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Sunday 7 August 2011

Eddie, Help! I'm Stuck! There's No Toilet Paper!!

With a title like this - it can only be a continuation of my Painting and Decorating experiences.  The gentleman uttering these panic stricken-words, "Eddie, help! I'm stuck! There's no toilet paper!" was Ron, who is a very large man who sometimes used to help Chris and I with our decorating jobs.  I have no photo of him so I am using this elephant because:
a) It is large like him.
b) He is keeping his trunk crossed that Eddie can find him some toilet paper.
c) An elephant never forgets so it is to remind us always to have sufficient toilet paper with us at all times so we don't make an ass of ourselves.

Ron is a retired British Rail engineer and he loved being with us on our decorating ventures. He loved the work, the comradeship, the leg pulling and general excitement - he got a real buzz from it all.  He was extremely enthusiastic with a brush and a roller, so much so we could let him loose on just a few jobs where the resultant mess on the floor was not too much of an issue, being at pre-carpeting stage.  He went at his work with such gusto that paint was sprayed everywhere in addition to the surface on which he was working. His hair, face and work clothes were rapidly covered, in whatever paint he was using, invariably brilliant white ceiling paint, and he very often looked like we had somehow used him as a brush because his hair stood on end, saturated in paint, often resembling a toilet brush.  I have never seen a paint roller move so fast over the ceiling and whereas Chris and I always loaded the roller with paint to apply a thick coat of emulsion with a slow and deliberate roller action, Ron's technique was something to behold. He loaded the roller from the tray, lifted the dripping roller to the ceiling and rapidly whizzed the roller squeezing it hard and covering the same area time and time again so very little paint actually stuck to the ceiling, yet paint was sprayed in copious amounts everywhere else. He was rapidly covered from head to toe. He then waited for the paint to dry (but not long enough) and proceeded to apply a second coat with equal abandon.  We did not have the heart to 'have a go at him' but explained our technique to him time and time again with little or no apparent success.  On one occasion he made a very good job applying a coat of coloured acrylic eggshell to a bathroom wall and when we complimented him on his success he immediately got his roller out and went hell for leather over the same wall and promptly ruined it.

Anyway on this occasion Ron was helping us to prepare some flats for a good customer of mine and Chris and I were a bit pushed so we asked Fred for some assistance.  It was late, Chris had gone home, and Ron and I were just finishing something off before Ron 'took short' and headed off to the toilet.  After a while I heard a rather embarrassed voice saying, "Eddie, I'm in a spot of bother here! There is no toilet paper! Can you find any out there?".  It is on such occasions that if anyone says that to us we acquire a sudden sense of superiority LOL.  They are completely at our mercy - I am sure we have all been in that situation. I replied, smiling to myself,  "Sorry Ron, looks as though you're in trouble in there 'cause there is nothing out here and the shops are all shut and we are miles from anywhere!".  "God, what do I do?", grumbled Ron.  I said I would have a good look round and after a while I shouted. "I have some good news and some bad news!  First the good news, I have found some newspapers.  Would you like 'The Financial Times' or 'The Guardian'"  "I don't care! Either, Eddie, pass them both and what's the bad news?"  "The print is smudged on both and there's not much of it!".  Anyway I handed them through the door and left him to it. He seemed slightly irritated when I asked him if he'd managed to do the crossword - then I heard a rustling of paper. Smiling to myself, after a few minutes I heard some swearing, culminating with Ron complaining, "Hell! my finger's gone through and there's print everywhere!".  "Hang on a minute!" I said, trying not to laugh, "I'll have another look . . . . . wait I've found something else!  Yes, I have some good news and some bad news for you!  First the good news.  I've found some wallpaper.  Now the bad news, it's ready pasted!". "Oh Hell!"

That did the trick, eventually, as a temporary measure I would imagine.
Anyway the moral of the story was that from that day onwards we always made sure we had a couple of rolls with us at all times.

Ron was, and is, a great character and I shall be recalling some other funny experiences when we shared his delightful company.


  1. OK...this one made me laugh out loud, Eddie! We've all been in a spot where we've found ourselves looking for the roll. In fact, I've taken to looking at the roll of toilet paper FIRST. When we went to Europe, we packed our own TP. :)) I had heard that sometimes it is found 'scarce'...and when there, can be a bit rough. What a delightful post. Also, to picture Ron with paint dripping....ah, what a helper he must be. Sounds like a fun fella, though. Thank you for the smile, my friend.

  2. You couldn't make it up... :)

  3. A lesson learned: Be prepared! LOL

  4. Oh, poor Ron. What a funny story! Yes, always be prepared. I work at estate auctions and once in a while we are in an old home, the family has moved out and taken the toilet paper with them! I've started keeping a roll in my Jeep. :)

    love your stories, Eddie. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

  5. haha...errr...might have been there...when we were out on the trail, hiking the mountains, the one with the TP was you would hear "D4!" yelled up and down the they were lagging behind we were in deep...well you get the picture...

  6. definitely a 'spot of bother' it seems!!:)

  7. Now how did you get a graphic like that?

    I always take tissues with me everywhere I go as I hate getting caught out like that.
    You wouldn't expect it to happen in someone elses' house though would you? Maybe they had a cupboard stashed full of them some where. I expect we all have our secret places. You could start a survey??!!!
    Dare I ask what you did with the newspaper afterwards..... cos he probably blocked the drains...... especially if it was *The Times*
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  8. Well, he was in "a state of bother", wasn't he? LOL You cracked me up on this one and I was laughing so loud that everyone in the office came over and wanted to know what was so funny, again! So funny, especially your comments about the newspaper! LOL Thanks for the laughs, cher!

  9. Oh, Good Lord, Eddie, seriously laugh-out-loud. Thanks for the good laugh, my friend.

  10. Yep, always be prepared eh?! Good to see you blogging. x

  11. Yup, laughed so hard I jiggled the brush and ruined a masterpiece! (just wasn't a masterpiece...)

    Keep 'em coming, Eddie!

    xoxoxo, cd

  12. Poor Ron! I would not want to be in his situation-- ever!

    You tell a good story as always, Eddie. Thanks for the laughs.

    Cheers, jj

  13. LOL!!! I've just come from Maggie's blog about her bare bottom being on show - I imagine your family have some incredible get-togethers, lol.

    CJ xx

  14. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. Now I always take tissue in my purse.
    Poor Ron...I'm afraid his image will forever be tarnished when I read of him again!


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