“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, 49 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… Scrum master. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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