I have to say why some females adore Ted. In real life, females usually do their own fixing - they put up curtains, mend leaking taps, curse as they hammer nails into their fingers - at least I do. Ted is Mr. Fix-it. He is a Master Builder (built our house years ago), expert joiner,painter, paperhanger, plumber, electrician, locksmith - I could go on for ages. I just need to stand in the kitchen and muse aloud - "a cupboard would be nice there" and in a day or so It materializes - beautifully turned and painted and fitting perfectly into the spot. He also charges a fraction of the price he should charge.
But Ted has one flaw - he can't resist women and they can't resist him. When my friends come around they drool over my kitchen - they caress the new cupboards and shelves and go into raptures over the new bay window, and special new cupboard for the microwave. Then it happens. I see them having a heart to heart with Ted in a corner. Afterwards Ted and I chat. It goes something like this.
Ted - "er, your friend wants me to put on a new security door. Poor thing, she lives alone and is terrified of burglars."
Me, shrieking. "You can't leave my bathroom half finished. She's not scared of burglars; she's been on her own for years!"
Ted, gently. "Think how you'd feel if she was robbed."
Ted departs. Weeks later he returns. Me, gritting my teeth. "So it took you 3 weeks to put on a security door."
Ted, looking guilty. "er, she needed a few things done in her kitchen. She's such a lovely woman. She made me cakes for afternoon tea. (I don't) I didn't charge her much, she's not well off."
I suppose I was lucky that Ted did come back in 3 weeks. I probably have Ollie to thank , my secret weapon. The cat was already arranged around Ted's neck.
The phone rang. It was Shirley, DH's brother Donald's partner. Shirley wanted Ted to paint her kitchen and wanted to know if he was back. When I said he was she asked me to give him a little message for her. "Tell Ted I think he is just wonderful," she cooed. Shirley is a dancing teacher, lithe, golden-haired and rather a dish. I sighed - I hoped she didn't come around in person. I knew Ted would never resist her.
Ted was hard at work tiling around the spa bath. The pale ivory tiles are beaut and here and there is a tile with a pale apricot duck in blue grass to brighten things up. The cat was sitting in the spa bath handing Ted the tiles. Ted had been cutting the tiles and Ollie was now powdered white - he'd have to be cleaned up. But I knew how the cat would have loved the ghastly noise of the tile cutting machine.
I passed on the message. "Ted," I said, "Shirley thinks you're wonderful."
Ted smiled modestly. "I know I am," he said.