The Secret tradesman goes shopping

The Secret tradesman goes shopping

I walk onto the site, not really knowing what to expect. As it happens I should have prepared for the worst.

They’re all lined up waiting for me. We’re talking Jimmy, Damo, Tomaz and about ten other regulars.  They start singing that Pulp song by yer man Jarvis Coker. They don’t sound too bad actually, even allowing for Tomasz who has less musical ability than the mixing drill he’s waving above his head.  

“I took her to a supermarket,

I don't know why but I had to start it somewhere,

so it started there...”

To be fair, I did actually meet her in a Supermarket

They use their own lyrics for the next few lines – to be honest I’m not going to repeat them here out of basic manners – and then they get to the chorus. It’s hard to understand it 100% as they are literally doubled over laughing, snorting and basically in bits, but I know the gist of it. I used to love that song.  

“You want to sleep with common people, 

you want to sleep with common people like me…”

I just stand there and take it on the chin. To be honest, with all the evidence against me, it’s probably the best approach I can take at this point.


I’m in Lidl after work in my work gear checking the surprise aisle for any tools and other stuff I’ll probably never actually use. There’s lots of other lost souls doing the same thing. The tools are pure rubbish as usual but I find myself picking up an engraver and thinking of a possible reason to justify why I should buy it.

I don’t even look up at first, but you know the way you just can sometimes feel someone putting the eyes on you? Maybe you don’t, but I’m definitely used to it - although it normally happens sometime after midnight in Coppers night club.

I look up and there she is. She’s just staring at me as she pretends to be re-arranging the boxes of Silvercrest Audio Digitisers in the opposite aisle. Whatever they actually are. She’s got blonde dreadlocks down to her legs and is definitely not bad. And I can say that even though she’s wearing her navy Lidl uniform, which is possibly not her best look.

I kind of smile at her and say hello, then I move on to the Negative Digitizers that are on sale desperately trying to work out if I am missing something. I look up again and she’s moved with me. She’s at the USB Microscope display across the way pretending to move a sign that says ‘Everything for the hobby microbiologist.’

“Alright?” I go, but from the look on her face she’s definitely anything but. She’s kind of drooling and has a glassy look on her that reminds me of a wildebeest that’s been shot with some sort of tranquiliser. I saw that on a nature documentary just the other night.

 “I love a man who is good with his hands” she goes.

We end up meeting for a drink in the pub across the road after she finished work but the conversation is pretty much one way. She keeps asking me about my work and doesn’t even register when I drop my line about once having a helicopter before the Irish construction sector basically self-destructed.

“Can we go there? “ she just says.

“Where’s there?” I go. I’m really not sure we’re on the same planet let alone the same wavelength.

“To your work. I want to see it.”

“Err, yeah, I suppose…” I go. She pulls on her coat and heads straight for the destination faster than patient in a hospital A&E whose been allocated a bed.

We arrive at the site about 11.30pm and unsurprisingly there’s no one there. It’s a shop in Terenure that we’ve been gutting. The place is a mess with buckets and mixers everywhere, but as I open the door she just kind of bolts in. Not a bother on her.  She’s straight over to a handheld mixer drill which is propped up in a large bucket with a mixture of liquid plaster in it and I can see a definite look on her face.

Now I’m not going to bore you with what happens next, but if you’ve seen the movie Ghost you’ll remember the scene where Patrick Swayze teaches Demi Moore to make pottery? It turns out a bit like that – except we end up using the drill, a bucket of plaster and there’s absolutely no music. It’s possibly not as romantic as the whole pottery thing if I’m being totally honest – what with plaster flying everywhere and a mad woman whooping at the top of her voice while driving a noisy power drill – but as she mixes the plaster, I’m getting the both of us into various states of undress.

That’s when it happens.

“YOU WITHOUT THE PANTS AND WITH THE LARGE DREADLOCKED GIRL AND MIXING DRILL ON YOUR LAP” the voice kind of splutters as a bright light shines directly in our faces. “SMILE, YOU’RE ON CANDID CAMERA!”

All I can hear is laughter now. I can’t see a thing but I know pretty much what’s happened. The foreman mentioned that he was going to start using that NetWatch crowd who basically monitor the security cameras on-site. I don’t know how long they’ve been watching but I know they’ve seen enough. That and I’m in serious trouble when the lads find out.  

With her Lidl top already on, she scoops up the rest of clothes and runs screaming for the door, leaving me in full view of the camera in my birthday suit with a bright light shining in my face. I kind of wave to the camera. I can’t help it, I’ve always been an entertainer but I’ve got a bad feeling I might just live to regret this one.      

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