An easy mistake.


“Can I help you, ma’am?”

“I hope so, dearie. I want to go in to measure up for curtains.”

“I beg your pardon, ma’am?”

“I said, I want to go in to measure up for curtains.”

“I thought that’s what I heard.”

“Then why did you ask me to say it again? I know I have a different accent to you people, but we all speak the same language, don’t we?”

“Indeed we do, ma’am. I had no difficulty understanding your words, but what you said… it just didn’t make sense to me, is all.”

“Tell me which part you didn’t get, dearie. I’ll see if I can make it any clearer for you.”

“You said you wanted to measure up for curtains… I’m not sure what that means in the context of this building, ma’am. Who requested your services? Where is your work order?”

“Now you aren’t making sense. Why would anyone ‘request my services’, as you put it,  to measure up for curtains?”

“Because that work is normally ordered by the department responsible for maintaining the fabric of the building and its fixtures and fittings, its hard and soft furnishings.”

“You do have some funny ideas over here, don’t you? Let me explain: Before I moved into my old house, I went around with my tape measure. I measured up and wrote down the dimensions of all the windows, so I could have the curtains made ready for me to hang when I moved in.”

“I understand what you are saying ma’am—”

“Good. Then all I’m asking now is the right to do the same thing here.”

“Why would you want to do that here, ma’am?”

“Oh, God, How can I put this any more clearly? I am the new owner of this building and I plan to move in, with my family, as soon as I can. I’ve sold the house in England and until I can move in here, I’m effectively homeless.”

“Are you telling me you believe that you own this building?”

“Yes, dearie, I am. Not believe, though. I do own it.”

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I haven’t received word that the the government of the United States has sold this building, and I certainly can’t grant you entry just on your say-so that you believe yourself to be the new owner.”

“Don’t take my word for it. I have all the paperwork in my bag. Let me see…  I know it’s in here somewhere…”

“What do you have, ma’am – a title deed? a bill of sale? a memorandum of transfer?”

“Heavens no. I have the winning raffle ticket.”

“Say what?”

“The winning ticket. I won this building and a brand new Mercedes motor car – in the big raffle. Yes, here it is. See for yourself.”

“I think you may have misread the ticket, ma’am.”

“No I haven’t. It clearly shows a drawing of this building and says it’s in Washington.”

“If you look closely, ma’am, you’ll see the words ‘not the actual house‘ under the drawing, and after the word Washington, it says County Durham. That’s Washington CD in Great Britain, not Washington DC in the US.”

“Let me see that.”

“Certainly, ma’am.”

“Oh, dear. I’d better get my husband back – he’s just gone to make himself known to the neighbours.”

“You mean…”

“Yes, the people next door, in that big white house.”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 306 published on this site.

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