Posted by: Chris Wright | June 7, 2008

Perry Meets His Match

Relaxing after a hard day of upholstery testing, I was swirling a Pirie Estate 2005 Pinot Noir around the glass in preparation for the first draught of the day, when a knock on the door distracted me from my deliberations. Remembering that Margaux would be returning with the weekly shopping, I arranged my features in what I hoped would pass for an expression of beatific good will and threw open the front door.

A tall gentleman loomed out of the rain, his rheumy eyes gradually focusing, a bundle of damp yellow leaflets clasped in one hand, a network of broken veins criss-crossing his nose and cheeks. I eyed him suspiciously.

“My Dear chap” he cried. “What a wonderful example of Edwardian architecture!…I say – is that a Pinot Noir? Splendid length, what?”

I raised one eyebrow, my suspicions hardening into something more like prejudice; surely this fool could know little of the spicy black cherry aroma so characteristic of the Relbia region?

“Fact of the matter is” he continued, “we’re doing a survey of all the houses in the area, absolutely gratis and free of charge, we’d like you to take this leaflet and simply give us a call when you want to talk to somebody about the manifest erosion in the brickwork. These houses won’t stay up for ever you know..”

Accepting the leaflet I cast a curious eye – true to form, a singularly inept portrait of an artisan, toiling to effect a new roof on some nebulous structure. Odd Jobs, Garden Fencing and a freephone telephone number printed large across the bottom.

“So” he persisted “When would you like us to call? Your neighbours..” an expansive sweep of his arm, unbalanced him momentarily and he staggered into the side of the porch, dropping several leaflets into a puddle that was beginning to gather under his dripping sou’wester “…have wisely elected to have us visit in the evening…”

He gazed at me expectantly, pencil poised above a calandar that was quite obviously empty.

“As a matter of fact, I’d prefer to have a think about this and come back to you when I’m ready, that is if that’s all the same to you?”

“Is there a problem?” he responded, a little querulously “it’s only a phone call.” he continued, a flush beginning to creep across his already mottled complexion.

“All the same, if you don’t mind…”

“I see…” he shot back, “well if you don’t mind, I’ll have my leaflet back – you won’t be hearing from me again…”

And with that this good fellow spun on his heel and marched briskly and with great dignity back into the rain….

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