“Marcel, Marcel come and have a look, they are doing things again.”
“Who are doing things again Michelle, I am reading the newspaper, please do not disturb” but seeing that Michelle was standing at the window with binoculars looking through the curtains, he knew that his peaceful reading session was over.
“Our American neighbours, on the other side of the street. He is painting the door.”
“So let him paint the door, I paint mine as well now every two or three years when they start looking a bit shabby. A new coat of white paint looks good.”
“No Marcel, you do not understand, he is painting the door purple.”
“That can’t be true, show me” and Marcel Le Blanc put the newspaper down, and stood next to his wife at the window
“This is unbelievable” he said “this is a crime in our little picturesque Swiss village. I am sure it is not allowed. Michelle phone the police.”
“Good morning officers; nice to see you again. As you can see the Swiss ski lift cabin looks very good in the garden. I think it has become one of the most popular places in the neighbourhood for the children to play.”
“Bonjour Mr. Stewart, can you tell me what you are doing?”
“Just thought I would freshen the look of the place up with a new coat of paint. Jean can you come quickly. It’s those two nice police officers again, you know the ones about the old truck we had in the garden.”
“Coming, Hank; why good morning officers, can I offer you something for the thirst, perhaps a beer”
“Thank you madam, but we are on duty and not allowed to drink.”
“Of course, in the States our police don’t drink either. Then perhaps a cup of coffee, freshly brewed.”
“Well thank you madam” said one of the officers.
“No, we do not have refreshments on duty.” Said the other glaring at his colleague.
“To what do we owe the honour” asked Hank
“We are dealing with a small complaint from your neighbours.”
“Oh no, not again” and Jean was very disappointed. “Why can’t those people just tell us when they have problems.”
“It doesn’t surprise me Jean, I saw Mrs. Le Blanc at the window this morning with the binoculars. So what is wrong officers?”
“It is like this, Swiss villages do not have homes with purple doors. It is not custom, and how shall I say, it spoils the general impression of the village.”
“So what do you suggest officer” said Hank glaring at the window across the road. Mr. and Mrs. Le Blanc were still standing there watching the developments. “I just wanted to freshen the place up a bit, it must be years since something was done to the door.”
“Of course, you may do some renovating Mr. Stewart, that is a very good thing to keep everything clean and beautiful for our wonderful countryside, but purple is not a very good colour.”
“Then perhaps something in green to match the leaves on the plants”
“Or yellow” said Jean “we have so many wonderful yellow flowers in the garden.”
“The problem is Mr. Stewart, that purple is just not a Swiss colour. It does not fit in with the custom in our country; if you must paint the door, then perhaps according to Swiss tastes and customs.”
“Hank, I think we better do as the policeman said We don’t want to annoy our neighbours. Are you sure you don’t want a coffee, or perhaps some lemonade.”
“No thank you madam, we must be going, but please bear in mind our remarks. We are honoured that you have chosen to live in our village, but we must ask that you perhaps accustom yourselves to the Swiss way of life.”
“No problem officers. Of course” said Hank, again with the poisonous look in his eyes as he looked across the street to the windows of Mr. and Mrs. Blanc.
The two officers left the Stewart household. On the way they had a small discussion.
“Jacques, don’t you think you were a little bit hard on the Stewarts. They are such nice people offering us something to drink. That does not happen very often.”
“Of course that does not happen very often Charles, the Swiss do not do things like that and we Swiss police do not drink on duty, alcohol or otherwise, is that clear.”
“Yes Jacques, I suppose you are right”
and the two police walked back to their car, Charles being glad that his patrol was soon finished and he could have a nice cool beer in the local bar.
In the meanwhile Jean and Hank had a discussion and changed their minds about the purple door. They did not want to have more problems with the neighbours and the police. They decided to paint the door to suit Swiss tastes.
A week later their son, Jason came home from school with a black eye.
“Jason what on earth has happened” said a concerned Jean Stewart. “Have you been fighting at school?”
“You should see the other one mom, he has a black eye as well and even started crying.”
“I don’t like my boys fighting” joined in Hank. “Can you tell me what happened.”
“They started calling names and insulting me” answered Jason “they said I was a copycat Yankee and that we must all be colour blind at home.”
“That is really being nasty Jason. I will have to have a word with their parents and the teacher.”
“No leave it mum, just do me a favour and repaint the door.”
“Now what is wrong with our door. We didn’t paint it purple as it wasn’t Swiss enough so we decided on something else.”
“Yes mum, I know, but a nice quiet shade of white would have done the trick. Did you have to paint a white cross on a red background.?”
Rita's "Riting" Challenge #15 The Purple Door