Friday, November 28, 2008


When I arrived home from work last night, the first thing I noticed was the The Flatmate’s Saab was gone. I surmised that the first of The Flatmate’s Scaly Mates (hereafter referred to as TFSM1) had taken it out for a spin. I parked my car, got out, and prepared to go inside.

Problem: TFSM1 had deadlocked the front door.

Which ordinarily is good, since it makes life difficult for burglars. But there was one slight hitch.

Problem: I’d given TFSM1 my house keys.

Not to worry, I thought. He must just be up at the shops or something. So I watered my pot plants and fruit trees… then got out the hedge clippers and trimmed the overgrown plumbago in the side yard… then pulled up some weeds...

Twenty minutes later there was still no sign of TFSM1. But I’d remembered that the catch on The Flatmate’s bedroom window is faulty, and, if I unclipped the flyscreen, I could probably slide the window open and climb in.

Problem: The Flatmate’s bedroom window faces into the back yard, which is only accessible via the house.

Undaunted, I worked out that the lowest point between the front yard and the back yard was the roof of the shed that fits snugly between the side fence and the side of the house. I took off my suit jacket, dropped it into the front seat of my car, then went around into the side yard and clambered up on a stack of old pavers to see if I could haul myself up onto the roof.

Problem: I’m not a tall lithe young person in athletic gear. I’m a short overweight old person in a suit.

What I really needed was a ladder.

Problem: My ladder was inside the house.

Okay, what I really needed was something like a ladder. I went back to the garage to scope around. Old oil containers – no. The wind baffle from The Flatmate’s Saab – no. Tiki Tooka – no. The trolley I use to move heavy objects – aha!

So I wheeled the trolley around to the shed, jammed its platform under the stack of pavers to hold it steady, then climbed up it. It wobbled a lot, but it held. It got me high enough that I could pull myself up onto the roof. I crouched on the rusty iron roof sheets for a moment, to see if they were going to collapse or not, then crabwalked gingerly across to the other end of the roof.

Problem: There’s no ladder or trolley on the ground at the other end of the roof.

Fortunately there was the compost tumbler, and it was just stable enough – barely – to take my weight as I lowered myself off the shed roof.

From there it was a simple matter to unclip the flyscreen, slide open the window and clamber into The Flatmate’s bedroom. Then I trotted through the house to the front door, so that I could unlock it and go get my suit jacket which contained my wallet, my phone and my other keys from the car.

Problem: TFSM1 had deadlocked the front door.

So I said, “To hell with this,” and just made myself a drink. Half an hour later when TFSM1 turned up, claiming to have been lost somewhere in the suburbs of Perth, I had sufficiently recovered from my ordeal to deal with him appropriately. I graciously allowed him to accompany me to the nearest pub and buy me large amounts of beer.

Beer makes everything better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Boy,

Are you implying that these reprobates are (A) covered in scales or (B) rogues of dubious repute. I humbly suggest that if it be the latter then you spell it correctly ie. Scally. Should it be the former then I pity you on your domestic invasion.

11:09 AM  
Blogger emawkc said...

Here's to alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Dear Anonymous,

I checked - scaly is the right word. No less an authority than Charles Dickens used it in the same context as me.

So there. (You'll have to imagine me sticking out my tongue at you because I don't know how to spell it)

12:44 PM  

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