Have you noticed how these days people do not really know their neighbours? There’s not a lot of talking over adjoining fences or street parties anymore. Most people try not to not even make eye contact as they park their car and go inside to watch Home & Away. Which is a shame, because sometimes it’s important to know who lives in your street.
Not that Master21′s neighbours would be all that keen to spend time in the mess my son and his housemates call home.
Earlier this week, Master21 and his housemates arrived home to find themselves in a bit of a predicament: they’d ALL gone out without their house keys.
Being university students, the intellectual cream of youth, they’d also neglected to hide a spare key somewhere in the yard.
A scavenger hunt under the house uncovered a screwdriver so they proceeded to remove a security grill, giving them access to a window. They were saved.
Until fifteen minutes later when their front door was kicked in and two police officers entered with their hands hovering over their guns.
An uncomfortable silence sat down between the two officers and the house mates, who were playing computer games and eating their way through the mountain of junk food they’d just been shopping for.
And I’ve got to say at this point, a big ‘well done!’ to the local constabulary for doing something I’ve never been able to do – getting my son to look away from the screen when he’s playing a game. I know where I’ve gone wrong now. I was attempting to do it unarmed.
“You guys live here?” asked one of the officers.
The boys nodded.
BANG! The back door flew open and two more officers stormed the house, their hands hovering eagerly over their holstered guns.
At this point Master21 happened to glance out the window. Five more officers and a paddy wagon were parked out front.
This is why it’s important to at least introduce yourself to the people in your street – so they recognize you and don’t call the police when you lock your keys inside.
My family’s run ins with the police do tend to be a little unconventional.
Blood tests aren’t a lot of fun so when dad needed one done last year we all knew it was destined to end poorly, but none of us would have guessed the police would be involved.
For some reason my father thought it was such a lovely morning he would leave the car at home and walk to the pathology centre. Why a man who struggles shuffling the distance between the lounge and his bar fridge should decide to walk two hilly kilometers is beyond me, but there you go. Dad has been doing things I don’t understand for years: he’s wears nothing but white y-fronts around the house for a start.
Unsurprisingly, after the tests dad decided he’d pulled a hammy or punctured a shoe or hit the wall or something and he couldn’t walk home. The nice receptionist rang for a cab.
A couple of minutes later a white car with bold stickers pulled up in front of the surgery and dad jumped in the back seat and buckled up, which was when the police officer in the front seat spun around and said, “You’re obviously feeling guilty about something. What am I taking you in for?”
Fortunately the officer was still smiling when the cab pulled up behind the police car five minutes later.
This is in stark contrast to one particular officer who was taking down the boys’ details and confirming their addresses on their driver’s licences. When she was ready to leave the house so the boys could get on with their afternoon of gaming she took a parting shot.
She looked around, indicating the various floordrobes and the dishes scattered throughout the house, shook her head and gave them an official directive.
“Clean this place up,” she said. Like that’ll work.
Maybe if she’d taken the gun out of its holster.