I’ve exhorted and lampooned the exploits of the workies round the office before: either the construction site next door or the spidermen cleaning the roof and trying not to fall off. Today it’s the turn of Shug1 and Wullie2.
Shug is larger, younger, clearly the boss and is wearing a bobble hat without the bobble. He looks like one of the guys from the office but with a bobble hat on. Wullie is older, balding, fluorescent and has the look of a man whose mental faculties require multi-million pound, lottery-funded refurbishment.
Shug and Wullie are cutting the grass round the office. In their defence, being Scotland – and Autumn – the grass is wet and the ground is pretty mushy. So it’s no surprise the Wullie has managed to bog his tractor.
By the time I joined the pantomime, Wullie had already committed the schoolboy error and had buried it to the axles. Judging by the length of the ruts, he was in trouble for a good few meters but, with laudible application, kept his foot in it until the last minute. Plan B was then to hitch up the other lawnmower – this one not a wee tractor but the kind you walk behind, albeit on an industrial scale – and pull out the tractor.
This was a goodish plan with only a few flaws: 1) The puller weighs half as much as the pullee, 2) the puller has only two wheels on the same wet ground as the puller, 3) Shug has tied to the tow rope to the deck of the tractor. The upshot is that, when they give it beans – after failing to tie a knot worthy of the name for over five minutes – what little power the mower generates goes directly into ripping the deck off the tractor.
While evidently not gifted with mental furniture by Chippendale, Shug does stop short of actually ripping the tractor into tiny bits. Plan B is abandoned.
At this point, half the company is offering support from the first floor window. I say support – mostly it’s along the lines of “that won’t work, you idiot”. Plan B having failed, Shug gives Plan A another go, which produces predictable results. Unbowed, Shug gives Plan A another good five minutes, while the tractor merrily spins its wheels, rapidly going nowhere.
Wullie is hiding at this point; probably crying in the back of the van, or on his council-mandated break. Shug, having spent five minutes on the grown up equivalent of a kiddies fun ride – and not swearing (audibly, anyway) – gives way to reason and lays Plan B to rest. Plan C ensues.
Having no doubt been forced to watch some nature programme by his wife, Wullie resorts to the tried-and-tested “put lots of shit under the wheels” approach. Which, annoyingly, seems to have worked. Admittedly, the grass now looks like the Somme (1918, not 1914), but he’s out.
I had hoped that this would have turned into one of those “four hundred firemen take six weeks to rescue small dog from well”-type stories, but, disappointingly, Shug and Wullie, with resourcefulness belied by their apparel and noms du guerre, have managed to un-fuck themselves without having to resort to heavy lifting equipment and appeals to local businesses for bottled water.
Hey ho. A good 15 minutes entertainment nonetheless.
1 Glasgow version of ‘Charles’.
2 Names have been guessed at to protect the incompetent and enforce the stereotypes.