Ballad to an Irish Roofer

“Twenty quid, all in,
That’s cheap to clear a gutter.”
How little did I realise
They’d be words
I’d rue to hear him utter.

But it isn’t easy to resist
The words of an Irishman.
Even one whose face
Is sweaty
And who drives an unmarked van.

He said he’d done the neighbours;
“Done” the operative word.
By the time I’d
Shook his hand
I had a feeling I had erred.

Never trust a doorstep caller;
Don’t believe their cheery hype.
I should never have allowed
His ladder to
Get near to my downpipe.

I knew what was to follow;
Already second guessed the scam,
But by then it was too late
For me
To tell the man to scram.

“You’ve got a bit of a problem,
Up there on your firewall.
Those front four bricks
Are loose.
Looks like they’re going to fall.”

Of course, I knew what he had done;
Loosened the bricks up on my roof,
But I hadn’t seen him
Do it
And I didn’t have the proof.

“One fifty quid to fix it;
Do it for you here and now.”
But I wasn’t going to
Let myself
Be this scammer’s next cash cow.

And so, I sent him packing.
Got someone else to do the job.
It cost me twice
The money,
But I didn’t feel like I’d been robbed.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree isn’t very handy around the house.


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