Sunday, 20 March 2016

When Alarm Bells Ring

A couple of nights ago a neighbour’s alarm went off.  After a few minutes the alarm was still ringing, so Mr V and I went to investigate.  We live in a very rural location.  There are no street lights.  On this particular night the moon was hiding and there was a definite absence of stars.  Leaving the welcoming brightness of our hallway, we stepped out into inky darkness.  I felt a frisson of anxiety.  What if Number 2 was in the process of being robbed?  What if we disturbed the burglar? What if the burglar turned nasty?
          ‘Hang on a minute.’ I turned around and went smack into my husband.  Note how he’d sent me out into the darkness first!
          ‘What’s the matter?’ he whispered.
          ‘I’m scared,’ I whispered back.  ‘I want Molly to come with us.’
          ‘If there is anybody in that house who shouldn’t be in that house,’ Mr V declared, ‘Molly would be as much use as a chocolate teapot.’
          ‘Don’t underestimate her,’ I countered.  ‘She’s very protective, plus her bark sounds like that of a really big dog.’
          I went back into the house and grabbed the pooch. Molly was thrilled to bits at the prospect of walkies, even if she couldn’t see where she was going.  Back outside, we’d only taken half a dozen steps when a disembodied male voice spoke.  The three of us nearly went into orbit.
          ‘There’s nobody home,’ said the voice.
          ‘Who’s that?’ I squeaked, fearful it was actually the burglar who’d finished his robbing spree and was now pretending to be an onlooker in order to disguise his getaway.
          ‘It’s me,’ said the voice.  A cloud parted allowing a single beam of moonlight to illumine the man’s face.  It was my next-door neighbour.  ‘I think there might be smoke coming out of the house.’
          My heart rate picked up.  ‘They’ve got a little dog who may be inside.  Quick.  We have to get in there.  I know!’  A moonlit brainwave came to me.  ‘Number 1 has a spare key for Number 2.’
          We made our way to Number 1 who, thankfully, were home and came to investigate with us.  Seconds later, everybody burst into the house to hunt for a potential housebreaker or fire.
          ‘You and Molly stay out here,’ said Mr V.  ‘If anybody dashes out, you can nobble them.’
          ‘Me?’ I squeaked.  But I was talking to myself.  I stood on my neighbour’s drive, with their burglar alarm screaming and Molly giving me the sort of look that indicated this wasn’t the late-night walkies she’d anticipated.
          A moment later the alarm was switched off.  The smoke turned out to be evaporation from a boiler flue pipe.  After checking the house over, it was deemed that perhaps a spider had triggered the sensor.
          I must admit I was very relieved when everybody came out of the house.  It had been eerie standing in the shadows of my neighbour’s driveway, listening to night-time wildlife and rustling hedgerows.  Which reminds me.
A burglar broke into a house one night. He shone his flashlight around, looking for valuables.  Suddenly a disembodied voice said, ‘Jesus is watching you.’  The burglar jumped, switched his flashlight off and froze. When he heard nothing more, he shook his head in bemusement and promised himself a fab holiday after the next big haul.  Clicking the flashlight back on, he continued searching for valuables. As he reached for the hi-fi, once again came the disembodied voice.  ‘Jesus is watching you.’  Freaked out, he frantically shone the light about looking for the source of the voice. In the corner of the room, the torch’s beam lit up a parrot.
          ‘Did you just say that?’ the burglar hissed at the parrot.
          ‘Yes,’ the parrot confessed.  ‘I’m trying to warn you.’
          The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, eh?  And who exactly are you?’
          ‘Moses,’ replied the bird.
          ‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed.  ‘What stupid person would call their parrot “Moses”?’
          ‘The same stupid person that named their Rottweiler “Jesus”…’