Tim Key: 'I'm not up to fixing my doorbell. But what if Emma Bunton is downstairs?'

 

Share

It came to light last night that my doorbell is broke. The man from the Indian takeaway was outside my flat in the pouring rain dinging away for what, he later explained, felt like hours. I was unaware of this, sitting blissfully above him, ogling my telly, my phone on silent, subconsciously thinking (wrongly, it turned out) that my bell worked. But it had failed, and, by the time I looked angrily out of the window, wondering where the hell my food was, I had a wet and angry moped rider and a stone-cold Kabuli Gosht to contend with.

So now I am officially a guy with a broken bell. Well, I say bell. It is – or was – more of a buzzer, like in Seinfeld. Historically, the buzzer would go off and I would have to press a button with an image of a key on it and say "Come on up" in an American voice to let guests in. I liked that system. It's only now that it's gone that I realise how much I relied upon it. Since it bust I am on edge. Crouching in my flat, not knowing whether there is someone outside my building or not.

For all I know there might be a little man from Amazon buzzing away down there, desperately trying to deliver me the Zlatan Ibrahimovic autobiography I am expecting. A friend might have popped round unannounced for a chat and some Jamaican Ginger Cake. There might be a celebrity down there. Your mind plays tricks on you. When my buzzer was working I would never have imagined Emma Bunton coming to visit me. However, now that it's expired, I have a very vivid picture of her stood in a pink fleece and pigtails, plucking up the courage to press the buzzer, me a million miles away, upstairs in my study separated from her by dead wires. It's killing me.

There isn't a way of fixing this buzzer, of course. I've looked at it and pressed it, wiped it with a J Cloth and pressed it again. Nothing. I've never been able to fix anything in my flat. My curtains came off their curtain rings during a skirmish 18 months ago, and I've not been able to reattach them. I just don't have that sort of mind. My head is set up for writing columns and heating up baked beans, not for basic DIY. And anyway, fixing a buzzer feels like it's next-level shit. Electrical things are beyond me. Pressing a button over here and something happening over there just feels nuts to me. It annoys me when I see a radio-controlled plane, say. Everyone just accepts it, but I can't get my head round it. My brother is more tolerant. He wouldn't be scared of this buzzer – he'd be going at it with scissors. Not me. So it will remain broken for now. It's just a question of coping with it.

Once you've ruled out cutting wires and re-tying them, how do you proceed? I'm loathe to open the door and make myself comfortable on the bottom step on the off-chance a postman or Spice Girl comes by. My neighbour has a drill. I could ask her to take the door off its hinges and bin it. Our building would then have a hole, like a cave, and I could leave pebbles and instructions to chuck them at the door of my flat at the top of the stairs. It all seems a bit much. Leaving a vuvuzela on a stool with instructions to hoot it up at my window is anti-social and feels short-termist, too.

The truth of it is, I need the buzzer back on. This, ultimately, will require my father's help. I will file this column and then email my father, or phone the poor sod, or wait for him to read this and phone me. Until then, I am sitting on my doorstep, my back leaning against the door. Drinking homemade lemonade I just bought from Costcutter. I bought a straw, too, and am drinking through that. It's the first time I've bought a straw from a shop. There's no one about.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are less likely to become scientists and engineers  

International Women's Day: How much could be achieved if we scrapped the idea of 'male' jobs?

Anne Richards
Dame Maggie Smith stars in Downtown Abbey as Countess Violet  

We need to see Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon on stage again

David Lister
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable