Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Gas-Man Cometh

When the hot water stopped flowing in my shower room yesterday, I contacted the gas supply company - with whom I have a maintenance and repair insurance policy - and at 8.30am the gasman arrived to sort out the problem. He listened to my tail of woe, nodded sagely, and pronounced the 'it sounds like your divertor valve has gone wrong'. After checking that he had the requisite spare parts in his van, he replaced said item. He completed the task by 10.30am ... and thereafter the hot water began to flow once again.

Whilst waiting for him to finish, I was put in mind of the famous Flanders and Swann comic song THE GAS-MAN COMETH ... and hoped against hope that it was not going to be a prediction of what was to come!

'Twas on a Monday morning
The Gas-Man came to call;
The gas tap wouldn't turn - I wasn't getting gas at all.
He tore out all the skirting boards
To try and find the main,
And I had to call a Carpenter to put them back again.
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do!

'Twas on a Tuesday morning
The Carpenter came round;
He hammered and he chiselled and he said: 'Look what I've found!
Your joists are full of dry-rot
But I'll put it all to rights.'
Then he nailed right through a cable and out went all the lights.
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do!

'Twas on a Wednesday morning
The Electrician came;
He called me 'Mr Sanderson' (which isn't quite my name).
He couldn't reach the fuse box
Without standing on the bin
And his foot went through a window - so I called a Glazier in.
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do!

Twas on a Thursday morning
The Glazier came along,
With his blow-torch and his putty and his merry Glazier's song;
He put another pane in -
It took no time at all -
But I had to get a Painter in to come and paint the wall.
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do!

'Twas on a Friday morning
The Painter made a start;
With undercoats and overcoats he painted every part,
Every nook and every cranny,
But I found when he was gone
He'd painted over the gas tap and I couldn't turn it on!
Oh, it all makes work for the working man to do!

On Saturday and Sunday they do no work at all:
So 'twas on a Monday morning that the Gas-Man came to call!


  1. heheh I have some wonderful stories about the old nationalised gas company during the days I still lived in the UK. During the early days of my marriage we lived in a big old house in the east end and gas was metered. We had just gone metric and the flat above ours was a coin meter and still took old money ie washers. The reader would come and say "shit I must report this". A meter would turn up three days later but of course that guy only brought the meter he didn't install it. "man will come later to install!". Of course he didn't and I stored the meter in the cellar. This cycle repeated itself for months until we moved out. There were 9 meters in the cellar when I left :))

  2. Robert De Angelis,

    The good old days!

    Nowadays they would have reported the problem via their handheld computer ... and then nothing would have happened until they made the next reading.

    Mind you, nowadays we send in our own readings via the Internet, and as a result you could not now end up with a meter 'mountain' in your cellar.

    (I know someone who had a visit from a meter reader last week. The meter reader did not speak much English and just kept repeating the phrase 'Gas' during his entire visit.)

    All the best,


  3. That was a great song. Glad your story ended more happily.

  4. Michael Peterson,

    I enjoyed all of the Flanders and Swann songs, and this one in particular. It has more that a ring of truth about it.

    The gasman seems to have fixed the problem ... but I will wait until I have had a shower before passing final judgement.

    All the best,