Newlyweds Brian and Janet moved into a flat on the ground floor of a recently completed two-storey block. The following day Brian was walking home from work when he received a text from Janet, asking him to hurry as they had an emergency on their hands. He ran the remaining half-mile and found his wife outside the building, wringing her hands. Their conversation went as follows:
Janet: Thank goodness you’re here. We have a big problem.
Brian: What’s up?
Janet: Come in with me and see for yourself.
They enter the flat
Brian: The place is completely empty.
Janet: That’s right. Someone’s been here while we were at work and cleaned us out. They even took our curtains, the temporary carpets we laid in the living room and bedroom, and the light bulbs. We’ve nothing to eat or drink, and nothing to wear except what we have on now. How could they do such a thing? (She burst into tears.)
Brian: Calm down. We’re unhurt. So we’ve lost all our belongings, but we still have some ready cash, our bank cards and pretty healthy savings and current accounts. We only need to spend a few nights in a hotel while we replace everything. Come to think of it, in our enthusiasm to equip the home we bought some stuff we might never have needed. This could be a good chance to think again about a few things. (He hugged his wife.)
Janet: I must say you’re taking this remarkably well. I’ve never been so distressed. What about the personal things – photos, wedding presents and suchlike?
Brian: Bagatelles. We’ll soon put everything right.
Janet: Great. What a comfort it is to have you by my side. I’m beginning to feel less shattered already. You’re an absolute rock.
Brian: Told you before I’m good in a crisis. Chin up and we’ll . . . oh, I’ve just of something that’s going to delight you.
Janet: What’s that?
Brian: Well, no wonder this situation shook us both. I was taken aback as much as you were until it dawned on me that this place hasn’t been locked up since we arrived. You may remember that when we were moving in, we happened to see the selling agent and I had a little chat with him. He told me he’d lost the key. Anyway, that doesn’t concern us much because these downstairs flats are all laid out the same way and – ta ta ta taa – we live next door!
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