Basil(ette) Fawlty*

AP and I are taking on a new project. We want to try and purchase a flat from which we can both work, rest and relax and get a break from teenagers. We are also hoping to spend more time with his mum and so we began our search northwards, in the Cotswolds.

Diana is very supportive of our project and as she loves looking at property, offered to drive me up to a little town nestled in the hills of  the Nailsworth Valley.  I had made arrangements with a local estate agent to view two flats in the town centre and was to meet her at one of the flats that morning.

Just as we arrived in the town my mobile phone rang and it was the estate agent.  I will not divulge her name although I can tell you that it rhymes with Cootie.

Without going into every dreary detail, I will say that this estate agent proceeded to yell at me because I didn’t know the street names of the nearby intersections and berated me for not coming up to the area a day early to make sure I knew exactly where I was going.  I was so flabbergasted that I asked her if I could call her right back.  When I hung up Diana, who overheard the exchange, patted my arm and put on her very best ex-school headmistress hat said, “Let me talk to her sweetheart.”  If anyone can diffuse a situation, it’s my friend Diana, who is one of the most warm and compassionate people I know, and who knows how to handle children of all ages.

So we parked the car in a local parking lot and phoned Mrs. Fawlty back.  Diana began the conversation by  calmly and rationally  explaining our situation and some of the problems with the directions we were given.  Within less than 60 seconds the ex-school headmistress grew about 10 feet tall and her chest puffed out and I heard her bellow “NOW SEE HERE MADAM!”  And Mrs Fawlty got such a dressing down that she hung up on Diana.  And we can’t have that.  Nobody hangs up on a school headmistress.

We found our way to the agency on the High Street to lodge a complaint with the manager, however, much to our horror, found out that Mrs. Fawlty was the owner of the company.  Another very uncomfortable exchange followed and with our heads held high, we spun on our heels, tossed our scarves over our shoulder, and left the office.

And then we laughed all the way home.  Oh the fun we had recounting each and every sentence and facial expression.  We told the story to each other three times over and laughed each and every time.  And we will tell the story for years to come and have even more laughs.  Thank you, Basilette Fawlty.

fawlty A photo that I took of the front of the agency.  Notice the caption, “The Friendly Estate Agency.”

Life is stranger than fiction.

*From the British TV comedy, Fawlty Towers.

7 thoughts on “Basil(ette) Fawlty*

  1. That’s a black comedy tale if ever there was one! How the f— does she sustain a business if she treats people like that!!!

  2. That is exactly what I do when I have problems with sales people. I put my man Mark on the phone or send him up to the store to handle things. Only Mark does not have a calm, school headmistress demeanor. More of a shrill mean girl way of handling things. I hope you’ve found another estate broker without a bug up her ass.

  3. Brilliant story, loved it and can just imagine you two as Thelma and Louise types rocking up in the car :o) Wierd coincidence is that we were a few miles away from Nailsworth today, visitng friends for lunch. Small world!

  4. You were probably generous in calling her B. Fawlty. At least he was funny! Too bad we can’t see her bump up against a wall and have a moose head fall down on her. Seems you and Diana handled it with grace.

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