STORY 17 SELLING A HI VIS JACKET ON
A story of street cleaning and how you can become
a roaring lion
Below is a transcript of the description on the
original Ebay advert
for this sale is as follows
My wife starts a new job
today at the RSPCA. Its voluntary and it keeps her indoors, unlike her last
job as a road sweeper for the local council, which she sadly lost, not
because of sloth and inertia, but her overzealousness and the will to see a
good job done.
In my opinion, you should never give a woman a cleaning job where she
physically cleans around the people making the mess. Unlike the office
cleaner who normally cleans after all the people who make the mess have gone
home. An exception is the toilet or factory cleaner. Many is the time I have
walked into the works toilet just as they have been cleaned with floors
still wet, to be met by the steely glare of the cleaner as I put boot marks
over the still wet shiny clean floor, and leave scum marks in the sink.
Unlike this cleaner, my dear one went further than the steely glare, much
further. It must be said in her defence that the job description was to.
“Clean the streets, and bring to the attention of the council the names of
any litterers that were observed”. So armed with a number two straight
bristle brush, dustpan with extended handle, and a rickety old dustcart with
“Tesco wheels” my intrepid hero hit the streets.
There are a few interpretations of “Cleaning up the streets”. One involves
the use of a brush. The others usually involve violence of some sort. In my
sweet angels mind they seemed to meld into one. Maybe she had watched a few
to many Dirty Harry, and Bruce Willis type films, assuming her “Cleansing
Department” badge imbued her with more power than intended, I will never
know; having long since ceased to fathom what goes on in a females brain. I
now stoically just accept the often irrational decisions they come to, my
wife’s being more irrational than most.
She “hit” the streets at 0700 on a Dark Monday morning, keen and alert. (You
must be alert at all times as Britain needs lerts). She walked; or should I
say stalked; the streets, twirling her broom and dustpan “baton” fashion,
slitted eyes darting into every nook and cranny to seek out the rottenness
that mars our sweet village. For the first few hours all went well, there
was the occasional parked car whose wheel covered a sweet wrapper or
cigarette end, but she lifted the vehicle up with one hand and swept with the
The problems started when the local chip shop opened with the inevitable
litter problem. Had she been sweeping at midnight when all were in bed then
it would have been a big sigh, a few tuts and maybe a comment about dirty
persons of unknown parentage. But no, this was the here and now, as she
swept the wrappers up, so new wrappers were dropped.
Any man who is foolish enough to dirty a wife’s freshly hoovered and dusted
lounge or even worse still her wet kitchen floor can expect at the best a
tongue lashing, at the worst being stabbed with the carving knife. (The
scale of the retribution will depend on the time of the month).
These litterers probably thought that the universal rules did not apply when
out of the home, not so.
A problem with industry in general is that workers are made accountable for
things they have no control over. This works both up and down. For instance,
the politician is often pilloried for a mistake made by a government clerk
whom he has no control over or ever met. Conversely, the clerk is held
accountable for often-unworkable rules implemented by that politician.
My wife being accountable for the cleanliness took control, or tried to, she
started haranguing the eaters who; in return gave much verbal abuse, also
bombarding her with chips and other culinary delights. My dearest is slow to
anger being a grand master in the martial art of “I Pong Tu” which teaches
forgiveness and tolerance.
(It seems odd to me that these standards are practiced by most killing arts,
so why not just learn tolerance and forgiveness.)
As with the valve on an over pressurized steam boiler, my wife slowly built
up pressure and then spectacularly exploded. Like some Whirling Dervish,
brush and dustpan spinning, she leapt into the small crowd of eaters, who;
upon seeing this terrible apparition bearing down on them tried to cram back
into the shop. Then she was amongst them, cracking skulls, bruising limbs,
taking time off now and again to sample a hot chip with blue cheese dip, a
favourite of hers. The police arrived ten minutes later to find fifteen
supine bodies neatly stacked by the bins, and not a drop of litter to be
seen. The only conscious person in the vicinity was a figure in the
distance, walking away with a John Wayne swagger into the sunset, pushing a
yellow handcart with squeaky wheels,
My dearest kept the job for two months. Although we had the cleanest streets
in Britain she was made redundant, because the spend happy council bought a
mechanical sweeper. Although I suppose we were fortunate that the council
chairman was a director of the company that made them, so hopefully he got a
discount. The decision to purchase was made at an emergency meeting called
at the last minute by the chairman. Only four of his friends, who happened
by chance be directors of the same company were in attendance, all the other
members were on a bowls twinning holiday in the Bahamas funded by the
council. But we must not moan as they have the hard and onerous task of
looking after our hard-earned taxes, that’s why we have a council and
committees who seem to travel a lot.
