We have in our kitchen a gas boiler and a gas Aga. Both are elderly, but both work well. But. Every time one or other is serviced, we are given dire warnings of death by carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, the last time the boiler was serviced, it was left with a Do Not Use notice attached. Although it had just been serviced. Hmmm.
Yesterday was the Aga's turn. The gas man, whom John afterwards called " Everyman's Eeyore", issued the usual warnings, and advised us to have a gas alarm fitted. We could, he told us, drop dead if there were a gas leak. John wanted one ( an alarm. Not a gas leak) I wanted to talk about it first.
Eeyore said that if we did drop dead without the alarm, he would be held responsible. Well, we couldn't have that, could we, so he duly fitted it.
Eeyore: There. And under this flap is the number to ring if it goes off.
Me: But if we hear it, and dash downstairs to find the number, we'll drop dead. You told us so.
Eeyore ( sighing): You write the number in your address book and keep it by the phone upstairs(our kitchen is in the basement).
We have no address book by the phone.
Eeyore, who appears to be a stranger to humour of any kind, continued to mumble about death by gas inhalation until his departure some two hours later. My attempts to inject any kind of levity into our dialogues failed miserably. By the time he left, we had both lost the will to live, let alone laugh.
But never mind. If we contnue to use our toxic appliances, we probably haven't got that long anyway.