Two years ago, we celebrated Australia Day in the traditional way by going to our friends’ house for a BBQ while a merry band of junkies broke into our house and nicked all our stuff. Now, if there was any justice in the world, they would have subsequently been apprehended, charged and transported to England, where they could have relieved the locals of their land, possessions and traditions. But no.
Of course, I blame our neighbour for the break-in.
Two years ago, a young good-looking couple had just started renovating the house they’d bought across the road. On that ill-fated day, “Darren” (not his real name) was out the front of his new house, painting the porch. We, in the meantime, had been packing up The Love Bus to go to the BBQ when we’d noticed a man on a BMX behaving suspiciously. Not only was this man extremely-very-obviously casing our joint, but he also wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. No helmet! I mean, it’s like holding up a placard that says “I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF THE LAW! HA-HA-HA!”.
Anyway, because we were already late for the BBQ, my husband went across the road and asked Darren to keep an eye out for any further suspicious activity. Of course, when we returned some hours later, Darren had packed up his paints and gone – and so had all our belongings.
Now, I’m in no way accusing Darren of stealing our stuff. And I’m not really blaming him. Not much. I mean, he was there to paint his house and not to stand sentry on our belongings, right?
However, just a few weeks ago, I found myself glaring at him through the children’s window as he painted his new fence. And I was thinking “Oooh, my name is Darren! I’m not joining Neighbourhood Watch! I’m joining Neighbourhood Don’t Watch!” and other such mature, sagacious thoughts. As is my way.
And then suddenly I noticed that A) he wasn’t wearing a shirt; and B) he was looking back over at me looking at him not wearing a shirt.
I did the first thing I thought of and ducked.
Which would have just made him think I was just this bored housewife who was totally hot for him and his “Look at me! Look at me!” shirtless ways. Which reminded me of the time another young, rather good-looking man had to step over all my writhing children to get out of the local cafe and I’d thrown myself in front of him and jokingly said “Now you have to get past me, too!” and he’d given me this slightly-disgusted look as if to say “Get away back to your Tupperware Party, Frumpy-Jean”. Stupid Tupperware.
Anyway, the point of all this is that I just want to reassure the neighbourhood at large that I am not a pervert. I am just a mean-spirited son of a bitch who can hold a grudge for years at a time and for no real reason at all. I mean, that’s better than being a pervert, right?