“Hi, I’m your new next door neighbor,” I pointed to where next door was for dramatic effect.
It was only now that I looked up at my neighbor and realised what she looked like. She was young, blonde and pretty and was wearing a negligee* which left literally one thing to the imagination, her left arm. Her arm was bandaged, mummy style, from her nape to the tips of her fingers.
She saw me staring at her arm and seemed about to explain what had happened when I said, “please don’t explain it. Otherwise you really will leave nothing to the imagination”.
She looked back at me with that quizzical look that some people look at me with and said, “I bet you’re good with knobs”.
“I beg your pardon”, I seemed, suddenly, to say.
“Well,” she said coquettishly, “I didn’t answer the door, you opened it. And this door hasn’t opened by human force since the early eighties. We use the back for access”.
I realised she was playing with me, and I decided not to play along.
“Now look here”, I said, while I was pointing at a crack in the door, “I didn’t force entry”.
“I know,” she replied, “you look innocent enough”.
“I just wanted to borrow a bowl of sugar,” I had even brought the bowl, and as if to prove the point I brandished it at the appropriate moment in the sentence.
“Oh,” she said in that disappointed way that some people are terribly practiced at. It was as though, all of a sudden, I was the thirtieth person that day who had ambled past wanting sugar, when moments before she had genuinely thought it all a ruse.
“Do you have a picture of your wife on you?” she asked naturally.
Naturally, as an unmarried gentleman I did not, and I said so, “Sorry I don’t”.
“Who, may I ask bought you that china if not your wife?”
“Oh it was my mother, years ago, she’s dead now of course”.
“Oh a mothers boy, looking for a replacement”.
And with that she grabbed hold of my bowl and said, “well lets see where this take us”.
* negligently as it was pretty cold that morning.