My upstairs neighbour is a snob. Sometimes, I’m good enough to talk down to.
Though she now rents in a dilapidated building, with the occasional unwanted subtenant, my neighbour’s still rich enough to work just a few hours per week. All this spare time on her hands, doesn’t mean she cleans regularly. She only does it when she expects visitors and her circle of friends is tiny.
So I was pleasantly surprised to hear vacuuming above my head. Round and round the noise went. Tables rumbled aside. Chairs toppled while the noise hovered around, under, on top of seats. Occasionally, judging from the noise, cloth got sucked in and was released again, as the hovering continued. Light cupboards and heavy seats were pulled aside to clean whatever was hidden underneath. Finally, she started to push the heavy, antique sofa from its place and …
A loud shriek made me spill my coffee.
Blast! Now I had to clean too!
A loud explicit filtered down to me.
Footsteps click-clacked to what is her kitchen and back again.
The hovering restarted. Only, it now sounded like angry rubbing in one spot.
I had my suspicions.
After a couple of minutes, the sofa was dragged back in place. Things quieted down.
Later, I met her carrying a full bin-liner down the stairs.
What the shrieking had been about.
“Dead mouse! Right under my inherited sofa!” she snorted. “No idea how long it had been there. Totally mummified!”
“Oh, like that story about the princess and the pea! Only, of course you’re not a princess – and it wasn’t a pea,” I remarked unwisely.
My suspicions validated, I’m now devaluated: no longer fit to be talked down to.