This small phrase covers a host of paranoia, starting with the sudden clenching of your stomach into a small, hard knot as you realise that the gouge marks in the door-frame are unlikely to have been caused by a genetically engineered strain of giant woodpecker. That they didn't get in - we replaced the door last year, and it stood up to the test well - somehow makes it worse: are they going to come back and try again? I like to think not; if they have any sense, they will have gone off to find an easier mark, knowing we're now on our guard. But these people were dumb enough to target one of the very few houses in the street with a burglar alarm, so who knows how they think?
After such an incident, you start to view everything in a suspicious light. That guy who came round selling double glazing last week -- was he legitimate? What about the building site that started constuction at the end of the road? And perhaps most tellingly of all, a housemate bought a video recorder from Curry's down in Brixton last weekend. It seems MOST suspicious that within days of that (when he gave his name and address -- as you must, for TV licencing purposes), we suffer an attempted burglary. Now, I don't think that this is a Curry's sanctioned scheme to repossess their stock (though it does make me wonder where 'Manager's Specials' come from!), but it's not a mistake we'll make again. The next electronic gadget we get will be bought by Max Renn, of 83 Channel Road.
Further security measures are now in hand for TC Towers, turning it into a fortress worthy of a crack-dealing paedophile with a persecution complex. Mini-nukes will be installed to cover the hallway, while a pack of leopards roam the stairwell. Capsules of nerve gas have been attached to the VCR (God forbid I forget to disarm them, while seeking some post-pub entertainment) and we're negotiating with the SAS to see if they can spare a regiment for the cellar. I am, of course, just joking. But only JUST. If this is what a mere attempt is like, we do *not* want to go through the real thing. And if that means we have to spend three-quarters of an hour unlocking the deadbolts, so be it.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I feel a strong urge to go and check all the doors and windows.