The dark side of the moon


OUR doorbell had decided to work, so I noticed that someone wished to speak to us.

As the doorbell had made a special effort, and because I am a naturally polite person I opened the front door to our neighbour.

‘We have a fire.’ He announced in neutral tones.

Yes I know you have, I thought. We’ve got a fire too, so what are you boasting about?

‘In the campo at the top of the estate.’ Ah! That’s different.

‘Can you ring the Bomberos?’ 112 duly answered, and I told them in Spanish that we had a fire in the campo, and needed the Bomberos.

‘One moment. I will put you through to someone who speaks English.’

My heart sank. After a minute or so of mechanically mangled Mozart the English speaker spoke. ‘What is the problem?’

I repeated the story so far. ‘Is the fire in a house?’ ‘No, it’s in the campo.’ ‘Is it a big fire?’

‘It’s getting bigger all the time.’ I wished to inject a sense of urgency into the conversation.

‘Is anyone injured.’ ‘No.’ I didn’t add ‘except my patience.’

‘Are there houses nearby?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is the fire in a house?’ Deep breath. ‘No, it’s in the campo.’

‘Are any people injured.’ Deeper breath. ‘No.’ ‘What service do you require?’ I felt like saying What do you suggest?

Flood Relief?

‘The Bomberos.’ I answered with superhuman control.

Will the words ‘fire’ and ‘Bomberos’ strike a chord, or will we all be fried?