Door to Door.

sterling-hayden

 

“He wears brown socks, and he can’t hardly spell good.”

 

Usually, when I ask someone for a description of a person I get, he’s fat, skinny, tall, short, blond, dark, walks with a limp —- that sort of thing.

But this bozo expects me to track down a joker because he has a limited selection of socks to choose from as well as his propensity for spelling ‘arse’ like an American; a-s-s my arse!

 

Why do I always get the bogans?

 

I hate ‘house to house’ at the best of times, but why do I always get the loonies and the downright nutbags.

 

My colleagues are tucked up all comfy in the local, a beer in each hand, laughing and joking and trying to find another reason to not go home and I’m still knocking on doors talking to people who watch reality television because it might increase their IQ.

 

My friends knock on doors, and five out of six don’t answer.

A quick note; ‘no one at home’ and on to the next house.

Me; no such luck.

 Four out of five are at home, and they have something ‘really’ important to tell me.

“The bloke next door lets his dog bark all night”, which is interesting because the property next door has been vacant for six months!

 

All I want to know is, have they seen anything suspicious, but before I can narrow the parameters of their answer, off they go.

Current affairs television has a lot to answer for.

 

We usually do this job in pairs, but no one wants to be my partner.

Not because I am likely to get them killed or anything practical like that, but because they know that I ALWAYS get the crazies when we have a ‘house to house’. They know that practically everyone will be home and that they won’t shut up.

They know that I’m going to be ‘at it’ till the sun goes down.

 

I stagger into the pub some two hours after everyone else and a huge cheer goes up. The bastards really know how to rub it in. Everyone is still there. It’s as if they cannot go home until I get finished, but the reality is  —- you don’t want to go home when you do this job. The more years you get under your belt, the longer it takes each day for the grime to fall away. When you do go home, you don’t want to take any of it with you.

 

It’s after midnight by the time I get in.

The kids are asleep, and there’s no food waiting for me.

She won’t give me a hard time about the late hour or my alcohol breath; we are way past that point. A sort of armistice has set in, but that does not include cooking me food in the evening only to see it go to waste.

Fair enough.

 

I heat up some chips and sausage rolls and watch Robert Mitchum beat the crap out of someone in black and white.

I fall asleep on the couch, but wake before the kids get up.

I shower and dress, and the whole bloody thing starts all over again.

21 thoughts on “Door to Door.

  1. Good little flash piece. Love the essence of this piece. Didn’t quite feel the connection between the ‘grime’ at the end and the actual day job he’d just finished doing though. Are crazies enough to give a looksee into the crap he must usually deal with?? Looking back I can read between the lines, but I guess I couldn’t quite connect the dots as I read. That make sense?? Loved the beginning though. I have no idea who the bozo was but I got a load of insight from very few words (which always astounds me how well you do that).

    The word arse will always fondly remind you of you 😉 you were one of the first to comment on my blog and you picked me up on the correct use of the word – us arses should stick together!

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    • As always…. thank you for taking the time to comment.
      I did think about the jump that I was expecting my readers to make with regard to the ‘grime’. I was assuming that my readers watch as many ‘burnt out cop movies’ as I do. I have a couple of police officers as acquaintances and the cliches are generally true.
      While we are on the subject —– I have put out a collection of my short stories from last year. A bunch of friends have promised to rate them for me [my friends are obviously insane]. Some of the feedback I have been receiving has concerned the jumps I expect the reader to take. Generally, I try to give as little information as possible and trust my reader’s ability to fill in the blanks. Obviously, there are times when I’m going to get this balance wrong—– sometimes from just being lazy and at other times from just pushing things a bit too hard. All the time I’m learning what works and what ends up as confusion ——- confusion takes people out of the story, and that’s bad!
      I think the reason that everyone loves comments is because it presents you with stuff you may not have thought of as well as whether the story worked or not.
      As you know, I post a lot of photographs and I’m always interested by the things that people see in a particular shot, and to a degree, stories are similar. I love it when people say that something I wrote reminds them of some thing, place, or someone.
      This story reminded my wife about a policeman I described to her. I spent an evening with him so I had lots of stories to tell but she had never actually met him, but my story reminded her of the ‘him’ that I created for her from retelling my experience.

      I think of you every time I hassle people about the correct spelling of ‘arse’.
      You will be pleased to know that I have stopped berating North Americans, but Australians and Englishmen still hear about it!
      Thanks again for the kind comments and for the honest reactions.
      Terry
      P.S. I think that the ninja has decided to stay for a while, and I’m pleased.

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    • Thank you for the comments Lori.
      I agree, it does feel like there is a longer piece in this one. I’m not as frightened by the idea as I was last year. Longer pieces seem like fun.
      A semi-friend of mine is married to a policeman and she draws on that a lot in her writing. She has hit the jackpot because she is about to be published [she’s the one who won an award at the ‘Scarlet Stiletto Awards’ last year]. Maybe I need to talk to her some more before enlarging on this piece.
      Thanks, as always, for the encouragement.
      Terry

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  2. Only the next day, his brown socks are gone. He opens his wardrobe and it’s empty. He turns around and walks to the bathroom, he needs to pee, but then, he needs to let go of some brown too. When he’s done, he walks down stairs, and cannot help the echo sounds of his footsteps. His heart is racing at 100kph and down at the bottom of the stairs is a big white piece of butchers paper with red lipstick writing on it. It says; “My ass and the kids have moved to Fiji, and your loonies and nutbags are moving in. You now have a reason to stay home. The barking dog in your back yard needs a feed, and a walk, and some company. You and your loonies and nutbags are it. Enjoy!”

    You get that. Life’s a bitch sometimes.

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    • Wow……….. the wife’s point of view…………. that’s awesome!
      Thanks for taking the time to do that ……….. his ‘missus’ is a lot feistier than I thought she was ………… good for her.
      Terry

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    • I agree…… how lucky was I to have that just sitting around waiting for the right story. I had the story ready to go but I could not find a photo that went with it. I went back through the library I keep for stories and there it was. I had forgotten about but I soon as I saw it I knew it was right. Thank you for noticing.
      Terry

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  3. I’ll tell you something I always notice when I read your words. You create a great atmosphere, and that’s not easy to do. It’s read like a great 50’s crime thriller. If I was any good at anything, I would have you on my Blogroll, which I last updated in 1837, because it’s quite hard to find the Blogs you follow unless you plough through your reader religiously, which I would, if I didn’t have so many biscuits to get through in my day. Never the less, when I come across it, I always think how great your Blog is, and it is, in my opinion, a ‘stand-out’ Blog, from a man of experience with the talent to express it.

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