As part of the uniform, the council gave my wife a Hi Vis coat; it was the
largest they had but was far too small for her. We did in fact make her a Hi
Vis coat out of ten Hi Vis vests sewn together in a patchwork quilt type of
We had an origonal coat left over which we can now offer to yourselves
15 July Day 3 of sale
Well only a few hours into the auction and we have a bid. This is
obviously someone who wishes to stake a claim on this wonderful garment, and
make it plain to all that they will not be trifled with. They have thrown
their hat into the ring as a challenge to you all. They have tested the
water with their big toe, will you be the one brave enough to dive in???
During my auctions I ask you to send in suggestions as to the many and
varied uses my sale items may be used for.Can you think of any more uses for
such a wonderful piece of apparel, a use that will astound and amaze us. It
may be nothing to do with safety or indeed its use as a jacket. It could be
a) zip it up and seal all the openings with super glue, fill with
air and use as a life raft, etc.
b)You could put them on Woolly Mammoths so that they
cannot creep up and scare you in quiet places like libraries and grave
yards. Many are the times I have been scared witless by the trumpeting of a
Mammoth which silently crept up on me.
The ideas are only bounded by your thinking, set your
16 July Day 4 of sale
Another bidder are we looking at a case of Auction Frenzy here. Just be
aware that these coats are not that expensive off the shelf
I will as in auctions of old loosely quote from the bard.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
For he today that bids this auction with me.
Shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile.
This auction shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed,
Shall think themselves accursed they did not bid.
And hold their manhood’s cheap whiles any speaks
That bid with you on this fair auction and won.
Let me give you some reasons as to why
this coat should become your no one wardrobe item.
I want you to think of it as
a sort of fashion accessory, your very own “haute couture”, to make you
stand out in the crowd.
YOU will be the one to be noticed outside Stringfellows.
YOU will be the one to be served in the crowded bar.
YOU will be the one to stay dry after a car ploughs through a puddle;
soaking your unseen friends on a dark country road, but swerving to avoid
Also if you wear it most of the time your friends will associate you with
it, so when you take it off it will be as though you have a cloak if
invisibility, as your friends only know you as a yellow blob.
Wear it on the beach, it could be a life saver, if for instance a tidal wave
swept you out to sea you would be visible for miles, you would be the first
to be plucked out of the briny by the air sea rescue.
Wear it in your dinghy in the estuary, pretend to be a buoy.
The possibilities are endless, I am not offering you a coat, I am offering
you a complete new life style.
With this coat you make a statement and that statement is,
HERE I AM, THIS IS ME, AND I WILL NOT BE IGNORED.............or run over
Our first suggestions have arrived
Hairy Johnny aka Hairy of Bath........I
would wear it in the kitchen it would go with my safety helmet, boots,
goggles and other protective gear I wear when Fanny is making her famous
Spotted Dick pudding. She shoots the raisins in with a high powered air gun,
the only problem is she does it William Tell style I hold the Dick which is
yet to be Spotted just above my head, Fanny then shoots the raisins in from
100 paces. Another problem is that she shoots “Annie Oakley” style with her
back to me and the rifle over her shoulder using mirrors to aim. A friend
recently commented on my bad skin problem with blackheads I explained it was
the residue from raisins that did not quite hit their target.
..................FD....Hello Johnny thanks for that. I hope Fanny Craddock aka
Kharina is keeping well had any chips lately...................Psssst I can
put you in touch with a man in a similar predicament as yourself IE
living with a cordon bluey wife and not being able to eat fast foods. He
holds a meeting with likeminded souls every Thursday night at the
church hall and order in from the local chippy, Pizza Hut, Chinese and
Indian take aways. There then commences an orgy of feasting with copious
amounts of beer to wash it down (wine is banned). I will find out if they
have a branch near you. I will be in touch do not tell Fanny.
explain to those who have not read my other stories....Johny Craddock has a
relationship with a Fanny Craddock aka Kharina of Bath who apart from being
proficient in the martial arts, specialising in soup spoon combat and skewer
throwing, cooks the most wonderful dishes, delectable in every way, its just
that Johnny would like a simple egg and chips now and again)
Major General Clutterbuck Smythe
VD and scar..........Put them on ghosts and
wraiths so that they would stand out in the dark and we could avoid walking
through them....................FD.....Been at the drink again Major? Could you
also use it to camouflage the pink elephants and giant rabbits.
