London Stabbie’s Wednesday Follies

Yesterday Stabbie needed to take an Underground journey to Kenton, which is at the other end of the Bakerloo Line. Now Stabbie is a great believer in classless travel, and the days of 1st and 2nd class travel on the Tube are long gone. When a rather tall hunky bear got on and sat next to Stabbie, he was quite pleased, until he drew a breath. Mr. Tall Hunky Bear seems to have been in a pub only a few moments before boarding. And, in the interval between pub and Tube, he had been smoking. And, third but not least, he may have had difficulty in showering that morning. The odour was, well, overpowering. Stabbie being a very lucky guy, Mr. Tall Hunky Bear remained on the Tube and got off at Stabbie’s stop. Stabbie could, at last, draw an easy breath. What Stabbie would really have wanted to do is cut off this gentleman’s clothing and then puncture a very large balloon filled with warm water above him. Repeat until clean.

In the last two days Stabbie’s neighbours have been doing some remodelling. Stabbie does not believe this is sanctioned by his landlord, which is a Housing Association. They first moved all of their furniture into their back garden, and also discarded so much material that the trash area was inundated. They then tore up their carpets, and started drilling and hammering. This has not improved Stabbie’s days. The trash was collected on Monday, and by Tuesday evening the bins and the trash area were awash again. Some of the trash is hazardous material such as paint cans.

Now these neighbours have only once before been a nuisance (the loud 3AM party around 5 or 6 years ago was not pleasant), and Stabbie is sure that the banging, hammering, and drilling will stop soon. Stabbie would like to help that process along—he thinks that perhaps taking his stiletto and perforating the wooden floor might help a bit. Perforating the workmen might be a bit much, but he’d consider it.

This morning Stabbie was sleeping relatively peacefully when the fire alarm went off at 3:30 am. There was no fire in Stabbie’s flat, so since Stabbie is the only person in the block who knows how to reset the alarm he went into the hallway to do that. The display said that the alarm was caused by something in a flat above ours. Stabbie shut off and reset the alarm, and tried to go back to sleep. No dice.

Stabbie takes medication that ensures restless sleep and vivid dreams. So being awakened at 3:30 am can mean not falling asleep again for a couple of hours.

Now Stabbie realises that fire alarms are necessary. Stabbie realises that cooking is necessary. Stabbie even realises that cooking at 3:30 am in a flat where the occupant has nailed the windows shut and kept the heat on could be necessary. But Stabbie thinks that cooking things that smoke at 3:30 am is probably not a good activity. Stabbie would like to forestall the necessity of being awakened at that hour, so perhaps somewhat forecefully encouraging his neighbour on the third floor to eat a raw meal at 3:30 am would help.

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