in purchasing too so I grabbed the opportunity for some advice.
Now I have to point out in my many years of DIY I have been fortunate enough to have good mates in various fields who have been only too happy to help out.
Well actually I'm only guessing they are happy to help.
I work at a desk. I am an enthusiastic have-a-go bloke and I reckon I'm okay. Sparkie, and The Scottish Plumber, have both rescued me on occasion. It would be safe to say both have risked whiplash shaking their heads at some of my DIY attempts. In return I promise not to sue for defamation and allow them to mercilessly take the mickey out of me at the golf club or any other social occasion they are at. Which is a lot. They are a plumber and an electrician. Enough said. I'm sure you get the picture. Anyway.
Sparkie did try to run when I called out to him but I was having none of it. It wasn't so much a rugby tackle but it would be fair to say i had to use my height and weight advantage to reposition him in front of the batteries cabinet.
The advice forced from him he high-tailed it for the checkout while I got a staffer to open the cabinet and get me the item I wanted.
Then I hit the checkout myself, proud as punch with my manly new power tool and battery.
In front of me was Sparkie, having a few issues with the checkout operator.
It seems he had forgotten his discount trade card and was trying hard to convince the young lady on the counter he really was who he said. It didn't seem to be working.
"Pagey," he called out in desperation as I walked up to the counter behind him. "I've forgotten my card. Can you vouch for me and tell them who I am?"
I couldn't resist it.
"I've never met you before in my life," I said deadpan as the colour disappeared from his face. I let it go a couple of seconds before I burst into laughter and told the young lady he was, in fact, Sparkie from XYZ.
She saw the funny side of it and sorted out his purchase. To his credit Sparkie had a bit of a laugh too as he paid but he must have been thinking about a comeback as he walked off.
"That means your next job is going to cost you a bit more," he said triumphantly as he went on his way. Then it was my turn.
As the young lady behind the counter asked if I was paying cash or charging to an account I thought I might just have the last laugh.
"Oh, just charge it to Sparkie at XYZ Electrical," I said with a smile.