Wednesday, 1 June 2011

An Englishman Overboard

More comedy social anxiety in the Mews: there was a car parked outside my house with its back door open and a hand-bag visible. It was open as i went to the shop but i thought nothing of it assuming that shopping was being unpacked. A half hour later when I returned it was still open. I went to close the door but Kelly wouldnt let me in case somebody would be left locked out of their car. I was fairly sure

it was next door's car so I rang her doorbell. No answer. I went to the house on the other side of us to see if Michael, our friendly neighbour, could identify the car. He wasn't in. I crossed the street to see if Ann, our friendly neighbour across the street, could identify the mystery vehicle. She wasn't in. There are 12 houses in our wee cul-de-sac. I went methodically through them all. There was nobody in any of the houses. It's the Cul-de-sac of the damned.

The only house that had a light on in it was number 8. We have beef with number 8. Brigeen, Kelly's sister, reversed into the flank of number 8's car. Accidentally. This was the cause of said beef, not inspired by it. We got out to investigate and there was not a mark on it. We didn't know who's car it was, (the parking's a free-for-all down our way)so we went out. I swear to you there was not a scratch on that car - the only physical difference made to it was a dent in the surface dust that Brigeen had made while checking for bumps and scrapes. At worst the car sustained a localised cleaning.

On our return home there was a snotty letter through the letterbox telling us that another, as yet unidentified, neighbour had seen the whole thing and grassed us to number 8. Further negotiations have left Brigeen with a bill for £260 (!) and me with a deep-seated aversion to the snidey opportunistic shits. But, regardless, we were about to knock on their door in an effort to be "neighbourly"...

It didn't come to it. Our next door neighbour burst out of her house (through the door) in a tizz and some pyjamas explaining that she hadn't heard the bell because she had Sky sports on in two seperate rooms and proceeded to give us an elegantly honed version of the story of her life. Kelly was the involved focus of this and remained cool and interested throughout, while I was squirming jelly of social misery - I'm from London! I don't like eye-contact. I don't like neighbours and I don't want to engage.

But don't worry about me. I made it through to the other side. In maybe five, ten years I could laugh about it. But until then I'm calling this "My Vietnam".

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