BOOTLICKER

snagglepuss

2011-04-18

They say no-one in Perth locked their back doors until the mid-sixties, when the Claremont killer was declared at large. I’d dispute that. People still leave their back doors open all the time. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their front doors.

It’s difficult to detect a pattern or create a useful test to determine where and when you’ll find an unlocked door, and so obviously the endeavour of finding unlocked back doors comes down to intuition. If that doesn’t help, I suppose if you wanted some more helpful instruction on the matter, you should know that you should become very good at climbing fences.

Chances are you’ll never really need to know if someone else’s back door is unlocked. Such things, however, are without a doubt my business.

Out in Victoria Park, you’re sure to find a salmon-brick building shrouded in Moreton Bay fig trees, its fruit perpetually overripe and strewn all over its roots, the trees tearing up the property’s old bore-water stained concrete pavement. My friend Vanessa and I were told that an old doctor that carried on a surgery there recently passed away. We knew a shady friend of ours Snagglepuss lived down that way, and the whole thing seemed pretty fun, if not potentially rewarding, so we decided to pay him a visit.

“The front room?”

“Yeah we need it for a couple of days.”

“What?”

“Look, there’s some money in it for you.”

“I remember the last time y-”

“If we told you what we were doing, you’d go and do it before us.”

Snagglepuss used a long, gangly arm to rub a dinner-plate hand over his face in frustration.

“Just don’t spill anything like last time, guys, okay? I swear it’s as if you’re both wearing newspaper pirate hats and you’re rolling around in cardboard boxes – please, for chrissake, just fuck off and leave as soon as you can.”

That night we ate vegemite on crumpets on the apartment block’s utility-access stairs because Snagglepuss left and went somewhere, deliberately locking us out. The next day we spent the whole day watching the old surgery from Vanessa’s car in the shopping complex car-park right across the road.