There I am in the paper #77

If you’ve ever had an inspector of licences call to your door, this is for you. Here’s one of my pieces from my column in the Examiner.

Recently, a certain college student I know was visited by one of those most lovely of people, the television licence inspector. This student lives in a large estate, mostly inhabited by fellow students. Earlier that morning the word had gone out via social media that the inspectors were around. Doors were locked and curtains pulled but unfortunately this student’s house missed the warnings, I like to think it was because they were busy studying in the library! Whatever the reason, they opened the door and despite a rather pathetic attempt to assure the inspector they had no television; they were advised to pay up within a few weeks.

It reminded me of a time when I was younger and a lot less law-abiding than I am now. As a child, I’d say anything not to get into trouble. As a teenager, I wasn’t averse to leaving school without permission, in my twenties, I drove too fast and as a student nurse went on holiday to Cyprus with a gang of fellow nurses, six of us staying in an apartment for two.

However, there is a saying “your sin will find you out” and one day I was caught rotten.

Before the youngest arrived.

On the day in question I was minding my friend’s children as well as my own, a total ofnine under eleven years of age including my new baby.  It was lashing, so they were playing indoors, trashing every room they entered. Toys littered the floor and pop up tents made from blankets and chairs were in most rooms. It was a rather noisy household, which got a whole lot noisier when someone rang the doorbell, causing our small dog to go into Doberman mode, her ferocious bark at odds with her size, hopefully causing the culprit to regret ignoring the note begging callers not to ring it as we’d a new baby.

I’d been breast feeding my little one, so quickly buttoned up, not progressive enough to let it all hang out as I opened the door. The sudden shutting up shop sent my usual placid new born into a rage. With her wailing in my arms I opened the kitchen door the tiniest bit and did my best to squeeze out without letting the dog escape but failed miserably. She flew past, barking wildly as I roared at her while eight little ones thundered downstairs not unlike the Von Trapp family in the Sound of Music.

“Don’t open the door,” I shouted, too late as my eldest did just that. Out shot the dog, ignoring our visitor in her bid for freedom. My heart sank, knowing the only way to get her back was to pile the younger children into the car and go look for her.

“Suzy!” screamed my daughter, as we watched her disappear out the gate.

“That’s it,” I roared, “when I get her I’m driving straight to the dog and cat’s home.”

“Sorry,” said the rather traumatised man at the front door as the eight children jostled for a good view of him while the baby screamed blue murder in my arms.

“It’s okay,” I said, “I’ll go look for her in a minute.”

“Well,” he said with a hint of an apology in his voice, “I’m actually a dog warden. I’m checking if you have a licence for your dog?”

“Well, maybe I don’t have a dog anymore?” I said, looking towards the gate.

Mr inspector hesitated, and as the baby’s wails reached a new level I thought he might be having a change of heart.

“It’s okay,” said a small voice, “we have another dog out the back if you’d like to see her?”

Mr Inspector shook his head and pulled out a notebook as inside I wailed as loud as the baby.


22 thoughts on “There I am in the paper #77

  1. Kids don’t you just love them. I am recovering from foot surgery at present and my gkids have been concerned. I bought myself a knee scooter to get myself around the house and my daughter was telling her boys about it. They were concerned as I think they have issues imagining me riding any such device. “How does he stop it when he goes down a hill?” they asked their mother. Her reply was he doesn’t go down hills, or up them. Have a good day Tric.

    1. Haha. I know kids are deadly. Those knee scooter gadgets are super. I hope you’re on the road to recovery soon, just in time for the Christmas shopping.

  2. Oh you poor thing. That sounds like a nightmare of a day. We have four dogs and 5 televisions. If I lived in England, I would hide like we do on Halloween night – when all the little kiddies come begging for candy (all the lights stay off and we pretend no one is home). Of course, if I lived in England, with all of those licenses, I would probably have 1 dog and 1 television.

  3. I chuckled all the way through. You painted the picture so vividly. The idea of licensing televisions is new to me. Here in the US, you simply buy it and take it home and nobody cares, as long as you’re not stealing cable access or tapping into your neighbor’s wireless internet with a smart TV.

  4. Just like a kid! You’ve got me laughing out loud! I have some of these stories, too. I’ll have to write them up.
    I must ask about this television inspector. We don’t have that here. What do they inspect?

      1. At least i got a smiley to brighten up my night oooops sorry afternoon the weather is chronic in this sunny South East corner of the country Tric I had to put the thermal on the pen to keep the ink flowing…

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