Bob the Builder

January 31, 2008 at 11:44 pm (Uncategorized)

A friend of mine is renovating her apartment at the moment, and she has a builder crush. We were discussing it on the ‘phone last night, and she said “I turn into a giggling school girl whenever he’s around.”

“I can just imagine you twirling your hair,” I said.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “He’s completely unattainable. Happily married with kids.”

Meanwhile, a man who by any measure in the world qualifies under the banner ‘stellar eligible bachelor’ has been pursuing her ardently for some time. And she’s just not feeling it. It’s almost criminal, but the truth is you can’t make yourself feel something that isn’t there. She’s tried. Put up a brave fight. But in the final analysis, and she doesn’t at all mean this as a get-out-of-gaol-free card, she really just wants to be friends. Why oh why can chemistry be so perverse?

The builder has several obvious advantages. First, he’s handy, and I like a handy man as much as the next woman. Llew’s very handy, and I love it. I think it’s sexy that he has torn, paint-spattered “work clothes” he dons for DIY around the house. Even better, none of his DIY efforts have ever backfired. He can fix stuff. He looks good on a ladder. He knows which wire to snip. Basically, he’s competent. Capable. Manly. I like it a lot. So I can imagine my friend’s builder looking kind of like Llew does when he’s smashing down walls: damn hot.

Also building work is very physical, so there’s ample opportunity to display rippling sinew and those loaded guns all in the name of an honest day’s work. You can keep the pool guy – all he’s developing is a limp handshake – give me a builder any day for sheer viewing pleasure. Builders cop a lot of grief for whistling at girls as they walk past building sites, but really, girls, let’s be honest. That’s a perve scenario that cuts both ways.

Tom Williams, now TV host but best known for a heart-stopping strip-tease on Dancing with the Stars that was sent around via YouTube to basically every woman in Australia, started off as a brickie or a builder or something like that, so ever since talking to my friend, I have lapsed into several Tom Williams-style reveries about her builder (whom I’ve never even seen but can nonetheless vividly imagine). When I confessed this in an email this morning, her reply said it all: “You and me both.”

What is the mythical magnetism of the builder? Okay, so the man who has been pursuing her is a gentleman, a smart, interesting, fit, informed, attractive, sports car driving, art buying, good food loving man, but answer me this: can he build stuff – shelter, no less, that most basic human need – with his bare hands? I didn’t think so.

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