My friend Rodney likes to describe himself as a celebrity photographer. As he puts it, he hangs out with his camera where celebrities hang out, and then he sells the pictures he takes to anyone with an interest. Most of his other friends are all celebrity photographers too; I'm the exception. I'm an engineer. Of sorts.
When I let myself into my house that Tuesday evening, I found that Rodney had already let himself in. I shouted at him for a few minutes because I'd made him give his key back the previous week after I caught him in my bed with two of the latest Big Brother contestants. Finally he wiped my spittle from his face and sheepishly admitted that he'd stolen my back-door key. And had copies made from my key-ring last night after I'd gone to bed. I hit him with the ash-tray -- his ash-tray -- that was conveniently to hand on the coffee table.
"Look," he said, trying not to bleed on the carpet, "it's cool. I just needed somewhere to get my stuff together and you're closest. I'm off out tonight with the guys, it's our night off so we're going out on the razz. Time to get completely and utterly paralytic and have some fun for once."
"For once?" I hadn't intended to shout, but I did, and I hadn't intended to keep spitting on him, but it happened. "How about last week when I caught you in bed with that girl and her pretend boyfriend? Wasn't that fun?!"
"Well, for them maybe...." I let that one pass. Rodney's hinted before that his idea of a good time sexually might be a little different to other human beings, though I think he is still into mammals. Loosely put.
"Damn it, Rodney, I've got some... devices to assemble. I'm on commission and working to a deadline!"
"What are you assembling them into this time?"
I let that one pass too. I think Rodney's already made too many close guesses about my line of work, and although I'll never be on his list of people to photograph, he's sleazy enough to try blackmailing me if he thinks I'm worth it.
"Go on, get out with you. You look dressed up enough."
"See you later!" He waved cheerily as he left and I sighed and started checking the internet for local locksmiths with emergency opening hours. I would have an evening of Rodney-proofing the house while he went out with his papparazzi mates on the papparazzle.