MY BROTHER Jim, who is a builder, had recently completely a block of 12 two-bedroom flats and was about to go on holiday.
"Can you man the show flat for a couple of weekends?" he asked. "I'll pay you - and there's even a bonus if you sell a flat."
"No problem," I agreed, "just so long as you take me through the sales details beforehand and keep your mobile on just in case I get any questions I can't answer."
Prior to his holiday, Jim showed me around the remaining four flats which were for sale.
We discussed the sale price, the choice of kitchen units and bathroom suites, the range of floor tiles and the council tax rates.
"I think we've covered everything," Jim assured me. "Good luck."
So Saturday morning arrived and I paced up and down the fancy pristine top-floor show flat as I patiently waited on my first viewer.
After a couple of hours I heard footsteps and opened the door to find two young women laden with Asda shopping bags trailing two lively pre-school children.
"Good morning ladies," I smiled. "Feel free to have a look around."
I settled down with my magazine to let the potential buyers view the property when unexpectedly I heard the toilet flushing.
"Everything OK?" I called out.
"Fine," came the reply. "Chantelle needed the toilet," she said, referring to one of the children.
Next minute Chantelle and her playmate Jayden (I gathered it was Jayden by the number of times his mother yelled his name), started playing hide and seek inside the gleaming mirrored wardrobes.
"Where are you Jayden?" Chantelle yelled as she ran past me for the fifth time.
The mothers, who were oblivious to the goings-on, were meanwhile ridiculing the size of the lounge.
"You'd be struggling to get your 50-inchplasma up on that wall," smirked one.
Meanwhile the little tykes had burst a packet of crisps which were strewn all over the kitchen floor, and as I was brushing them up I heard the toilet flush for the fourth time.
"Excuse me" I said. "The wee fellow seems to have been in there for ages."
"You might want to get that toilet seen to," was the nippy response. "It won't flush."
And no wonder it wouldn't flush - the empty crisp packet was lodged in the u-bend.
"The show flat is closing for lunch," I said as I as I finally managed to eject the feral bunch from the now not so pristine flat.
So an hour later, finally, putting the polish and Hoover away I turned around to find two lady pensioners by my side.
"Oh my," gushed the first lady. "This is beautiful."
"Definitely," agreed the other. "I could see myself in this kitchen. It's perfect."
The two inquisitive ladies were into every nook and cranny of the flat. No cushion was left unturned.
I smiled, as suddenly my potential bonus was starting to look promising.
I joined the ladies in the lounge and began to explain that the flat was eco friendly.
"So your energy bills should be cheaper," I told them.
Next minute and with a straight face one of the pensioners enquired: "Eco friendly? Does that mean our phone bill will be cheaper too?"
Lost for words I escaped back into my sales pitch: "You obviously love the flat, ladies. Do you have a property to sell?"
"No hen. We're in a council flat."
There was a pause before she continued: "But, see when we win the lottery, we will definitely be back."
Aaarggghh!!! And there went my bonus.
Four o'clock rolled around and my new role as sales executive was wearing thin when a young couple in their twenties sheepishly appeared at the door.
Mustering some enthusiasm I repeated my spiel.
"Please come in and feel free to have a look around ..."
To be honest I was starting to bore myself.
After a lot of whispering and nodding by the young couple, I went through to the smaller of the two bedrooms and interrupted them.
"What do you think?" I asked hopefully.
"We love it," beamed the female.
"Well ..." and off I went on my sales pitch again. "You will notice that all of the rooms are a great size, which means they can have a multi-purpose use."
"In fact," I continued. "The couple downstairs actually use this room as a sitting room."
"Really?" said the young man with a bemused look.
"Oh yes," I confirmed.
Both of them looked at each other before the female turned and asked: "How many nights a week do they come up then?"
"Sorry?" I stammered.
"The people downstairs. How many nights a week do they come up here then?"
You won't be surprised to know that I'm still waiting on my bonus!