Thursday, November 26, 2009

Next Door's Parcel

The front doorbell rang, just thirty seconds after Gail Tilsley's, and this confused me. Gail Tilsley, who is a fictional character in Coronation Street, has exactly the same doorbell as I have. So I was catching up on the programme whilst having my lunch and first of all Gail had a visitor, and then I did.

"Could you take in this parcel for next door please?"

It was jolly cold standing in the doorway and anyway I was more interested in what the murderous Tony was getting up to in Weatherfield, so I tried to take the parcel from Parcel Man, saying "Yes," in an absent-minded way.

But oh no. He had one of these little machines with buttons.

"So what's your name please?"

I gave it. He typed in every letter wrong. Some were just typos and some were spelling mistakes.

I went through it slowly as he tapped every letter with his Small Prodding Stick. Still wrong. It was very cold on the doorstep. I considered changing my name by deed poll to Fxoprq which was the name that he'd just typed on the pad.

"And this house is number 58, isn't it?"

"No, it isn't." I gave the correct number.

"Are you sure?"

I considered saying "OMG! My parents bought this house in 1959 and perhaps we've been calling it by the wrong number EVER SINCE." But it was really extremely cold on the doorstep so I just said meekly, "Yes."

"And this street's Roundhay Gardens?"

I was losing the will to live. Perhaps it was the beginnings of hypothermia.

Roundhay Gardens? No, our street's far harder to spell than that. Lots of tricky consonants in the middle. He started typing into his little machine. The Northern Lights flashed in the sky. I thought I glimpsed a polar bear coming up the path behind him.

"And your postcode please?"

I toyed with the idea of shouting "Get Stuffed!" and slamming the door but I'm far too polite. So I just stood there and told him. I could feel several toes fall off and rattle around in my slippers.

"I'll put a card through to next door to say it's here."

Yes, because they'll have to collect the parcel. Because I'm never, never going to take it round there, particularly since these are the lot who insist on singing My Way in the garden at two in the morning on summer weekends.

If he calls again with a parcel for any of our neighbours, I'm going to say, "I'm really sorry but I can't. I'm not qualified to handle parcels. Health and Safety, you know."

And then I'm going to close the door.


Blogger Jennytc said...

I sympathise, Daphne. Our neighbours, both of whom are out all day, every day, seem to be doing the whole of their Christmas shopping online this year. Not that I mind taking their parcels in as they are quite nice and don't sing anything in the garden in the summer, especially not at 2 in the morning. ;)

4:02 pm  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

your post made me chuckle. I can never see what I am doing when you have to sign those little machines writng with a stylus..

I am very grateful when neighbours take my parcels in. I hope yours are too.

Hopeyou warmed up OK

4:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful service all round. One of our postmen has already written the 'you weren't in card' before he gets to our front door. He then puts the card through our letterbox without even trying the bell. Each day we leap to the front door as soon as we here the flap just in case there is one of these cards amongst the post. If we're lucky he will still be in sight when we open the front door. Often he is over the horizon. Harumph!

And he drives his van round peering over the top of his reading glasses... perhaps this is what they mean by 'new working practices'.


10:50 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Never give access to a man with a Small Prodding Stick. Clearly, he was not from Yorkshire where all men are blessed with ginormous Prodding Sticks.

12:14 am  

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