After I've dragged myself inefficiently up and down the swimming pool fifty-two times, I like to reward myself by flopping out in the sauna for ten minutes or so. Generally, I'll just sit there and try not to think about how hot I feel until I start to feel that sticky-outy bit just on the opening of my ear (what is that called?) starting to burn. If there's a paper in there, I'll read it. What I won't generally do is strike up a conversation with anyone who happens to be in there. If someone talks to me, then I'll answer, but to be honest, it's not really somehwere that I want to be making new friends. On the whole I prefer to make friends with people who aren't naked. Well, most of the time anyway. I am, however, quite often entertained by other people's conversations in the sauna. Yesterday was no exception.
Bloke 1 walks into the sauna and spots a guy that he knows. "Hey there, how's it going? Got a job yet?"
Bloke 2: "Well, I'm doing agency work at the moment, but I've got 5 interviews lined up next week."
Bloke 1: "That's pretty good going. You're bound to get one of those."
Bloke 2: "Yeah, finger's crossed. I tend to do pretty well once I get to the interview stage. I've got a job offer on the table already, but I'm holding out for one of these other jobs."
Bloke 1: "Yeah? More interesting are they?"
Bloke 2: "Yeah. I want a job that doesn't have any responsibility at all, if I can help it. I want to enjoy what I do, do my hours and get home. I don't want to get wrapped up in any politics."
Bloke 1: "I know what you mean. So what have you been doing then?"
Bloke 2: "Agency work for Derby Council. Last week I was out cutting people's grass. It's tiring work, but it's a decent job."
Bloke 1: "Right"
So far, the conversation was only mildly interesting, mainly in the sense that it took my mind off the fact that I was slowly cooking myself and that the rotator muscles in my right arm were hurting from the swim. We were about to take a conversational left-turn though.
Bloke 2: "Mind you. You do meet some funny people on this job."
Bloke 1: "Yeah?"
Bloke 2: "I knocked on a door the other day, and this woman opened it wearing only a bra and knickers."
Bloke 1: "How old?"
Bloke 2: "Well, that doesn't matter as I wasn't interested anyway"
Bloke 1: "Yeah, but how old was she?"
Bloke 2: "Mid-Forties maybe. No - late thirties."
Bloke 1: "Okay then!"
Bloke 2: "She asked me in for a cup of tea"
Bloke 1: "And you said.....?"
Bloke 2: "No thanks love, I'm here to cut the grass."
Bloke 1: "Well, you are taken I suppose"
Bloke 2: "It was the first cut of the year though, and it was a bit damp, so I had to tell her that I wouldn't be able to cut the grass back too much. You know what she said to that?"
Bloke 1: "....."
Bloke 2: "Oh, I know what it's like when it's all wet down there. Are you sure you don't want to come in for a cup of tea?"
Bloke 1: "Bloody hell"
Bloke 2: "I know. No thanks love, I'm only here to cut the grass. You get loads like that."
So apparently things like that DO actually happen. Perhaps in the best traditions of Monty Python, she has a spare room filled with council workers who came to mow the lawn....
My ears were starting to burn, so at this point, like all good reporters, I made my excuses and left.