(NB that was the sound of the telephone ringing, as transcribed onto the page).
It is Big A. We chat inconsequentially for a couple of minutes, before he announces that he has a favour to ask me.
I am immediately on my guard. This means that he will want me to look after his chickens whilst he goes away. As the premier chicken expert in the Village, I am always being asked to look after people’s chickens. And whilst that is no hassle, it is a bit of a hassle, and I do not need the extra eggs.
Big A has three rescued battery chickens, including one that he calls ‘J Lo’ because it has an enormous sort of growth on its arse. They are good natured birds, and I do owe him a favour for the use of his washing machine. I take a deep breath and ask him what his favour is.
“Can you put my bins out for me?”
I am a bit stunned by this. “Don’t you want me to look after the chickens?” I ask, to which he replies that the people over the road are happy to do that.
Sacked!!! I am sacked as first-choice chicken-looker-after!!! I replace the receiver angrily. I am good enough to do the bins, but not good enough to do the chickens.
The next morning, I wander over to get his bins. An ex-battery chicken with an enormous arse protrusion gazes at me through the garden gate, giving me a slightly disdainful look. This chicken seems a bit above herself. I might be a mere binman, but she is just Jenny from the Flock.
The Washing Machine Man should be coming tomorrow, with the spare part.