I hated it when I was shaken awake by my partner for what was always a nothing reason.
‘Aliens Aliens,’ he was shouting, jumping up and down beside my bed pointing to the chimney.
‘They’re coming down the chimney,’ he screamed at me.
I managed to raise one eye, I was a confirmed insomniac and the fact that I was asleep didn’t improve my enthusiasm for the news he was imparting.
Over by the chimney I could see the dust accumulating on the floor, as there was obviously some activity occurring up the chimney.
We both stared in amazement in the direction of the chimney, the dust now coming in clouds and the thought that the vitiating effect on my newly washed carpets did nothing to brighten my morning.
Though in the back of my mind I could see that the vacuum would be in use before long to clear away the vitiation as I hoped that it was just dust not the possibility of some dark and ugly stain that would leave a lasting reminder of this mornings events.
My partner JL was a man of limited ability. Short when he stood and shorter when he sat. Excitable and a man whose previous life experience working in Dorahy’s Butchery had equipped him well and truly in the finesses of cutting a decent steak. You never knocked back one of JL’s steaks; he knew what he was cutting when it came to steaks.
But as the cloud of dust increased I could see the strain beginning to show on his sweaty brow. JL sweated easily, he was the only man I knew who could stand in a snowstorm and come in covered in perspiration.
By now the dust was accompanied by a low vibration, it too was coming from the chimney I felt it was time to diffuse the situation or JL would become uncontrollably hysterical.
To see JL hysterical was not a pretty sight. I already knew any sort of vibration would set him off.
In my mind I had to both diffuse what might be a tricky situation and construct a defence should in fact the cause of the dust and the vibration be some alien power making its way down the chimney.
My attention was suddenly drawn to the familiar voice I had heard so often. The waspish tones I knew so well.
This was no alien invasion but rather my somewhat misguided co helper, the one who called herself Super Alkaline Girl, the perfect party to neutralise any dodgy situation.
Suddenly there she was standing before us, bedraggled, covered from head to tow with soot, her eyes beaming and grin from ear to ear. Then from out of the soot-covered mouth came a voice several octaves higher than it should, thus being a potentially serious health hazard.
‘Sorry,’ she said, ‘I was going for the dramatic entry. You know like a true superhero.’
‘You’ve got a ways to go,’ I said. ‘JL get the vacuum, and you Super Alkaline Girl, go in the shower, I’m going back to bed.’
JL slouched off mumbling as he went about all the fuss when the front door was in perfect opening order.