17 July Day 5 of sale
The management has allowed me to make the following offer.
The lucky winner will be eligible to join the SVI ah, club. Or its full
title. The Sexual Verbal Innuendo (at height) club for a discounted fee of
£5000. This club promotes the sexual
innuendo much used by “scaffold man” as he shouts down at luckless passers
by. The difference being that because YOU; have been sensible enough to win
a yellow high visibility coat YOU; will be able to harangue the builders.
Such is the power when wearing it.
When you join the club you will receive
a) A portable 30ft scaffold tower on wheels.
b) A 20ft ladder.
c) A realistic plastic strap on plastic bum
d) A 1000decibel loud hailer for those who do not like to shout.
e) An Acme Wolf Whistler pipe.
f) A 12inch number 2 mortar trowel.
A cement mixer and 400 bricks are optional, as is the mobile toilet.
(Prices on request).
Full training will be given on all aspects of verbal abuse, scaffold
erection. (Including the dark secrets of the “noggin”), and how to slide
down ladders without rupturing yourself.
Should you win the competition, all the above plus a complimentary safety
helmet 2 sizes too small, will be yours for a reduced price of £3500 plus
£500 P&P (RRP £4000 with free delivery).
(As an introductory offer we will place the tower next to the nearest
building site to your location for a very large fee).
Another suggested use
Brenda Bucket of Ibstock..........My Ray could wear it when putting the
wheels back on the caravan at the side of the road because they keep falling
off....Hang on a minute...RAY...RAY......Wash that coal now...and stop
playing with the Hoover that's a disgusting thing to do...............FD.....So
your caravan is still warping, why not paint it yellow and pretend its a
giant banana on wheels ( sometimes)? Or better still buy a Bailey. By the
way what was Ray doing with the Hoover????.....No on second thoughts I would
rather not know.
18 July day 6 of sale
Are you one of those shy retiring nondescript persons who
when walking down the street or in a crowded town are constantly getting
bumped into by ignorant people who and so intent on their own purpose
they do not see you. Well here is your chance to put that right with this
coat they will not fail to see you. You will of course get those people who
think they have dominion of the pavement and will just try to barge you out
of the way. This is when the1000 decibel loud hailer comes into use. Just
walk up behind them put the hailer to their ears and shout.
ARE YOU BLIND YOU IGNORANT SELFISH PERSON OF DEBATABLE
PARENTAGE GET A LIFE!!!!
Wow it makes me feel so good just to write it, just think what it
would really be like to actually do it.
Ah we have some suggestions as to the uses this super jacket may be put to.
Fred of Leicester. -- A Hi visibility coat. –
FD.....Once again Fred you have
Delores of Soho – FD.......Again Delores I cannot print your submission but I can see that
putting it on your naked client back to front and zipping it up would
restrict his movements, but surely he feels claustrophobic when you put the
hood up. By the way that’s a very imaginative use of ratchet straps. Thanks
for the picture, although I may be looking at it upside down, or I hope I
Delores. In the near future I will be selling some stainless steel 10mm
close linked chain, it may be just the thing for your err “friends” mmmmmm.
Matt of Gloucester —- cut into small squares and place on the back of hedge
hogs so that motorists may see and avoid them. ----
FD....Matt with the motorists I
know the mortality rate would soar as the yellow patch would just give them
something to aim for, but very err, very green and Eco
Warrior-ish I must say.
Hannah of Gloucester—-Meep meep.--------- FD.....Yes right ok then mmmmm.
19 July Day 7 of sale
7th day and very little enthusiasm for any of my ideas. I wonder do all
people trying to sell such wonderful things on Ebay suffer as I am doing. I am giving you the chance to change your
life, to take control. Stop being a mouse and become a roaring lion, a
roaring yellow lion that WILL be noticed.
