Little Caligula is becoming quite adept with his throwing knives. I’d been dodging them all day until the doorbell pealed.
I raced Click for the door and won by a whisker. He insists on trying to answer it but he looks a bit odd and it scares people. As a result, the man at the door wasn’t scared. Just a little taken aback. I wondered why for a moment, then realised I still had my lab coat on. The fingers poking out of the top pocket might have given my visitor a moment’s pause.
I tilted my head to one side as a knife thudded into the doorframe beside me.
“Can I help you?” I used my least hoarse voice in the hope of calming this evidently nervy individual.
“Uh…” He cleared his throat and tried again. “TV licensing. Our records show you don’t have one.”
Another one, I thought. There seems to be an endless supply of these people. “I didn’t know you kept records of that,” I said. “No. I don’t have one.”
“You have to have one.” The man puffed himself up. Clearly his confidence had returned. “It’s the law.”
“Is it? Why?” I stifled a grimace as a knife pinned my hand to the door.
“It’s illegal to watch TV without a licence.” The man’s confidence swelled.
“But your records show I don’t have one,” I said through gritted teeth. Another knife hit the door, fortunately between my fingers.
“That’s right. You have to have a licence.”
“For your TV.” His confidence wavered and he looked confused for a moment.
“I don’t have a TV. You said your records showed that.” Really, this conversation was becoming repetitive and I would need to staunch the bleeding soon.
He closed his eyes and opened them again. “That’s… almost… what they all say. If you have no TV you won’t mind me coming in to check, will you?”
About time, I thought. “Certainly. Help yourself,” I said and moved back to let the door swing open, with my hand still fixed to it. It didn’t seem a good idea to slam it behind him so I just pointed along the corridor and let him make his own way.
His screams echoed through the castle just as I pulled the knife free from my hand. The damage wasn’t too extensive and would soon grow back. Besides, I took comfort in the knowledge that I would now have a peaceful evening.
Caligula always sleeps well after a good feed.