(or Escapades With A Chamois Part Two)
If you enjoyed Part One of Dozy Dan’s escapades with a chamois you might also get a laugh out of this. It’s taken from my memoir, BETTER OR DEAD
You may remember Dozy Dan regaling me with his bedroom activities? Well this is 2004 some 23 years on. Brace yourselves!
As money was in short supply owing to my health rendering me pretty useless I worried how I’d get the upstairs window frames painted before they rotted completely and the glass fell out. They were looking dodgy in a few places but I couldn’t afford a decorator, and even when I was fit I couldn’t have shinned up the ladder paint pot in hand. I did ask Dozy Dan though when he came to do the windows if he knew of anyone who’d just do the upstairs for a reasonable price.
“I’ll do ’em for you duck for a tenner,” he drawled and I couldn’t believe my ears! Even I could manage a tenner!
The day arrived when he came ready to paint as he cleaned and as it was a nice day I felt obliged to sit outside and chat – and of course offer him a cup of tea, well it was the least I could do when he was doing what amounted to a favour. He was never short of words in his dozy, drawn out drawl and he soon began to regale me with an update on his bedroom activities.
“I haven’t touched my wife for fifteen years,” he said from his elevated position up his ladder and I nearly choked on my cup of tea.
“She won’t let me near her and I’m a very natural person you see. Are you a natural person?”
He looked down at me, denim cap perched as always on his head, awaiting my answer.
I had to be careful with it; I wasn’t sure what he was asking. He knew I was divorced but surely he wasn’t asking…? No, of course he wasn’t.
“I’ve never really thought about it,” I said carefully.
“Don’t you miss being natural?”
“Oh no,” I laughed. “I can take it or leave it.”
“I like to be natural,” he persisted. “I’ve got a woman who I see at weekends. She’s a widow, got a flat. I tell my wife I’m out collecting. Do you think that’s terrible duck?”
Phew! He’d got a woman. Thank goodness for that. For an awful moment I thought he was propositioning me!
“No,” I replied. “People do what’s right for them don’t they. I’ll just go and wash the cups.”
I bolted into the kitchen to escape and I’ve never made washing two cups take as long as I did then. I left him to it and was never more relieved to give him his tenner and see him on his way.
“He was sounding you out,” said my brother-in-law when I told them all about it.
“Don’t be mad, of course he wasn’t! He must be about seventy five!”
“Bet ya he was.”
He and my sister found it a great source of amusement.
Some months later my brother-in-law wore the look of one dying to impart gossip and I’d barely got my bum on their settee before he launched with great relish into his tale.
“We had Dozy Dan the window cleaner here the other day,” he said.
“I thought you didn’t have him anymore?”
I myself had dispensed with his services as a neigbour told me to watch him.
‘He only does the front windows then collects for the lot,’ he said.
This fact was borne out when I noticed a big fat slither of bird poo on my kitchen window.
‘You haven’t done the back,’ I told Dozy Dan when he came for his money.
‘I have duck,’ he assured me.
‘No you haven’t. There’s bird poo on the kitchen window.’
He’d looked rather sheepish. ‘Oh I’m sorry, I must be double collecting.’
Yeah right. Double collecting my eye. He was well aware of what he was doing and I think he knew that I was too. I told him there and then that I wouldn’t have them done in future and he loped off with a hang dog expression but back to my brother-in-law’s tale.
“We don’t generally, it was just a one off,” he continued. His eyes shone with a sort of barely contained glee. “He’s been having an affair with a twenty five year old woman.”
“No, that’s what he said. She ran off and left him though and took all his money for drugs. They’d been living in his camper van.”
“His wife must have thrown him out at last then.”
“Must have done.”
My sister had her own little gem to add. “Cassie saw his van on her way home from school the other day. ‘Mum the circus is on the estate,’ she said. ‘That’s no circus,’ I told her, ‘that’s Dozy Dan’s s**g wagon!'”
We all screamed with laughter but I felt a tiny bit sorry for him for the loss of his money, even if some of it was collected with shades of dishonesty but maybe it served him right. Some might say it was poetic justice for all of his years of ‘naturallness’ and double collecting!