Location: marengo, il, United States

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Carpet as a Rorschach Test

Some days I wonder if being homeless and a drug addict would be any improvement.


Of course, that made Buddy start barking. How can anyone nap around here?


Whoever invented doorbells should be wired to one.


“Hello. Can I help you?”

(followed by)

“Sorry, but I can’t open the door (a head pokes at a one-inch gap with its nose) or the dog might get out.”


“Is David home? I need to see him.”

Now that’s a curious survey you doing, lady with a clipboard.

“No he isn’t. Why?”

“Then is his mother home?”

“No. She’s gone too. What you need?”

“I am with DCFS. We received a report about David, so I need to ask a few questions.”

Mindless stare. Has Big Brother arrived?

“May I come in?”

The dog stays back and waits, which is surprising. I open the door.

“Pardon the mess.”

A pair of pants and a towel get moved from the recliner to the couch.

“Here. Have a seat.”

Excuse the mess. People always say that. A house could be as shiny as a brand-new dime, yet someone in charge will not only say the phrase, they will sincerely mean it. I eye the carpet on the way.

She settles into the cleared chair. I sit facing her from the couch, towel and pants at my side. Her pencil hovers at the ready.

“Now what is your report about?”

“Someone called who is concerned that David is not being fed properly.”

“What? Who in the world said that?”

“We are not allowed to say. But before we get started, I need to know who exactly you are.”


“I am the boy’s father.”

Surprise; eyes to clip board.

“Hmm. There is no mention of your name on here anywhere.”

What can I say, lady?

“So what questions did you want to ask?”

“How often is he fed? Let’s start with that. Breakfast? Lunch? Supper?”

Did he walk the dog while not wearing his shirt? Some nosy neighbor saw him through their blinds?

I nod to all three.

“Do you have a working smoke alarm?”

If that thing starts beeping now, I am sunk.

I nod hopefully, saying yes.

“Do you keep weapons anywhere in the house?”

My tongue. A drawer full of sharp knives. Bleach. Ammonia. The coffee-maker. Rocks lining the flower bed outside.

“Just a computer.”

She did not stay long (after seeing all the food in the house).


Blogger sweetpea said...

Don't ya just hate nosey folks ? the way.......I never say don't mind the mess,if they don't like my house...they can go home....door swings 2

10:54 PM  
Blogger The Fractal Cat said...

By a simple twist of fate, I was in the Post Room earlier this week talking to Andy who had mentioned cold telephone calls from canvassers and he also mentioned people knocking on his front door at all hours trying to sell whatever they happen to be offering...
I ventured that they should have the dogs set on them when David came in and said it was easy to stop them. Upon enquiring how, he said simply - Give 'em a biff on the nose!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

What the world desperately needs is more Sweetpeas and Fractal Cats.
And Davids, too.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

It could do with a few more Harrys, too. :)

11:53 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Stop scaring the littlies, Gone :))

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Ned said...

I don't think it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a bureaucracy to interfere constantly and make sure they hassle the harmless people while completely missing dire situations.

I never say "don't mind the mess" either. I just get a shovel and clear a path to the couch.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Snow shovels are v. efficient, Ned.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Janus Torrell said...

Well glad it worked out, the closest thing we had happen was when my 3 year old niece called 9-1-1 and the police had to check it out and ask a million questions to make sure we didn't have a guy held hostage in our basement.

They should know that we have an attic for that!

6:15 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

That is too funny, Janus. Altho, at the time...yeek!

My bro-in-law was at Spring Hill Mall, looking at a large collection of doll-houses on display. One of his daughters (7 or 8 at the time) pointed to a miniature door under a tiny stairwell while blurting out for the surrounding crowd to hear, "This is where we hide when the police come."

5:36 PM  
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4:43 PM  

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