Written by Harry Porter

Friday, 3 December 2004

image for UK Tradesmen Stink: It's Official!
A face we all recognise - Dave!

British tradesmen are the worst on the planet - and that's official.

A survey carried out by Which Magazine, the Mafia (England & Wales Branch), the UK Organised Crime Syndicate and four independent terrorist cells, reveals that joiners, plumbers, electricians, builders and plasterers are the most needed, yet feared and loathed members of society.

Six out of every single person interviewed admitted that they, and at least 2,000 others they knew, had been let down, over-charged or abandoned by a workman in the last 20 minutes.

In many cases, it was the same workman - ‘Dave'.

Which's consumer editor, Roberta Flack, said: "There is a massive shortage of tradesmen in the UK which means they can cherry-pick their work.

"This often leads to them promising to turn up then not doing so because a more lucrative project has come along or, quite simply, they can't be bothered because there is just an endless demand for their skills.

"People will even use a tradesman who has ripped off all their friends because it is very much a case of desperation and ‘it won't happen to me'.

"Unfortunately, it invariably does."

The National Tradesmen's Confederation promised Spoof a quote in response but officials are no longer answering the phone with the voicemail indicating all are on a winter's break in Lanzarote.

While Britain today is especially bad, world history is littered with incidents that have been shaped by tradesman.

* In April 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg during an argument on the bridge between the captain and the ship's carpenter, Dave Stephens. Apparently the casing for the compass kept falling over with the carpenter claiming: "They don't make screw sizes like that any more."

* In June 1914, Gavrilo Princip was so infuriated at spotting the Sarajevo builder, Dave Thelmic, he had hired that very morning to repair his lintel standing in a crowd that he drew a pistol and shot at him. Unfortunately the bullet missed its mark and struck Archduke Franz Ferdinand as he drove past, so precipitating the start of World War One.

* In 1920 a young, ambitious politician named Adolf Hitler was so incensed at being charged 569 marks (£3,450) for a new washer on his kitchen sink that he seized power of the Nazi Party and had his plumber, Dave Hoffman, shot.

* In 1961 President John F Kennedy was enraged at discovering his Cuban electrician, Dave Ramirez, hadn't turned up to rewire the Kennedy family home that the result was the attempted coup of the Castro regime and the humiliating Bay of Pigs fiasco.

* In 2003 President George W. Bush refused to believe a gloating e-mail from Saddam Hussein that he had obtained the services of a joiner, Dave El-Amir, and plumber, Dave Al-Hakim, in under a month. The result was the invasion of Iraq.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: british, planet

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