Housemates from Hell

Rachel Grewcock 30 October 2014

I live opposite a revered specimen.  Part-sinister-genius, part-shy-choirboy, with dubious connections to ballroom dancing, the Adonians and CUCA.  He wouldn’t look amiss as the blonde, cherub-like victim of some classic, blood-lust horror picture.  In fact, it was last week that I began to consider realizing this image.  Our hero, you see, has a vice.  Only the one, but it warrants all the gore of a Tarantino film.  When he manages to coax himself from the heady, pipe-smoking fifties for long enough to reach for his French Horn, he had a horrible tendency to play it.  Confident that we, his understanding corridor, would mock him senselessly for his choice of instrument (or at least embrace the innuendoes), dear French Horn had kept quiet about his musical preferences. Until, on a night that seemed like any other – work-less, tea-full, sated by ITV Player’s Downton – we were struck from our revelry.  The illusion hitherto projected so delicately from across the hall was shattered.

French Horn had been out elsewhere with the classicists, who have special parties.  But even Latin scrabble couldn’t hold the attention of the beast indefinitely, and his return was heralded by the faint whiff of Earl Grey.  French Horn prowled the corridor, and deduced from the lingering scent of Fun that its inhabitants were moments from bed.  In line with the exemplary timing and sheer perfection of the creature, my own head was approximately 17mm from the pillow when French Horn began to sound forth.  The corridor was, however, prepared.  As (what was later audaciously claimed to be) the Harry Potter theme (it wasn’t) reached fever pitch, the hero on duty sprung from the neighbouring doorway.  Within a few bounds, she had bravely entered the lair of the beast.  Summoning her strength she enquired in the most gently passively-aggressive tones ever to grace the halls of Trinity, whether French Horn wouldn’t mind please refraining until a little later in the morning.  Quaking in his slippers, French Horn set down his horn and his gin, and agreed.

Since the dramatic events of last week, little of musical note has been heard from next-door.  The corridor, it seems, has fallen silent.  Yet this peace may prove fleeting: there is another suspect case in the room across the hall.  He claims that he is ‘learning’ the viola.