My story begins on a winter’s night on a rooftop in Surfers Paradise where I was relaxing in a hot tub with my daughter Katrina and daughter-in-law Louise. Our original plan had been to jump into the spa in the apartment but my son Darren beat us to the punch. As we sat there enjoying the magnificent views of Surfers Paradise by night, we all agreed we had made the best choice. Our enjoyment was short-lived, however, as the heat was turned off a few minutes later and very soon the water began to turn icy.
Our next plan was to hurry back down to the apartment and turf Darren out of the spa. We burst into the apartment and Louise and I started banging on the bathroom door and yelling at Darren to get out of the spa because we were ‘bloody’ freezing. We continued our banging and shouting until Katrina indicated to us that someone was in the dining room. I walked forward and glanced into the dining room and standing there was a very angry woman, arms folded across her chest and an icy bone-chilling look on her face. She didn’t say a word. I then glanced to my right and there were three portly gentlemen sitting on the lounge. They all looked at me blankly and the gentleman in the middle said ‘I think you are in the wrong apartment’. Then they all went back to watching TV.
Now at that stage any normal person would have simply apologised and made a dignified exit. But not yours truly. I was totally mortified and had but one thought on my mind and that was to run out of there as fast as I could. Without uttering a word I spun on my heels and headed for the door. As I took off there was an enormous crash and when I looked down there were prawn shells and beer bottles spread all along the hallway. In my haste I had knocked over the rubbish bin.
The three Teletubbies didn’t move a muscle but the Ice Queen suddenly appeared at the front door, arms still folded and the same icy expression on her face. She still did not utter a word but we knew we wouldn’t be leaving until we cleaned up the mess.
Down I got on my hands and knees and began picking up the rubbish. I was wearing only my swimsuit and a pair of thongs and I was carrying a little extra weight so it was not a pretty sight. While I cleaned, Louise stood beside the Ice Queen alternating characters. One moment she had her serious face on and kept saying ‘I am so sorry’ over and over again. Next moment she was laughing hysterically. I was too afraid to laugh out loud but was wobbling all over the place in silent laughter.
As I crawled past the bathroom the door opened a crack and a little grey haired lady peered out. She was as white as a sheet and had a terrified look in her eye. When she saw me she slammed the door shut and locked it. All I could think at that stage was thank God she was in the habit of locking the bathroom door or Louise and I would have burst in on her and she probably would have had a coronary. Then we would have been in real trouble.
Katrina on the other hand just stood statuesquely in the hallway the whole time - I think she was in shock.
After what seemed like an eternity all the rubbish was back in the bin. We all apologized once again to the Ice Queen but she just kept glaring at us and did not respond.
Once we were outside and the door was firmly closed and locked behind us we all collapsed on to the stairs and laughed until we cried.
The funniest part of the incident was the reaction or non-reaction of the occupants of the apartment. If three strangers suddenly burst into my apartment and started banging on the bathroom door and yelling on top note I would instantly go and check out what was going on. The only words spoken by the occupants the entire time we were there were 'I think you are in the wrong apartment'. Succinct, but a little strange.
Moral to the story: Always check you are on the correct level before exiting the lift.