Last night just after 8. I managed to catch the 5.52 from W Sussex so had gotten home at a decent time. The buzzer.
"Hello ma'am. I have a letter for you"
Check time again.
"Can you put it through the mailbox and I will pick it up later?"
"No, I need a signature. If not, I would have done this hours ago"
"I will be right down"
He must be a burglar. Do burglars ring the bell? Maybe. Maybe I will open the door a crack and see. What if this guy has a gun or knife or something? Enough paranoia. Go down. Open door.
"Here is your letter ma'am. It says you have not paid your TV license"
"Are you the TV license inspector? I have never met one"
"Yes, so you need to pay your license fees within..."
"But I don't have a TV"
"You don't have a TV?"
"Are you sure?"
"I think so"
"Can I come and check?"
Narrowed eyes. "Yes"
Should I say that I can't let anyone in when partner is not around? Cultural exception. This guy doesn't look like the sort who would buy it.
"Can I see your ID?"
"Sure" Man pulls out ID and hands it to me.
"You are really a TV license inspector!"
"That's what I said ma'am"
"Come on in"
He follows me up the (spiral) stairs.
"These stairs are dangerous. Do you go up and down every day?"
"Don't have a choice. But you get used to it. Here we are"
"I am going to go here and check..."
"That's the kitchen"
"Many people hide TVs in the kitchen"
"Why would I hide my non-existent TV?"
"The detector did not detect anything"
Living room next. Nothing.
"Can I go here?"
Man goes into bedroom. Kneels down and points detector device under the bed.
"Since I did not know you were coming, I wouldn't have hidden it even if I had one"
"You took your time coming down"
"Fair enough. There's a room upstairs. You might want to go up and check"
"Another spiral staircase!"
"Yeah. Sorry about that"
Man goes up and comes back in a second.
"You really don't have a TV"
"I told you that"
"People say that all the time"
"How many times have people told you the truth"
"In my five years in this job, thrice. Including you"
"Ah. That's the first time anyone associated me with being truthful!"
"When did you move here?"
"A couple of months ago"
"How long do you intend to stay here?"
"End of this year for sure"
"Do you intend to buy a TV?"
"You are really not intending to buy a TV?"
"We don't watch it"
"What do you do then?"
"Why are you asking me all these questions?"
"The other two people who did not have TVs were crazy. You look like you are fine, even seem to have a proper job"
How does he know I have a proper job? Is he stalking me? He is not a TV inspector after all. No, no, chill, I am still wearing my suit.
"I am very much fine, thank you"
"We might come up again in a couple of months to check"
"You are welcome"
I let him out of the flat and close the door when I hear the sound. Man promptly fell down stairs on his way down. I open my door.
"Tell whoever is coming up next to watch out for the stairs"
In totally unrelated news, I was just chatting with the Don and he was telling me that yesterday they announced the MP candidate for Thiruvanthapuram. It's a Sonia boy - name is Shashi Tharoor. People are apparently scratching heads and wondering WTF is going on. (Hey Feanor - Looks like now is the time. Before those papers come through, go file your nomination)