I was 21 when I got my first rental home, an apartment in a council flat. Previously these apartments existed of 4 rooms but they divided them in 2 apartments for starters and single people. So it happened that I lived at number 337a and my neighbour at 337.
My neighbour was called Harry around 40 and a notorious drunk. The first time we met he was lying in front of his door , completely drunk, while I was stepping over him with my groceries. Good evening neighbour I said when I passed him.
Harry wasn’t a bad guy, he wasn’t loud or obnoxious. He was just a drunk. The unfortunate thing was that Harry lived at 337 and I at 337a and Harry and I shared a similar sounding last name.
Harry also borrowed money from his drinking buddies to be able to finance his drinking habit. And when his friends paid him a visit to get their money back they always ended up at my door by mistake in the middle of the night.
Another bad habit that Harry had was falling asleep at times you really shouldn’t. Like when you start making dinner. One night I was watching TV and noticed it was getting pretty misty in my living room. I suspected that Harry was the culprit, so I ran next door and looked through the glass of his kitchen window and indeed there I saw his pan with potatoes on the gas on fire.
So I rang his bell and knocked on his door to try to wake him up and after 5 minutes Harry opened his door being totally oblivious about the danger he was in.
This happened a second time, only this time I couldn’t wake him. Fearing for his live I called the police and when they arrived they couldn’t wake Harry either.
The officer asked his superior if he was allowed to use procedure 47, procedure 47? I asked , what’s that?
The officer pointed at his shoe, It’s my shoe size and kicked in the door.
The two officers stormed in to the kitchen , turned of the gas and rushed out again throwing up because of the smoke.
We all thought Harry had kicked the bucket so you can imagine our surprise when Harry turned up half awake in the door opening asking if anything was wrong.