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I don’t know when it happened, but pretty much everybody I know now looks at the door funny when the bell rings.

I suppose it’s because people send a text now, when they’re on their way, so that the ringing of the bell, in itself quickly becoming an antique, doesn’t scare the bejesus out of anybody.

And I remember, too, when I was younger, and living in Canada, that nobody ever used the doorbell. Too formal. If you know the people inside the house, then you just let yourself in. And possibly put the kettle on or get a drink and put the TV on to wait for whoever it was that you came to see to get back from wherever it was they were. Maybe that was only our house though.

In true Canadian style, we never locked the doors. I don’t think this was so much because we didn’t think anybody would come in, but rather because we expected somebody to need to do so, and a time that would probably be inconvenient. The Mom, not keen on getting up in the night to let whatever drunken or otherwise to the wind friend of ours in because said friend probably could not go to his or her house in that state and knew The Mom’s house to be sort of like Switzerland, but in the suburbs of Canada. So no locked doors. Which was also handy for me because I never had a key. Still don’t. But I can break into that place in no time flat. If somebody remembers to lock the door, of course.

We often go over to the pool, of a summer’s afternoon, and we don’t take keys with us, because we haven’t locked the door. We don’t even close all the firm doors, instead deciding that the screen door will keep the pets inside and if anybody else turns up that they don’t like, well,  they’ll sort it out amongst themselves.

The flaw in this logic was displayed in epic force one summer when dearly departed Elvis was left in the house so the rest of us could go to the annual Summer Fun Fair. We were happily playing around with our neighbours, and I was enjoying my first ever go on a bouncy castle, when we heard the all too familiar bark of the coonhound. We turned around and there Elvis was. Trying to steal the cupcake right out of my hand. How he knew we were at the pool, I’ll never know, though, perhaps he didn’t. Maybe he just smelled the pizza and cakes and decided he ought to go and have a look.

When I’m at home and the phone or the door rings, I’ll look in the direction of the noise and think to myself, that is odd. Why would someone do that? Because if you are welcome in The Mom’s house you just walk in. So I think if somebody is strange enough to ring the bell then I probably don’t know them and likely don’t want to. I ignore it. Same with the phone. Everybody, here and in Canada, knows to email me because I dislike the phone intensely.

I had a writing teacher once, who used to have to accept deliveries and she found that it really ruined her flow. So she put a box outside her house and a note for the deliveryman that said put the parcel here. And if it needed a signature? She’d thought of that as well. She signed a bunch of labels that could be stuck onto whatever paper work was needed. Perhaps that’s what The Mom ought to do. Or, Crazy D and L’il Sis could do what I do when I need to have something delivered during the day: send it to my office.

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