There was a knock on the door.
There is never a knock on the door. I don't know anyone up here who knows where I live. Literally.
I could see a shape through the frosted glass.
"Who is it?"
Oh, well if it's Barry then I'm right there. I have no idea who Barry is.
Turns out it's the manically giggling man from next door. The one I hear laughing like Norman Bates on ecstasy every day. The man whose guttural snortings, sneezings and throat clearings punctuate my day like birdsong.
I have never seen Barry in the flesh.
He looks, and I am incredulous while saying this, like an actual yokel. Like a Hollywood yokel. He has a ginger cloud of thinning hair, crazy, manic eyes and one tooth in the middle of his upper set of teeth. Huge gaps around it.
He looks, farnkly, insane.
Exactly like a man who would sit stock still for eight hours laughing like a drain at something only he can see.
He said: "I have a puppy."
"OK" sez I. "That's nice."
"It's noisy," he says. "I just wanted to warn you that you might hear it crying."
Why would it be crying? Dismissing images of our Bazza skinning poor pupster alive and wearing the furball as a novelty hat, I thank him for his concern and assure him it's fine and I'm sure the pup won't bother me at all. I am dying to say that he might want to consider his very loud and terrifying daily cackling sessions far more likely to disturb me than a puppy but dismiss this as unneighbourly.
There is an awkward silence. Barry is staring at me and, sort of, gurning slightly.
"Do you want to see my puppies?" he blurts.
I am a dog lover to the point of insanity. I would probably have approached Hitler and asked him if I could stroke Blondie. I made friends with a guy with a swallow tattooed on his face the other day because he had the most beautiful little staffie. So I was tempted.
For a second I weighed up the potential risks of meeting a new puppy against being cut up into tiny pieces and fed to said puppy.
I am being vastly unfair I know. Barry is probably an incredibly nice guy. But he did that thing of absent mindedly playing with his groin through his stained tracksuit bottoms while speaking to me. Just sort of rearranging it. That, combined with manic stare and strange way of speaking settled it.
This is one puppy I'll just have to watch from afar.
Still, it's nice to put a face to the crazy cackling.