‘Wait, this is going to take how long to fix?’
‘I’m not sure,’ the plumber grunted, before yawning hard enough I could see his tonsils. ‘Couple of months, maybe?’
‘A couple of—what do you mean a couple of months?’
‘So imagine one month,’ he said, sounding bored, ‘and then kinda double that amount of time in your head. Couple months.’
His eyes narrowed as he thought something through, then he shook his head.
‘Maybe triple it.’
‘That’s unacceptable!’ I cried, my blood pressure rising.
‘Hey, pal,’ he said, adjusting his work belt and frowning. ‘You asked me to come out and supply you with a bathtub remodel cost for Sydney homes, and I gave it to ya. I don’t need no attitude from you.’
‘You’re right, you’re right,’ I conceded, putting my hands up in surrender. ‘I apologise. It’s been a hard week.’
‘It’s forgotten,’ the plumber shrugged, tucking something back into his work belt.
‘So why is it going to take so long?’
‘Wellll,’ he started, rocking back on his heels and adjusting his cap. ‘There’s parts I gotta order, contractors I’ve got to organise. Plus, I’m going on vacation next week. Bermuda, thank you for asking.’
A thought suddenly occurred to him and he clicked his fingers excitedly.
‘Hey, there’s an idea,’ he murmured. ‘I might be able to get you a new bathtub by the end of this week. I can give ya a discount and everything.’
‘Oh? What’s the catch?’
‘No catch!’ he chuckled. His smile slowly faded and he held up a finger. ‘One catch.’
‘What is it?’ I sighed.
‘It’s a converted tub, for an old lady. Specifically, I did an easy step bathtub conversion on it.’
‘Designed for people who can’t use a bath anymore, correct.’
I sighed, considering it.
‘You can have it done by the weekend?’
‘For half the price of the one I wanted?’
‘Well, maybe not—’
‘For half the price?’
He sighed and held out his hand.
‘It’s a deal.’