In the office the boss won’t say.
“Where’s that shy retiring person who types letters, I want to walk all over
He will say.
“Where’s that extrovert in your face stunner, that, “I want to be noticed
person", "I want to marry her”.
At the party the girls won’t say.
“Who is the drab chap over there in the nondescript trousers and shabby tee
shirt, I would not touch him with a ten foot long disinfected barge pole”.
They will say.
“Come here you gorgeous yellow hunk, I want you to make love to me over and
over and over again, (ok maybe too many over’s). I want to have your
So you see, look on this purchase as an affordable personality make over.
You would pay a psychiatrist thousands of pounds over many months to achieve
the “roaring lion” state. When all you need do is put on a simple cheap
yellow coat, surely you cannot say no.
20 July Day 8 of sale
An Email from Tasha of Gloucester who points out the “Catch 22” situation of
wearing this coat. Her argument is thus.
To put on the coat you need confidence, a confidence that can only be got
from wearing the coat, ergo you cannot put the coat on because you do not
yet have the confidence to do so.
FD.......I do see your point Tasha, but would suggest that confidence in wearing an
object is the look of the object. So put it on in a dark room; then turn the
light on. You will then see it on, and then have the confidence this brings
to keep it on. I wonder though if you would loose the confidence when it is
off, so always have to put it on in a dark place.
Oh how I hate clever pants people.
My brain hurts; I must go and lie down.
21 July Day 9 of sale
Have just had an enquiry from a
gentleman who says Hi Vis jackets may be the “thing” in beach wear in
Skegness this summer and would like to know where he can purchase 40 dozen
from. He says they will fill a variety of functions, i.e. Protection from
the biting east winds, A portable changing room, A guide for the rescuers
when you get stuck on the mud banks when the tide is out. When you fall
asleep on the beach and the kids bury you in the sand just before you run
out of air you can stick your arm out and hopefully be noticed and rescued.
When surfing in a “Tube” other boarders will see you and keep out of the way………………FD......Surfing????
In Skegness????? Hey if this guy can convince buyers to part with hard
earned cash which would have otherwise been destined for the slots for his
40 dozen Hi Vis coats then I suppose he can sell the idea of surfing in
DAY NINE AND THREE QUARTERS
I see we have another bidder jthspace a man
who knows a bargain when he sees it.
Someone has sent a message asking if I would
swap the coat for a restraining jacket.........Mr J it is not me who is mad
but all the others. I definitely feel the lunatics have taken over the
asylum. I do though think Delores of Soho would be interested in such a
garment judging by some of the suggestions she has sent in the past.
The question has to be asked Mr J as to how you came by such a garment. Are
you indeed one of those in charge...or an escapee perhaps from the local
lunatic asylum on the run and wishing to change his identity, hoping to
loose himself on Skegness beach amongst all the other yellow blobby people.
Thinking about it though I could use it as aunt Daisey has periodical
attacks of Rabies (Sorry pressed the wrong keys ) I meant Rabbits. This is
much like Rabies and she still foams at the mouth but instead of the usual
pathological aversion to water that rabies brings she just starts fondling
rabbits, a nasty habit much practiced by mad country folk on dark winter
The wife has just read your message and
says she would be interested as she needs it to restrain PC Blenkinsop who
is still in the garden shed and insists on trying to tunnel out. Why? I do
not know. You would think he would be used to our quaint country ways by
The coat was won by a lady in
Northumberland. You see it took a canny Northerner to appreciate the true
worth of this magnificent garment.
A communication with the canny Northerner
Just posted the coat off to you and it should arrive within a few days. Any
problems whatsoever just mail me. Thanks.
As you will see, the postage is a tad over the £4.20, but No problem as I
got a fair price for the coat. I must get some new weigh scales. I use the
bathroom ones which suffer daily abuse at the hands, or should I say foot of
my wife. When you are used to 120kg plus of solid muscle jumping up and down
on you ( I speak here of the scales), a weight of 2kg must seem like a
holiday. I also think she has adjusted the scales to read less weight. I
don't know why she has this obsession with her size, I love her just as she
is warts and all....Oh and the barnacles, limpets and other encrustations
that readily adorn my beloved.
All the best Dave
Copyright © David B