I think this all happened because I tried to pass off deli bought enchiladas as my own by decanting them into a corning-ware serving dish.
After the family praised my superior Mexican cooking skills, we decided to go and play with the remote controlled helicopter that Mr Woog bought back with him from his trip. So we were all outside and I was also trying to find Chuy the cat, who needs to come inside at dusk.
I couldn’t find him, and it was my turn to pilot the helicopter.
I took confident control of the controls and watched as it sailed up, up, up into the sky, over the fence and onto the neighbours roof.
“You did that on purpose!” Mr Woog hissed.
I rolled my eyes.
“Oh yes… of course I did that on purpose…. Do you think I am a complete idiot?” I told him to go and fetch the ladder and he told me to go and knock on the door of the neighbours house.
I walked past Harry, who told me that I was never to touch the helicopter again. I had to stop myself from telling them all that they were ungrateful assholes and no one had even really appreciated the enchiladas that I had slaved over.
Now, like most people, we have two sets of neighbours. One, a married couple in their 50’s who wrote the book of Yuppi-dom. The even drive little matching black BMW’s and their place is as neat as a pin.
The other neighbours are a couple in their 80’s who are seldom seen, but when it does occur, you cannot help notice that they prefer to get about with not much kit on. And it was these neighbours whose roof accommodated the helicopter.
It is also these neighbours who remind you of the haunted house neighbours who inevitably lived in the same street as you did when you were a child. You know the ones. It was the house that you always ran past in case one of them grabbed you and made you their slave.
I pushed open their rotting fence and made my way through the weeds. I was surprised to find Chuy asleep on a chair on their verandah. Back cat, haunted house, it all made sense.
I rang the doorbell.
The lady came to the door wearing a pair of shorts and an apron with strawberries on it and nothing else. I explained to her that our helicopter had landed on her roof and could we please retrieve it.
She was horrified that a helicopter had landed on her house until I motioned with my hands the size of the helicopter and then she was ok. Mr Woog went through the bushes, using his ladder as a shield against the hundreds of spiderwebs housing large, black hairy arachnids.
I thanked our neighbour and mentioned that that was indeed our cat asleep on her chair.
“I think she is one of those cats that get fed at every house.” The neighbour told me. “But we don’t feed her. Unless we have lamb chops. When we have lamb chops, we give her the bones. She really likes them.”
So there were two awkward things about this exchange. One was the cat was a boy, but I was willing to overlook that, but the other was the lamb chop bones, which I am pretty sure would kill a cat.
“Just don’t feed her,” I said “I don’t think she should eat lamb chop bones.”
“RUBBISH!” She kind of yelled at me.
By this stage Mr Woog had fetched the helicopter and had made his way back through the quagmire and had returned to the safety of our house, passing me with a little smirk on his face.
I figured my small talk time had expired, so I scooped Chuy up a millisecond before the neighbour began a long, long, long story about something to do with the days of yore.
You may or may not know, but sometimes cats get sick of being held, so after some time, Chuy started getting restless in my arms. 3 times, I attempted to orate the sentence “Well, I had better be going….” and three times I was told to shush, she just needed to finish the story.
By the time she ended her story, Chuy was doing his impression of a hula hoop dancer, claws out and ass swinging around rapidly. I was not keen to let him go, as I was not keen to spend the next hour trying to find him again. I farewelled my verbally gifted friend and slowly, as to not release my captive, opened the front gate and stepped straight out into the path of a speedy, head-phoned jogger.
Down, down, down I fell and landed surprisingly softly considering the high velocity impact the jogger delivered. He just kind of bounced off me, like a marble might project from the surface of a large beach ball.
Chuy took this opportunity the latch onto me as I fell, and I screamed as I felt his razor claws pierce my left boob and his back paws deliver a once inch gash on my right forearm.
I let go of the cat.
The jogger jumped up, told me he was sorry, which he clearly wasn’t because he kept on his merry way. It was at this time, as I got up and started inspecting all the holes in my body, teeny tiny pinpricks and one big gash, that Harry appeared again to tell me never to touch the helicopter again.
PS Chuy appeared at the back door at about 8.30pm. I could not have cared less.