This morning I got woken up by the bin men – they were very loud, and my window was open as it was slightly tropical in London last night.
Most of the rubbish in the two big wheelie bins is Lovely Housemate’s and mine as, in preparation for her departure, we have been having a bit of clearout. The ill-fated and downright-annoying pedometer/rape alarm was in today’s consignment and I was quite happy to see the back of it.
Once up, I went into the kitchen to burn my toast and make tea and was rummaging in a drawer when I came across this strange piece of black cord with a pin on the end…
A pin… a pin…
I had – 48 hours too late – discovered the silencer for the rape alarm that had almost ruined the Saturday of everyone within a 3-mile radius of my flat. Bizarrely I wondered if it was too late to catch the bin men, but what was I going to do, hurl myself into the lorry to find the bits of the offending noise-maker? Not very dignified and I would probably end up a bit smelly.
To be honest, I am not sure carrying a rape alarm is a good idea for me as if it was in my bag and there was other noise going on I am not convinced I would hear it going off. Actually I have to confess, I am actually speaking from *blush personal experience.
When I first moved to London, my Ma bought me a black rape alarm to keep in my bag, which was lovely of her. And, keep it in my bag I did. Then one day I thought I was having one of those self-conscious episodes where everyone seemed to be staring at me, so I checked my pants were not showing, concealer was rubbed in and hair was in place – and it all was so I decided I was being paranoid.
Once at work I was aware of an unrest in the office but as I don’t hear general chatter I didn’t take much notice. Until Boss-At-That-Time suddenly said to me, ‘WHAT IS THAT NOISE?’
‘What noise?’ I replied, wondering what she was on about.
‘It’s sort of going nnnneeeeeergh, neeeeerrgh,’ she replied.
Like a dog with a bone she combed the area until she was finally holding my handbag aloft as the offending item. So I went through it until I finally found my rape alarm, pin missing. Luckily on this occasion, the pin was also in my bag and the two were reunited and silent again.
But, the fact that it was going nnnneeeeeergh, neeeeerrgh would imply it had been going for quite some time and the batteries were going flat. This meant that there was a distinct possibility that I had gone all the way to work with a people deterrent in my handbag – no wonder I had sat alone on the bus and people had been staring. But why hadn’t anyone told me?
I never understand this in London – no one communicates. The other day my bus terminated and I only knew from the flashing lights on the upper deck but the tourists did not. Everyone filed past them and not one person told them… so I did. It took 30 seconds of my time…
So please, if you ever see me walking down the street, my bag emitting a high-pitched screech or some other random sound, tap me on the shoulder and help me track down the offending item – you will make my day!