Janet Christie: A nutter with a slingshot

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JANET CHRISTIE

“Wow,” they say. BoyF arrives in the doorway too.

“Why didn’t you say someone had shot at the window?” he says. “I did.”

“Yes, but I didn’t realise someone had actually shot at the window.”

Exactly which part of that didn’t he get? He starts gibbering about grassy knolls, lines of fire, a second gunman, and telling everyone to keep down.

We do for a while, but by the time the police arrive an hour and a half later, we’ve adjusted. There have been no more shots, so despite my protests Eldest Child is making himself a sandwich, in full view of the window. “Well, I’m hungry,” he reasons.

The police arrive, walk up to the window and touch the bullet hole. “Hasn’t gone through the second pane,” they say. I feel a fool. Down in the garden they find a marble, fired by a slingshot. It’s all recorded and they leave.

It’s not a nutter with an air rifle, but a nutter with a slingshot isn’t ideal either.

“Mu-um …” says Youngest.

“What is it precious?”

She hesitates. Aw. She’s traumatised. We’ll have to sell up and move.

“I was thinking … if you’re not comfortable using the kitchen … can we have chippy teas from now on?”