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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Law

An irate neighbour is shouting from the front gate:

"You come out here now! I am contacting my lawyer tomorrow, and the Council, and the Police. Just watch me."

His mother emerges from the front seat, screaming: "This is bullshit!", while his wife sitting in the back, is showing me the finger.

"What is the problem?' I ask.

"Your dog barks all night and keeps us awake. We work hard all day and my mother is aging rapidly from lack of sleep. My wife has had numerous psychological check-ups and I have no medical aid left. I have a good mind to make you pay." he screams.

"We don't have a dog," I reply.

"What are you going to do about it?" he continues.

"We don't have a dog," I confirm.

"So then whose dog is it?" he asks, while making a hasty getaway.

The Smythes arrive later, gushing: "We were recommended all the way from Port Elizabeth."

They kick off their shoes at the entrance, carry their luggage to the room and lock the door.

I knock tentatively and ask them to fill out the register.

"We will pay once we leave," Mr tells me.

By a stoke of luck, the owner of the hostel calls from Port Elizabeth. He would like to speak to them as they left without paying and he would like their credit card details.

They huff off to the room to gather their belongings, trip over their shoes at the front door and demand free transport to the airport.

I have been told that to run a backpackers business I have to be a bitch. Unfortunately.

"I have received a call from Mike. He says you did not pay. You will also have to pay me now for your accommodation and the taxi fare," I tell them.

Mr: "My wife has not one but two law degrees from Poland and Canada. She knows what she is talking about. You have overcharged R20 for the accommodation."

Mrs: "And, there is a special on at the Intercontinental, and you have the cheek to charge more."

"I charge more than the Intercontinental?" I ask. "Let me call them."

They throw their credit card on the desk. R4500 per night is a vast difference between R420.

I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and didn't hear the phantom dog barking.

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