“The Incident – we shall not discuss this again!” 1978
When l used to live at home, my Father the strict and rigidly fixed security minded man that he was used to insist on a nightly routine of testing all the doors and windows in the house before he retired to bed for the night. It was a very specific pattern.
Our house was on three levels – the lower level was the loungeroom and porch way with front door, some stairs led up to a landing which was the second level of the house but also had stairs that led to the third floor of the house where the second bathroom and toilet were and all the bedrooms, whilst the second level led through to the dining room, the kitchen and the office and utility room with all the washing machines were adjacent to the second bathroom of the house.
His security walk for the last thing at night was the following:
1] Check front door
2] Check sliding doors in lounge
3] Check utility room windows and office windows
4] Check rear door in kitchen
5] Check ”’bay window”’ rear doors in the dining room.
The rest of the checklist is irrelevant however and l hope the reader noted the inverted ‘bay window’ rear door part of number 5.
You see these doors led out to the back garden patio, they were inset a hollw and so the windows themselves were about 12″ away from the fall of the curtains there which were heavy fabric curtains … yes, you are getting there before me, mawahahaha!
My Dad is/was ex military or rather ex RAAF, he was a high ranker in military police so he was tough, or so l thought [any errors or typos from this point are on account of me laughing] and he was always so righteous in his remarks to people about how ‘nothing’ NOTHING shook him!!!
I tend to disagree with that these days as much as l did perhaps 2 minutes after The Incident!
As was customary, my Father would snake his hand through the curtains and play with the handle, twist it this way, that way and then there was the usual comment of ‘Secure!” and he would walk off.
That night, he assumed l had gone to bed already, and it was around 11pm, and so he started his ritual, so l hid behind the curtains around five minutes before he was due to check everything – again as was part and parcel of the routine, all the lights were off. Soon enough l heard the ‘Master’ enter the dining room, heard him saunter off to the office, then walk past and head into the kitchen, and then finally back out.
I hear him talking to himself, he was having a conversation with my Mother which was funny by itself listening to him talking to her and answering in her voice, so l was trying not to burst out into fits, but KNEW he was completely preoccupied!!
Then, the magic happened – his hand snaked through made contact with the handle and the twisting began, l could see his forearm and knew my moment was now!
“You have been chosen!!” I whispered gruffly or as close to a demon as l could muster and gripped his arm!!
Sorry l need to take a moment …..
What can l say, but l think most people would have reacted exactly the same way as he did, l would have and probably you too, so he didn’t disappoint!
But he screamed and screamed and l reckon his feet left the ground, he jumped so high, he stumbled back into the dining room table, l heard the chairs scatter, and he was ‘Whooce there??” he squealed, “What do you want of me??”
Well l couldn’t keep it together, and fell around laughing so much that l spilled out onto the floor outside the curtains with tears streaming down my cheeks, my ribs were hurting and l was struggling for breath.
Dad just looked at me, his eyes flaring, he was bright red, l could feel his heat in the dark ...”That was you was it?? pretending to be l don’t know what?? Well l wasn’t scared, l knew you were there!”
“Uh huh, how’s that working for you and your squealy voice then Dad ‘it wasn’t me, l am not scared!!” I said in a high pitch voice.
“Ok, ok fair cop, however we will not discuss this incident again … ever!”
“Sure Dad, you can trust me, l will never tell another living soul, promise!” My fingers were crossed behind my back.
Anyways, who am l going to tell about something that happened 40 years ago today?
Ooh yes, to you all here reading, mm, okay, all together now “Ssshhh it’s our little secret!”