He knocked on my door at just gone half ten and I automatically held my hand out for his bucket. He tends to now refresh his water before he does my windows because a few months ago I watched as he washed my fronts with what could only be described as black soup. It was so thick his shammy stood up in it. He got an earful I can tell you. So every time he visits me, the first thing I do is empty, wash out and refill his bucket with soapy sudded water. I also give his squeegee a rinse too. This morning he held onto his bucket and just mouthed ineffectively on the doorstep. I was forced to invite him in and deposit him on one of the kitchen chairs. He was white of face and looked extremely nauseous. Cup of tea sitting in front of him (he’d indicated without speaking that he’d like three sugars) he shakily released his grip on his bucket. “The things you see when you ain’t got a gun” he said hoarsely, tipping the scalding tea down his throat. It turns out he was washing The Stewarts’ windows and happened upon a sight that shook him to his very core.
“I’d done the downstairs – she only ‘as a lick an a promise on the front door winder (for those who don’t speak sarf London, he meant “window”) and went an’ got me ladders” Slurp went more tea. “I did the bedroom first, nuffink out of the ordinary, bed ain’t been made yet but to each their own innit? Then I moved over to the uvver bedroom winder. Blow me, I wished I never bovvered.” More tea was slurped. “There he was, stark rollock (I have changed this for my Delicate Readers) naked but for a levva fong and holdin’ a fahkin’ whip!” “And her?” I asked, not really wanting to hear more about the sexual shenanigans of my neighbours but somehow unable to end the conversation, stick my fingers inmy ears and sing “lalala, not listening”.“On a swing” he said shakily. A swing? I repeated, trying to work out how Marjorie and Frank have installed a park swing in their terraced house. “You know!” Cheeky Window Cleaner continued, heading over to the tea pot and pouring another cup for himself.
I insisted I didn’t but a memory was pinging” at the back of my mind. I found myself back in Ibiza on the Hen Weekend with a handful of plastered bimbos talking raucously about “a friend of a friend” of Serena’s who had just installed a sex swing in her spare room.
“There she was, dangling on this fing, legs akimbo. It looked quite comfy aktcherlly” Cheeky Window Cleaner mused as he heaped sugar into his beverage. “It’s got a seat and everyfing, lots of ropes and stuff. Looks portable an’ all.” The didn’t see him apparently “I shot down me ladder like I had the devil ‘imself on me tail”and he didn’t stick around to put his bill through the letter box. “I coulda rung but I didn’t know what the hell they’d come to the door wiv!” he roared. I got the giggles at this point and we both spent a contented few minutes sniggering over the kitchen table. I said “I’m not going to be able to face them again, certainly not without blushing and sniggering like a school girl”. Cue more laughter from Cheeky Window Cleaner “Ere, watch it love, they might like that!. Aaaah, better get on” he said, wiping his eyes on his shammy.
While he did my “ins and outs” at the back, he told me about some of his experiences on the job – so to speak. He’s been propositioned by half naked housewives, threatened by husbands and boyfriends and held hostage by a woman who refused to give him his six quid as she wanted to “pay in kind”. Cheeky Window Cleaner looked wistful at this recollection “I wouldn’t have minded but she looked like Jack Duckworth in drag and stank like a polecat”.