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Who says octogenarians can’t cope with state-of-the-art technology? Well, I can. And I learnt the hard way. From a toilet seat.
Our new home in view of Table Mountain boasts a push button communication system almost guaranteeing our safety and security 24/7. Unlike most things under the ANC, it works.
Instead of pushing the flushing leaver, I inadvertently push a red button protruding from the wall close by. That’s the trouble, too close. All hell breaks loose. The sound of the alarm is an eardrum breaker. I scream for my Heidi. She screams for me.
Then a hard knock on the front door and whoever it is screams our names. “Are you there? Open up!”
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I holler to Heidi to open the door. She hollers back she’s in the guest shower.
It’s left to me, so I sprint towards the front door, but I didn’t have to.
There stands the security lady who made the decision to use her skeleton key.
“Sorry, Mr B, but in an emergency we are obliged to enter the premises…” She stops mid-sentence when her eyes lock on the sight before her.
In my haste, I had forgotten to pull up my pants.
At the same time, Heidi emerges from the bathroom and her eyes takes in a scene she reckons she’ll never forget. Me, almost falling on my face trying to wrest my narrow-cut flannels stuck tightly around my swollen ankles.
And the alarm keeps sounding, until the still-in-shock lady phones in to report that all’s well.
Now we know the drill when by accident or security breach the alarm blasts forth. And there’s a red button at all strategic points.
Other than one in each toilet, there’s another situated in the bedroom. This one we need to watch carefully as it’s near the bedside radio that gets switched off in the dark just before flaking. Can’t have any more intimate scenes undoubtedly talked about by security staff.
My only fear is when we are in genuine trouble, it’s assumed to be another toilet mishap – and ignored.
Oh, I’ve taken a personal security precaution. I now wear shorts.