“Is Mr Walls there…?”

Jane and I are both off sick just now. The cold I was suffering this past week has slipped down into my chest, and I’ve spent most of this beautifully sunny Saturday wrapped up in bed asleep.

I woke late this afternoon to a telephone call from a child.

“Hello, is Mr Walls there?” said the young boy’s voice.
“No,” I replied honestly.
“Is Mrs Walls there?”

Hang on a minute, I’ve heard this before! If I say no, then the next question will be “Are there any Walls there?” to which I again reply no, and the killer punchline is delivered. So I decided to get in there early:

“Then how does the roof stay up?” I asked.
There was a stunned pause … and then a third, perfectly reasonable, question, “What?!”
“It’s a joke, right?” I croaked over the phone.
“No, I’m just looking for my mate!” and then the young voice hung up the phone.

A missed opportunity! I now wonder what would have happened if I’d gone along with the joke up until the penultimate line: “Are there any Walls there?” What would I have said?

  • No, we live in a tent.
  • We’ve got some ice creams in the freezer.
  • We have the Reverend Simon Walls here, hang on a minute, I’ll just go and get him.

But now I’ll never know. Maybe in a parallel universe the conversation went a little differently.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Former Scrum master at Safeguard Global, Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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