Continued from Saturday

I open the window fully and look down into the front garden.

“Do you fancy a game of darts?” asks Short Tony in a little drunk voice, peering up at me in the darkness. Behind him, Big A sways around in a sheepish fashion.

I boggle at them.

“No, I don’t want a game of fucking darts,” I explain.

“Go on, go on, go on. Come and have a game of darts.”

I reiterate my opposition, close the window and pull the curtains firmly. But no sooner have I surrendered myself to the duvet’s Kirstiesque embrace than more gravel clatters against the pane.

“Do you fancy a game of darts?” asks Short Tony. I throw pint mug of water out of the window, and my neighbours leap out of the way. Once more I slam the window and return to bed.

This happens again. We settle into a routine. There is a stand off, before he appears to retreat.

Peace descends upon the village as the early hours approach.

“Psssst!!! Do you fancy a game of darts???”

Disorientated, it takes me a minute to identify the source of noise. “Do you fancy a game of darts???”.

I leap out of bed and stride towards the voice. Short Tony’s face is pressed against the window of the spare bedroom and he is scrabbling at the open window. Seeing as this is on the first floor, this is an unexpected turn of events.

“Will you get off my fucking roof?” I shout at him.

“Yes, but do you fancy a game of darts?”

I reach for the nearest poky thing to hand, which happens to be a microphone stand, and jab at him out of the window, trying to make him go away. But he grabs my weapon and throws it down onto the shingle below. I then snatch some used pants from the washing basket below the window, and hurl them at him, but even this does not divert him from his manic purpose.

“Just get off the roof, or I will shoot you.”

“Go on. Have a game of darts!”

“I’ll shoot you. I will shoot you.”

“Come and play darts!!!”

I pull the window shut and charge downstairs for my gun.

At this stage I should point out that, contrary to some popular perception, we in Norfolk are not all trigger-happy maniacs looking to shoot people at the first opportunity. In fact shooting someone would be almost a last resort, before calling the police, as we are generally peaceful folk. But in my situation, with a hopelessly drunk next-door neighbour on my roof insisting that I play darts with him, I feel that no jury in the land would convict.

Plus I leave it unloaded.

I stomp back upstairs, by now extremely cross. I had virtuously left the pub early for an early night, and here I am, messing around in the dead of night in my pants, Short Tony camping on my roof, insisting that I play darts.

Something leaps on me.

“Arrrghhhhhhhh!!!” it shouts.

“Hfffftttttttppppp!!!” I reply in terror.

Short Tony stands before me. In my bedroom. He has broken into my bedroom in order to ask me to play darts. I look up at him – a first – from two stairs down, alternately flabbergasted and defeated.

“Are you sure you don’t want to play darts?” he asks.