“Hi, Bruce!” a voice called out as I walked towards my car this evening reading my kindle. I just about shat myself.
Where the hell did that come from? I thought, clutching my ebook to my chest like a granny’s handbag.
“Hello, whoever you are!” I called back, because some people consider ‘Don’t sneak up on people in the dark, you prat!’ rude. Fortunately, it turned out it was my mate from the chemist up the road, who had every intention of letting me drive away with my wallet and watch, so that was okay.
Unfortunately, if it was a mugger, I wouldn’t know they were there until they were on me.
I remember when I was at boarding school and a few of us snuck down to the woods to play, essentially, hide and seek. Oh, sure, we called it something cool, like Commando Black Ops, but any three year old could have joined in without us having to explain the rules.
The young fourteen year old me weaved my way between the trees until I found what I thought was the perfect hiding spot – a scrub. I squatted and waited for them to not find me.
“Bang, bang, you’re dead, Bruce,” someone somewhere called out. Game over.
Here’s the thing – I realize now what I thought was a fantastic spot because I couldn’t see anything around me was, in fact, perfectly visible to everyone else. The shrub was in the middle of a small clearing, for Pete’s sake. But I didn’t know this until a few months later when I went there during the day.
And I didn’t work out until many years later, compared to every other bugger on this planet, I have no night vision. Nothing. Naught. Nada. When the lights go out it’s like I’m in a cave with patches over both eyes.
This is, naturally, of enormous comedic value for my wife. One of her favourite games is to set up an obstacle course between the light switch and my side of the bed.
As I stub my toes on a shoe or whack a shin on a wicker basket Tracey’s response is always the same.
“Hahahahahahaha,” she’ll coo sweetly. If I actually crash to my knees and cuss I can usually elicit a snort.
So tonight, after being verbally accosted by a ninja in the car park, I arrived home feeling a little out of sorts. Parking the car I reached over and grabbed my kindle, undid my seat belt and stepped out of the car.
Something crunched beneath my feet.
“Bloody kids,” I mumbled, wondering why their toys were in the carport, and headed upstairs.
After throwing around kisses and cuddles I set about my usual after work routine – I picked up my ebook and reached for my glasses.
They weren’t there, of course. They were in the carport. In pieces.
So now it seems I not only can’t see at night, I can’t see in the daytime either.
Tracey’s gonna love that.