Covid Lockdown ( Day 6: The Policemen Only Ring Twice )
I awoke with a stabbing pain in my left foot. For once it wasn’t my wife stabbing me in my left foot. It must be gout. I shouldn’t have eaten that eighth steak for dinner last night. My doctor told me to cut it down to five steaks a day, but what does he know? I found an article online that said eight steaks a night is perfectly fine and no one lies on the internet.
I hobbled towards the bathroom just as my wife was coming out. She drops her shoulder and gives me her patented wife shove. I fall over unable to balance on my bad foot.
“You’re going to have to be quicker than that when the ‘Covid’ zombies start knocking down our door”, she said.
She gave me a kick in the stomach and walked off. She was right of course, but the kick felt somewhat unnecessary. I hobble into the bathroom and begin to disrobe. Just as I step into the shower, I hear the doorbell ring once and then again.
“Police! Open up”, comes the shout from the other side.
I wrap a towel around myself and go to open the door. Frank runs passed me in a hurry and hides in behind the sofa. I open the door with one hand, clutching my towel with the other. It was two rather burly looking policemen. One of them was named Juan. The other one was named Juan Too.
“Hola Señor”, said Juan.
That means “Hello Sir” for those of you who don’t speak Spanish.
“We are investigating the robbery of a local pet food store. We noticed that your balcony looks directly onto the shop in question. We are wondering did you see anything?” said Juan Too.
It was at this point I noticed the 100kg bag of kitten mix behind the door. It was stacked on top of 50 cans of “I can’t believe it’s not dog”. I look at Frank the cat who is now looking out from the behind the sofa. He makes a slicing motion under his throat with his nail. This was Franks subtle way of telling me to keep quiet.
“No officer, I’m afraid I didn’t see anything”.
“There is a lot of hoarding going on at the moment. A lot of kitties all over town haven’t been able to procure chow”, said Juan leaning in uncomfortably close to my face.
“You wouldn’t want little kitties to go hungry now would you”, said Juan Too who also leaned in close to my face. We stood there for a moment, all three of our faces pressed together. It was at this stage I became very aware of the fact I was only wearing a towel, so I take a large step backwards. I notice one of them looking through the crack of the door.
“What are those bags sir?” says Juan Too.
I think fast. “That's my wife's medication. She has uncontrollable flatulence. It’s terrible. We haven’t been able to close the windows for months”
There is an uneasy silence for a moment. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Nothing gets you out of a difficult situation like making everyone feel uneasy. Juan nods in agreement.
“Yes, my wife has that too. A terrible affliction indeed. But that does appear to be an awful lot of medication for one woman”, says Juan.
“Well, she has an awful lot of flatulence.”
I’ve doubled down on the lie now. I can’t turn back. I either keep digging a hole for myself or get arrested for grand cat food larceny. My wife calls from the bedroom asking who’s at the door. I don’t answer so she walks out to see who it is. She grabs the door trying to open it, but I try desperately to keep it closed. For a moment there's a struggle as the policemen watch on confused. Eventually my wife forces her way passed.
“Oh, hello officers. What’s seems to be the problem?”
Almost immediately they look down at her mid-section and back away slowly. She begins to walk after them. Before I know what's happening, they turn and run. Never one to give up easily, my wife gives chase. I close the door in the knowledge she won't be back for hours.
Frank comes out from behind his hiding places and walks over. He takes out a twenty euro note, stuffs it down the front of my towel and pats my cheek before pulling one of the bags of cat food off to his bedroom. He puts the don’t disturb sign on his door. I won’t see him for at least 24 hours.
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