Tuesday 16 June 2015


file under: Embarrassing social situations

One of my regular readers told me that every single article I've written for this blog falls into one of four categories: "Embarrassing courtship situations", "Embarrassing social situations", "Engineering boasting", and "Musical boasting". He only wants to read the first two.

Last week I met three experts.

When one of my friend's cars wouldn't start the man who lives opposite came out of his house to help. He started the conversation with the words "Crank sensor". He had correctly diagnosed the fault without even leaving his kitchen, and I appreciate how helpful and direct he was. However I hope that stating the root cause of the problem I'm having doesn't catch on as a way of starting conversations. I'd much prefer things like "Hello" and "Are you looking for anything in particular?" to "Socially awkward" and "No sense of style".

The second "expert" owns a house on my street. It is identical to mine and has had a For Sale sign outside it for the last few weeks. When I saw him I asked him if he'd sold it, and how much for. He gave me a wildly inflated estimate of its value and then explained that it was the fault of the estate agent and nothing to do with the asking price that meant he didn't get a single enquiry in six weeks. His understanding of the housing market is different to mine.

The third expert has a god given gift, and years of practice, in making fun of me. I have been decorating one of my bedrooms and when he came to my house on Saturday evening I said "Let me show you what I've spent all day doing." As quick as a flash he said "I don’t want to watch you doing that."

Richard "unplug it and plug it in again" B

1 comment:

  1. Its a shame the car expert didn't open the conversation with "piston broke?". Then you could have replied with the Two Ronnie's classic "Me too"

    I once had the good fortune to run into an electrical "expert" in a DIY shop. I was thumbing through a book on basic wiring when he approached me and asked what I was trying to find out. I explained I was trying to tie into the main breaker box and get 220 volts (normal output 110 volts) so I could operate European kitchen equipment. He quickly explained it was simply a matter of connecting the neutral wire to the second live terminal on a two pole breaker. It wasn't until I was standing in front of the live terminal with a screw driver and a bared wire in my hand that it occurred to me, not only did I have no clue who he was or what his qualifications were, but he may have deliberately given me wrong information as a personal joke.

    Doug "lick it and see if it's tingles" B