God bless you, Milady

As I was returning home the other day I came across a workman outside the main door, buzzing to be let in. They have been doing works somewhere upstairs in the exterior part of the building for a couple of weeks now. He was short and stocky, wearing orange overalls and a faded and cheese-holed yellow t-shirt. Under his arm he clutched a coiled length of tubing, and he was also carrying a box full of nails and screws.

‘Good afternoon.’ I greeted him as I fumbled for my keys. He nodded, smiled, and continued buzzing, though no-one answered.

‘Not listening out for you?’

I found my keys and started jigging them in the lock. There’s a trick to it, like a skillful lover you have to know exactly how far to push it in, then pull back out, then twist it ever so slightly, otherwise you haven’t got a hope in hell of the door opening.

‘Es que…with all the banging and that, they can’t hear me ringing.’ He shrugged. What can I do? I moved aside to let him in.

‘Please, after you.’

He sidled in through the door sideways, grinning at me and had he had a forelock I know he would have been tugging it.

‘Thank you, Señora,’ he said as he passed me and headed up the exterior stairway.

‘Gracias Señora, y que Dios te bendiga con dos niños preciosos.’ (Thank you, Madam, and may God bless you with two beautiful children.)

‘Er…. you’re welcome.’

Now, for starters, it seems a little out of proportion that I merely opened a door for him and in return God should give me two beautiful children. How is this poor man used to being treated, I asked myself, to be so very grateful that I stood aside and let him in the building? But shortly after that came the reaction, a little like a spoilt child on Christmas Day: ‘Um… yeah, that’s nice of you and everything, but what am I going to do with two beautiful children? I wasn’t even capable of looking after one beautiful dog. Is there any chance of taking it back and getting something I really want?’…..

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