THERE’S increased activity near your home, and you suspect that it may be an infestation of builders. These are the signs:
What is that irritating burbling in your ears, and why does it keep asking you to text in? Not tinnitus, but the distant clatter of post-Yewtree Radio 1 emanating from a plaster-crusted digital radio. The chart-topping sounds are audible over the shrill whines of angle-grinders and percussive hammer drills, however much you wish they weren’t.
Local businesses flourishing
Nothing supports local commerce more than a gang of builders. The newsagent will confirm that turnover has tripled, with sales of pasties, scratch-cards, and tabloid newspapers through the roof. Pub landlords and takeaway owners will concur. Astonishingly, they feel this is a good thing.
Your neighbours are not ones to congregate, but now form into knots on street corners sharing information about the house with the skip outside, alive with speculation as to what Satanic renovation or extension could be causing this unforgivable inconvenience. It will be agreed whoever it is must have earned the money immorally.
Dirty Ford Transits and a flatbed full of scaffolding parked on the pavement with a ‘no pies are left in this vehicle overnight’ sticker on the back? The spoor of builders. If the dashboard is two feet deep in crisp packets, oversized mugs and spirit levels there can be no doubt. Be patient and you may see one bend over to expose his arse cleavage.
Drifts of cigarette smoke
Confirmation of building activity comes with the detection of the faint aroma of burning tobacco. Following the trail will lead you to an area where men in hi-viz cluster with mugs of tea and cans of Monster indulge in othering, marginalising behaviour termed ‘banter’, before dropping cigarette ends into a can of Monster whether it is finished or not. Observe from a safe distance.