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   Tuesday, December 21, 2004  
New Skills

At about 8:30 there was a tentative knock on the door. It was so tentative that I thought it must be Thieu doing something in the other room so I didn't get up. But Thieu opened the door and there were our neighbours - a young Japanese couple who I've never actually seen before even though they live about three metres away from us.
"We're locked ourselves out" they said, looking helplessly at Thieu.
No spare key. No idea who the agent is.
"Would you like me to call a locksmith?" I said but Thieu said "Hang on" and we walked around the back to look at the drain-pipe / open window situation. They live on the third floor and the only window that was open was the tiny one in the bathroom.

But there was a gleam in Thieu's eye. He scampered back to our place and found his rock-climbing booties. It was like watching a super-hero beginning to transform. What kind of footwear do superheroes wear? I've never really thought about it before. Are they barefooted? Do they wear boots?

So we trooped around the back. I'd called Morty who'd looked up some 24 hour locksmiths in the area (we don't have a phonebook...) but there was no stopping Thieu. He shimmied up the drainpipe effortlessly while I quietly freaked out on the ground, watching his legs dangling ten feet above me.

Five minutes later and he was in. The Japanese couple were very impressed. I was very impressed too but I tried not to show it. "They'll never leave their bathroom window open again, now they've seen you do that." I said to him as we went back inside.

Later, Thieu said "That was actually pretty fun."
"It looked fun" I said, although what I actually meant was "That looked terrifying and please never do it again."
"It was easy."
I started to become concerned.
"I mean" he said, twiddling with his sleeve, "I'd never actually steal anything, but perhaps I could just sneak in to people's places and move things around."
"No, Thieu." I said. "You can't do that."
And I confiscated the booties.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:41 AM


   Monday, December 20, 2004  

Behind us, on at table, is a middle-aged couple, probably on a first date. Divorced people; starting again. The darkness makes them look hopeful, knees pointed at each other. She's in a short, red skirt and a black top with an odd ruff type thing around the middle. In a quiet moment she starts flipping the ruff up and down. "The girl in the shop told me that this was a standing up top" she says to the guy, who had a moustache with beer foam in it. "But I'm sitting down" she said "And it seems to be ok."

At our table we're talking about frottage and how the word doesn't match the meaning.
"It sounds like an equestrian event" I say "You'd win ribbons for it, if you were good enough. You'd get up early on the day of the frottage competition and braid your horse's main. Into those tight little rosettes."
"No" says someone else, "It's more like some kind of craft activity. Something you'd need linament for."
"And raffia."
"Yes. Definitely raffia."
"Raffia is the essential craft material, isn't it?"

Out of the corner of my eye I can see the woman at the other table flipping her ruff up and down, up and down.
   posted by *mcb* at 8:05 PM


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