I always know when the end of the month is at hand, because my credit card screams out for mercy and the streets clog up with pick-up trucks and vans laden with furniture. In the neighbourhood where I live, the drivers of removal vehicles seem to have an unerring talent for parking in such a way as to render entire streets impassable. Where the roads are too wide to block off using the van alone, they compensate by packing out the larger items of furniture in the open lane. It was amid thoughts of bull-bars and hand-held rocket launchers that I noticed noises filtering through the lounge wall on Friday evening.
The flat next door has been standing empty for the past few months and I had rather grown used to the silence. It could be that the owners were asking too high a rental fee, but I have my suspicions that it was my wife’s compulsive soup-making habits that conspired to keep it tenant-free. Whatever the reason, we have finally acquired new neighbours – hence the noises. At first glance, these new kids in the block appear normal, but one of them looks like an axe-murderer to me. He’s a bit too average and nondescript for my liking. He’s exactly the sort that people will describe as, “quiet and reserved”. I tried greeting him on Saturday morning and all I received in return to my friendly grunt of, “Mmrng”, was a stony-faced stare of thinly-disguised hostility. Admittedly, I was carrying a bag of odiferous, filth-encrusted nappies down to the bin and yes, I suppose pants would have been a good idea, but that’s no reason to be rude.
I’ve got my eye on you, chum. If I see any suspiciously heavy-looking refuse bags leaving the premises, I plan to over-react spectacularly.