You’d think a simple task like answering a knock at the door would pose about as many problems as replying to a ‘knock knock’ joke even for a blind man. Well, it probably would if I looked like I was a blind man. Thing is I don’t look like a blind man. I don’t look like a blind anything for that matter. Well, I do when I’m walking into posts or being led by a guide dog, but physically I don’t look like one especially when I answer the door and ‘look’ the caller pretty much straight in the face.
Speaking of knock knock jokes, I made one up for Christmas that I’m quite proud of. Here goes:
Anna partridge in a pear tree
Ok, not a belly laughing one, but worth a titter for its topical theme at least.
Back to the real knock knocks. A couple of weeks ago I answered the door to a stern-voiced man who just said “Barry Hill?”. You know the sort of stern voice - the sort that asksyou to accompany it to the station. Well, that was my first thought. Like a seasoned lag my reply was “Who’s asking?” I’ve seen The Bill a few times, so I know the score. My knee jerk reaction was quickly followed by the thought “Hold onone cotton picking minute I haven’t done anything.” Strange how the guilty conscience kicks in first. Maybe our ancestralcavemen were genetically programmed with guilt when a stern “Ug” knocked at the cave door looking for that stolen mammoth.
Turns out that it was a delivery guy at the door with a parcel and a “I don’t know why I’m doing this shit cos I really don’t like people’ look. How do I know? Angie was presented with the same look from the man the week before and it did fit well with the voice.
Still at least he said something. Many a time I’ve opened the door to silence when a delivery person is simply holding out the parcel. As you might know by now, I don’t look blind, and, unless they are particularly short or tall, I tend to look people in the face when I open the door. So, they’re stood there thinking, “Why doesn’t this nob take his parcel” and I’m thinking, “Why doesn’t this nob say something”. It’s a French stand-off, which is like a Mexican stand-off but with nobs.
Still, leaving the parcel on the doorstep after knocking and running is in vogue. Yup, Amazon are playing knock-a-door run. Many times, I get a knock and by the time I’ve got to the door, the only sound I hear is a van starting up. When they first started to do this, I thought the knock was a phantom knock. You know the one: you wake up in the night after hearing the telephone ring, or the doorbell that you had in your previous house chime, or your wife calling from the cellar. I really must stop locking her down there for the night. Anyway, I now know that I have to feel about with my foot for a parcel before the rain soaks through to my Playboy pop-up magazines.
Silly story-time. When I first started seeing (and I use the word in its full irony) my wife, I invited her to stay at my house but said that I’d have to get rid of the porn magazines under my bed first. She later admitted that she very nearly decided not to see me because I had pornography. Eventually, it sunk in that a blind man would not be able to see porn magazines. Phew… close call there. Incidentally, did you know that you can get tactile porn magazines? Just saying.
There was an advantage to being blind with the ‘knock knock’ when I lived alone: Halloween. I could leave the lights off (didn’t even need to put them on) and look like no-one was home. Bet I’m not the only one who does that on Halloween. Must be a nightmare for burglars on that night all sorts of people pretending they’re not in.
That reminds me of another story. One year I was had by teenagers who got wind that I was giving away cash in lieu of sweets for Halloween. Yeah, I know. The ‘I’m a sucker’ t-shirt probably wasn’t a good idea either. Just lucky that I couldn’t read emails from Somalia Princes back then. A neighbour who saw them said they weren’t even dressed up when they called at mine. I also suspected that they called more than once. Still, got to admire their entrepreneurial invention. Maybe they were aspiring MP’s. Twenty years down the line I bumped into one of these kids now grown up. He told me that he had felt guilty for twenty years. Poor bugger. He’s a painter and decorator now and said he’d do ours for a good price. Yeah but he might just say he’d done it and charge me twice.