Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Where There is Smoke

Samantha and I are talking on the phone. Skype is a techno-evolution too far for Samantha. “Are you smoking?” she asks. “The cigarettes are in the bin,” I reply with a self-satisfied air. 
“And have you taken the bin out?”

After I’ve caught up with the news of Lyla, Lily, Lola and Felix I hang up. Then I race out the front door, tear open the rubbish bag and fish out the three putrid Camel Lights. The front door slams. I am locked out. No phone. No coat. No lighter.

This might teach me a lesson.

With admirable prescience I have bought a flat that is fifty yards from a fire station. I trip round there and tell the officer in charge my sorry tale. “We’re not meant to do that,” he informs me. I bat my newly grown eyelashes and simper. “Oh, go home,” he says, kindly.

Two minutes later a shiny red fire engine pulls into the driveway. One minute after that four burly firemen pile up the stairs. They insert a flimsy square of plastic into my doorjamb and wiggle it. Five seconds later the door pops open.

I am in equal parts relieved, grateful and horrified at how easy it is to break into my home.

p.s. No, I'm not telling you where I live.