I looked both ways before stepping over the small hedge. She forced her window open, slowly but steady as not to alert anyone.
My hands searched the plastic bag for the smallest items first. Two bottles of gel: I passed them through the window’s opening at the bottom.
The contraband smuggling continued until I got the larger items. Her window was latched so it could only be opened so wide, and I couldn’t fit the four pack of extra length toilet paper through the gap: too wide.
Extra length toilet paper? you may be thinking. What is this nutter doing?
Well, as some of you may know, Noel’s mother Molly is a resident in a nursing home. Having had cancer a few times and even more radiation — I swear the woman must glow in the dark at night — to treat it, she has lost the use of her right arm and must be looked after.
She called me laughing on Friday night. Well, that nervous sort of laughter as in, Oh fudgecicles, something is up but put a positive spin on it.
Ends up the home she’s in has a breakout of norovirus, that lovely, highly-contagious virus spreading rampantly throughout institutions like nursing homes, dormitories and cruise ships like there is no tomorrow. Christchurch Public Hospital — another type of institution — sent her neighbour home from hospital, and that neighbour had brought norovirus into the home.
So, she explained, they were all on lock-down. No one could leave their room. No visitors, no going out, nothing. Another nervous chuckle.
Molly asked if I could get her some groceries, things like toilet paper, magazines and so on. Of course I said yes. So, on Saturday, I ran out, got the supplies, and met at the agreed rendezvous point: her window.
I had to break up the 6 pack of soda water bottles (Schwepps, of course) to pass them through the window gap one by one.
The toilet paper, on the other hand, got wedged in the window so I couldn’t get it in or out. Molly clutching at it from the top, me pushing it from the bottom, and it still barely budged.
I did something that will soon probably be illegal in this country. I smacked it. Open hand, right on the bottom, and the toilet paper pack popped into Molly’s room. (Don’t tell TPTB I did that, okay? I might be up for smacking toilet paper pack on the bottom… am I bad or what?)
Molly laughed and talked to me for a little while, although I don’t think she understood what I said. She stood there and smiled that polite but thin smile that conveys, “I have no idea what you are saying but I will smile like I know what you are saying.” I left things at that and went on my merry way.
The good thing was: I didn’t get caught!