So there I am, at home, watching the Blonde Baby Bombshell ‘explore the texture of food’, when the front door bell rings. I ignore it, which might seem like an odd choice to less reclusive readers, but here are my excuses: the child is covered in food and if I pick him up to get to the door quickly then I too will be covered in food; and 99% of unexpected callers to my door are selling mops. I don’t need a mop. So I ignore the door.
The bell rings again. Now I really don’t answer the door because suddenly they are hassling me and I am stubborn. So I stay put. And then something very alarming happens. I hear a sound exactly like the front door being opened and a person walking in. Hmm, what to do, I think to myself.
Of course, I didn’t think that at all – I actually thought seven kinds of swear words and got a massive fight-or-flight burst of adrenaline. I decided that, on my own with two kids in a rather remote house, fight was the best option. So I dashed down the stairs to confront the intruder, assuming (hoping?) that the opportunist would be shocked that someone could be so anti-social as to ignore a caller who rings twice.
Down the stairs I thunder, and if sheer outrage is any kind of deterrent to a burglar / rapist / kidnapper, then mine would be truly cowed – for I am cross. The front door swings open… and a bunch of roses appears. The intruder is a lady from Interflora who has decided to break-and-enter rather than surrender a spray of seasonal blooms to the winter weather.
What kind of country is this, where delivery people will just let themselves into someone’s home? I know Switzerland is supposed to be safe, but this is ridiculous. For a start, it suggests that a significant proportion of people leave their front doors unlocked when they go out.
Then there’s the whole dog thing – I have a 30kg slavering boxer dog who was making his presence known behind the door. Now we all know that the dog is getting on a bit, very arthritic, and prone to random acts of cowardice, but to a total stranger who is ringing the doorbell and clutching flowers, he looks and sounds exactly like a 30kg slavering boxer dog. At best, there is the clear and present danger of slipping over on that much drool. Do Swiss delivery people truly have no angst?
And there are other reasons to be fearful. I thought the Swiss were supposed to have a gun under every bed? Isn’t it feasible that some short-sighted, paranoid old crone could be hunkered on the stairs with a shotgun – or do they assume that people like that are unlikely to be on the receiving end of Interflora?
The whole incident strikes me as distinctly Swiss. In the UK, we’d be too scared of causing a scene. In the US, we’d be too scared of being shot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that crime is so low the supermarket delivery service just leave my shopping outside the door if I’m out – but I’m dreading the day I come home to find they’ve put it away in the fridge, done the washing up and left me a cup of tea on the draining board.