Actually since I wrote that last bit I’ve discovered that it’s not a proper tattoo, just a very good imitation in dark blue felt tip. It was an April fool – Fred doesn’t confine his April Fools to the first of April, they go on all the year round.
He really dropped me in it last week, though. I’ve got this new babysitting job in a v. posh street called Charleston Avenue. The street is lined with huge shady trees and every house is a kind of mansion down a drive.
The people who asked me to babysit are friends of Flora’s mum. Flora’s already got a babysitting job so she couldn’t take this one on. Her parents only allow her one babysitting job! My Dad would cheerfully send me out to slave away over a hot baby seven nights a week, and rake in the muns!!!
Anyway, the mum and dad are called Brain and Sheila, but that’s not their fault. They’re quite nice actually, and they always leave me a nice little snack which includes top-notch crisps and some lovely freshly-squeezed orange juice. And they don’t mind if Fred comes round and shares the chores.
The baby is a dear little girl called Hannah, and she’s always asleep by the time I arrive, and she never wakes up (or she hasn’t so far) so the babysitting side of it’s a breeze.
It’s the noises. Of course, when Fred’s there with me I don’t even notice the noises, but last week he chickened out because he had some rubbish event – a chess match or something – so I found myself alone at 66 Charleston Avenue. 66! Almost the devil’s number!
Once I’d eaten the crisps (as loudly as possible) I turned the TV up so it was roaring , and settled down to a bit of ‘homework’. (Checking out the latest spring togs in an orgy of online window-shopping).
Eventually all the freshly squeezed orange juice did its evil work and I had to go to the loo, and of course it was quieter in there, so quiet, in fact, that I could hear the unmistakable sound of heavy breathing out on the landing!
I flew from the loo and locked the door. Well, you don’t bother when you’re Home Alone, do you? Then what? I looked out of the window and realized it was far too far to jump.
Babes, I did the only sensible thing. I stayed locked in that blasted bathroom for two hours – and there were no magazines, plus I’d left my moby downstairs, so all I could do to pass the time was squeeze my spots until Brian and Sheila came home. Then I had to pretend I’d only just gone upstairs to the bathroom.
‘By the way,’ I said breezily, ‘what’s that sound a bit like heavy breathing?’
‘Oh, it’s the central heating,’ said Sheila with a cheery laugh. ‘Sounds quite scary sometimes, doesn’t it? I hope you weren’t too terrified!’
‘Oh gosh, no!’ I quipped. ‘It’d take a lot more than a noisy central heating system to scare the living daylights out of me!’
I am wearing black lace gloves all the time, now, to help me grow my fingernails back. And as soon as they’ve grown I’m going to use them to carve my name with pride on Fred’s forearm, as a punishment for leaving me on my own in the House of Horror.
You can keep babysitting. I’m sticking to washing cars from now on.