Anyway, he parked it, and went back into the house.
As I walked past the house, the vacuum cleaner, which was on tiny wheels, began to take on a life of its own, as though it had waited all this time for freedom, and made its way down the path which had a slight incline. It started slowly and picked up speed. I swear it took a sneaky look behind it, like a wayward child would.
What would you have done if you'd seen this happening?
I stood there watching it.
It was halfway down the path when the man came back out, saw what was happening, raced down and grabbed it before it got on a bus to Stratford and had a day out or left the country for a new life in Bolivia.
The man looked my way, but pretended not to see me. He looked sheepish, as though it were a matter for shame, having lost control of a household implement.
Likewise, I pretended I had seen nothing, and walked on, eyes straight ahead.
This 'pretending not to see' ... is it a British thing? If I were an Italian or an Iraqi, would I have bolted across to rescue the vacuum cleaner? Or yelled 'Hey! Your vacuum cleaner is running away!' so that the man would run back out to see what was happening?
Perhaps my reaction was based on political correctness. You know how it's not the done thing now to intervene if you see someone else's child misbehaving? Gone are the days when you could clip someone else's child around the ear for scrumping your apples, or drag him back to his mum's house when you'd caught him riding his bike in the middle of the road. You'd find yourself in court.
So, if it had been the man's teenager outside the house, dropping litter on the drive or screeching swearwords at a neighbour, would I have said anything? We don't like to embarrass a fellow human now. We avoid the suggestion that they're the worst example of parenting since Lady Macbeth who would have, had she broken a promise like Macbeth did, plucked her nipple from her baby's boneless gums and dashed its brains out.
Don't hold back, Lady M. Say how you feel.
|Henry had been planning this for years. All he needed was that open door and a driveway with a slope.|
Other things I pretend not to see.
Basil in between people's teeth.
Dresses accidentally tucked into knickers.
Lunch leftovers on someone's jumper.
I would definitely pretend not to see these things.
Basil tucked into people's knickers.
Knickers in between people's teeth.
Lunch leftovers in people's knickers.
Knickers tucked into Basil's lunch.
Leftover teeth in someone's knickers.
If you'd seen the escapee Hoover, what would you have done?