The evening had been pretty uneventful. Mrs Grump and I had just had a week off work and we were really feeling the Sunday night blues that you get before going back to work unless you have a very satisfying and fulfilling job, which just so happens to be your life’s calling.
We had watched a couple of episodes of an old 90’s TV show, which was quite edgy back in the day. It was called This Life. I take it with a pinch of salt. I think there’s some well written dialogue, I like the dynamics of the characters and I recommended that Mrs Grump gave it a go. Mrs Grump said she had never wasted two hours of her life watching such crap before. It’s enriching introducing your other half to new things, don’t you think?
Throughout the evening, I kept hearing the sound you would get when someone is sitting on a chair at a table and then leave the table, scraping the chair along a tiled floor whilst standing up. Do you know the sound I mean? If not, you really haven’t lived and you will not really be able to appreciate the rest of this post. Go and sit in a dark room and seriously contemplate your future.
Anyway, we took no notice. Obviously the neighbours are spending a lot of time in the kitchen. They must hear similar sounds coming from our kitchen, which has a tiled floor with metallic dining chairs. That’s the benefit of having an adjoining house. You get to hear when the neighbours get up from a chair, laugh, cry, argue and orgasm. Sometimes in that order!
Eventually, I went to bed begrudgingly. It was time to wave goodbye to my freedom. Tomorrow, the insurance world would embrace me once more. The prodigal son will have returned and the insurance industry will once again breath a sigh of relief.
It was 3AM when I was awoken by that sound. My first thoughts were that the neighbours were up really late. Then I heard it again. There was no other sound, well, apart from the sound of air being sucked violently up the nostrils of Mrs Grump. Then it happened again and again. What are they doing? I thought.
Then there was a squeak. Then the noise again. ‘Wait a minute,’ my mind quickly deduced after listening to it intently for about fifteen minutes. ‘That’s not the neighbours! That’s something else!’
My mind wandered. What could it be? Then I thought it might be one of the doors to either the electricity or gas meter outside. If the door was indeed loose then the wind would catch it, swing it open causing the squeak and then blow it shut to cause the sound of someone standing up from a table.
I had to get up to see to this. I had to deal with this. I’m the man of the house damn it! Besides, Mrs Grump was completely oblivious, probably dreaming about Wolverine!
With dressing gown, nasal strip and trainers I opened the front door and had a look down the side of the house. Sure enough, I was able to establish that somehow the gas meter door had come loose and this alleviated the need to strike up a conversation with my volatile, laughing, crying, shouting and shagging neighbours about their latest furniture purchase, pretending like I really gave a shit.
I thought it was unusual how this could have happened. I shut the meter door and went back in, shut the front door and climbed the stairs and back into bed. Mrs Grump was still in a coma. I could have driven to Abergavenny and back and she still wouldn’t have known.
I was dozing off when it started again. I was perplexed by this. I had already shut it. Why would it open again?
My tired mind went to work. I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, but my mind is kind of amazing like that of Sherlock Holmes. I look at every single possible eventuality and through deduction and probability, calculate what is going on. It’s this kind of skill that has allowed me to conquer my portable chess computer up to level three! But I’m not one to boast.
Having calculated the myriad of possibilities, once again I had deduced the almost certain cause of this insanity! Bloody Gypsies, I thought. Not content with tarmacing, tree lopping and bare knuckle boxing, they are using a clever ploy to draw me outside. The front door will remain open, whilst I’m seeing to the gas meter door, they will get in and rob the house. Yes, that’s it. That’s the only conceivable cause of this madness.
What should I do? I have to see to it but should I take a weapon? I do have a cache of weapons under the bed and I’d probably be too busy trying to pick something, rather than quickly shutting the meter door and going to bed. Besides, if I went outside and a police man happened to be walking past at 3.20AM, only to see a bald man wearing nothing but trainers, dressing gown and a nasal strip, holding a broad sword claiming to be looking out for criminal mastermind Gypsies, they might, just might, think I was a little mad.
Not one to blow my own trumpet but my body is a weapon of mass destruction anyway so I chose to take no weapons with me. I would need to destroy my enemy with my bare hands but hopefully avoid getting any of my enemy’s blood on my dressing gown because I only got it at Christmas from the snoratron who was still away dreaming of Hugh Jackman, flexing whilst sitting on a unicorn during a week off work!
So with only my bare hands and natural, viciously, violent, impulsive reflexes, I ventured outside once more. But this time I took no chances. I looked around for the Gypsies first. The coast seemingly clear, I locked the front door from outside.
Only those battle hardy warriors can appreciate the thumping heart beat, the adrenaline and the focus of impending danger that I was experiencing in that moment. I shut the meter door again. Looked around for any signs of movement, like a coiled spring, then unlocked the door, entered Chateau Grump, locked the door and headed for bed. Ha! The old classic, meter door open luring trick had not been successful this time. Those bloody conniving criminal gypsy masterminds!
But before going to bed, I peeked briefly, well for five minutes or so, through the blinds of the bedroom window to witness a Gypsy walk past and realise he’d just missed his opportunity. Well that’s what I thought I would witness, or perhaps see them come and unlock my meter box for a third time.
But I didn’t. I didn’t see anything. If the Gypsies were hiding, they had pretty good camouflage which, let’s be honest, probably wouldn’t be required in the deserted streets of Dudley at 3.30AM.
I went back to bed feeling like a bloody bloke! A manly man of rippling man flesh! Mrs Grump would love this! She’d be all over me like alphabetti spaghetti! I did after all, put my life on the line. Those Gypsies can be bloody nasty if they get their hands on you!
The following day, I mentioned my courageous exploits to Mrs Grump. Did I get points? Did I get a “My Hero” response from the good lady?
No. She insinuated that I have a vivid imagination and a strange paranoia towards Gypsies.
Whatever! To you, my little Grumpyan, beware of the open gas meter door luring trick!