For the fifth year in a row, the UK is suffering from a plaster shortage. This is rendering render difficult and plastering over cracks impossible.
"I blame those there DIY tele programmes," said Brad Grammar of B&G Plasterers in Bromwich. "They've been using up all the plaster for those there people who can't finish off their own houses or pay for proper tradesman like what I am. I've got a kitchen to plaster in Wolverhampton, but can I get any plaster? Can I buggery."
Help for people like Grammar has arrived in the shape of microwaveable porridge.
The porridge has the texture and consistency of wet plaster, but with an added couple of advantages, as explained by Quentin Aker of Q.Aker Oats.
"When it dries," said Aker, "the finish is smoother and harder than plaster. It can't be scratched like plaster can. It dries inside twenty minutes, unlike the two to three days for plaster. To top it off, if you are starving you can actually eat the walls."
Grammar has tried the new porridge-based plaster mix.
"It's okay, don't get me wrong," he said. "I can't say I like it though. I ordinarily buy me plaster in fifty kilo bags. What with being a plasterer I get through a lot of plaster. This replacement comes in fifty gram bags. I get more in a bag of cocaine than that."
Additionally, Grammar doesn't like the way that instead of mixing in a bucket, the porridge-based plaster has to be mixed in a bowl and cured in a microwave.
"Also, while I'm on the cons," said Grammar, who had yet to list a pro, "it's using all me milk up that I should be putting in me tea. I like milky tea, I do. If all the milk's gone in me plaster, what am I going to do? I can't drink that, can I? Or can I?"