Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Back in March of last year, shortly after the council fitted our new front door, Lisa's Mum got chatting to a man at a bus stop who told her that these particular doors are so robust that not even the police can break through them. Which is madness when you consider that most of the city's criminals live in council flats. I expect.

Anyhoo, the good news is that one year on, I'm now in a position to judge the veracity of that claim. And I can report that it's false. As long as you've got a decent battering ram. And you don't mind breaking it.

I'd just put Amelie to bed last night when an ambulance drew up outside with its lights flashing. Lisa was still in town, assisting AA with a few recoveries, so I felt it was my duty to watch what unfolded, so that I could report back to her. What I didn't realise at the time was that I'd be able to watch it all from the spyhole of our new front door.

It transpired that the ambulance had been called to our immediate next door neighbour. He's rarely ever there, and I haven't seen him since Christmas, so for all I knew, they could have been three months too late. But either way, their ringing and banging on his front door elicited no kind of response. So they tried mine instead. Fortunately I was a lot more forthcoming, so I was soon chatting to a couple of paramedics on the doorstep, and pooling our remarkable lack of knowledge about the chap next door.

At that point the paramedic told me to expect a lot of noise, as they'd called the police to break down the door. I was tempted to tell them that I know a few people at bus stops who would laugh in the face of assertions like that, but I didn't want to ruin their evening, so I kept quiet. He then added "He's almost certainly not in there, but we have to be sure". That struck me as an odd thing to say, as I'd fully expect the victim of a 999 call to be unable to answer the door, but I didn't question them. Instead I went inside and braced myself for the noise.

And boy, they weren't kidding. The police soon arrived with an electric battering ram. Although it sounded more like a cannon. Thirty seconds of bone-shaking, earth-moving, door-shattering booms later, and I felt like I'd lost all my fillings and perforated an ear drum. Although I still managed to hear the woman from upstairs come down to shout at the police about the noise.

When the pounding stopped, I looked through the spyhole to see one smashed-in front door and two bewildered policemen looking at their state-of-the-art battering ram in disbelief. It was bent at an angle and ruined. So while one of their colleagues accompanied the paramedics into the flat, I watched the other two discussing the fact that no door has ever broken their battering ram before. I couldn't wait to get down to the bus stop and pass on the news.

Anyhoo, the result of all that activity was that the paramedics were right. The chap wasn't in there. It was like the Easter story brought to life. Only it makes even less sense. A carpenter turned up an hour later to board up the door, and the police left a sign instructing the occupier to phone them when he gets home. Not that he can get into his home without a power saw and a crowbar. Give it a few hours and I could be making up a bed on the sofa.


Phil's Mum said...

You do see life in your flats!  I bet the woman from upstairs thought it was YOU making the noise!  And the big question is who DID send the 999 call?  I'll call Miss Marple.

A Passer-by said...

Where's Poirot when you need him?!

Poirot said...

My dear Passer-by it seems to me the said tenant has lost his key. Having been at said bus stop awaiting transportation he realised that the only solution was to put gossip to the test to gain entry. (that or Phil couldn't find anything on the telly)

Phil's Mum said...

Now he's also lost his lock!