The Boss and I were spending a couple of days in a home-stay in the beautiful Chikmagalur Hills, a major coffee growing region of Southern India.
Every evening the owners would light a bonfire and the guests would sit around for a chat before dinner.
One evening in conversation with a young lady, she mentioned that she had a degree in English Literature. This was the second time in two months I was meeting someone in a remote rural area who professed to a love of English literature!
Intrigued and wanting to learn more I asked her who her favorite English writers were.
“Shakespeare” came the standard answer.
Well everyone says that, I thought to myself, so probing deeper I asked her if there was anyone else.
Yesterday while cleaning the bathroom, I underestimated the immense strength contained in my perfectly sculpted body and snapped the bathroom tap off.
Gallons of water gushed over me as I stared in horror at the hole in the wall where once a tap had been. It was only when the water had reached my ankles that I remembered a piece of folklore and like a good little Dutch boy stuck my finger in the hole.
Frantically summoning The Boss from the chaise longue on which she had been reclining, a piece of cucumber over each eye, and her feet on a silk cushion. I requested her to turn off the mains water supply so I could retrieve my finger from the hole in which it had ignominiously been thrust.
A quick phone call was made to our friendly neighborhood plumber who, it being a Sunday, was understandably reluctant to attend to our needs, busy as he was buying Dal and Rice for the week ahead. Frustrated at my inability in my limited Hindi to convey the urgency of the situation, I handed the phone over to The Boss whose persuasive and dulcet tones had the required effect. Ten minutes later he turned up on his cycle with his tools wrapped in a hessian bag.
A replacement tap was needed and as the nearest shop was closed we jumped in my car and headed over to a plumbing shop he knew would be open on a Sunday evening.
We explained what we needed to the shopkeeper and I have to admit was more than a little shocked when he immediately shouted “Big Cock, long body”
How on earth does he know” I thought to myself. I looked down at my loose shirt and baggy shorts. No nothing to give it away there. I looked at my plumber companion who seemed completely unconcerned, as if every one of his clients was told the same thing.
Perhaps the shop keeper has x-ray vision? Maybe he is an Indian superhero? Mild mannered shop keeper Kamlesh Patel by day, caped crusader by night. Rescuing those in dire in dire plumbing need, diagnosing emergencies with his x-ray vision.
“Big cock long body!” he shouted again, but this time I realized that he was directing the comment not to me but to one of his assistants. Judging by his short stature he certainly didn’t have a long body and I didn’t care to look too closely at the rest.
His assistant repeated “Big cock long body” and started rummaging around on the shelves.
Maybe they are intimately aware of each other’s anatomy and use the expression as a term of endearment, I wondered, after recovering from the initial disappointment of realizing he wasn’t describing me.
The assistant tossed a box over to the shopkeeper who promptly opened up the top flap and proudly announced “Sir. Big cock long body!”
I looked inside with trepidation wondering if I had strayed into the wrong shop, and sure enough there it was, in all it’s glory.
A shiny new tap with “Bib Cock, Long Body” written on the label
Now the tap is fixed I must clean the wax from my ears!