Pique N' Your Interest 

An unusual welcome to our new neighbourhood

We had been in our new house for less than a week when the Welcome Wagon arrived.

That was just long enough that our little condo was starting to feel really cozy and homey. And fortunately, it was not so long that we were getting sick of the wood panel walls, the over-powering use of white stucco on the ceilings and the walls, and the mismatch patterned linoleum on the floors.

Sure, it needed work but this was our home, the fruit of two long years spent working weekends and evenings and scraping together every last dollar and cent. It was ours and we loved it in spite of its flaws. In fact, we considered it palatial compared our small basement nook, which we called home for two years.

But, being a first time homeowner, I had no idea that there was an official Welcome Wagon in Whistler, to greet us into the new neighbourhood. More importantly, I had no idea the Welcome Wagon would arrive at four in the morning, wasted and buck-naked. But it did.

There’s nothing quite like being woken up in the dead of night with someone pounding on the front door. It’s one of those noises that jolts you out of sleep, wide-eyed and alert with heart pounding and adrenaline pumping.

The knocking, and by "knocking" I mean the noise that results from putting the full force of your shoulder into the front door much like a battering ram, would not let up.

I imagined my last moments on earth. Surely a gang of hoodlums would be breaking down the front door within the minute and my boyfriend and I would be murdered in our bed in our new house. What a way to go.

When the door held fast for another minute he decided we should investigate. Personally I would have preferred to cower under the covers but it sounded as though the door was about to come off its hinges at any moment. Better to face our fears.

Heading down the stairs we could now make out a voice amid the din.

"Let me in my house," cried a girl over and over again.

But this was our house. Wasn’t it? Surely all those endless signatures at the lawyers’ office proved this was our house. Surely our empty bank account was even further proof. Surely we did not imagine the whole transaction.

Still, there was a desperation in her voice. She seemed so utterly convinced that we had locked her out of her house.

What if the previous owners forgot to tell their daughter that the deal was sealed less than a week ago?

We opened the door.

Immediately she dropped her shoulder and tried to push her way in.

"She’s naked. You should probably call 9-1-1-," said my boyfriend.

We absolutely couldn’t leave her outside. It was freezing and she had no socks, no shoes and no underwear for that matter. A small jacket, unzipped, was all that she had to protect herself from the bitter cold.

Belligerently, she came inside and took a seat on our stairs, and it quickly became obvious that she was drunk and confused and angry and lost and sad. Once I realized we were in no mortal danger, the questions abounded.

How did she get into this state? Where were her friends? How did she get to our front door over snow and ice without any socks or shoes? And why, of all the doors in Whistler, did she choose to try and knock down ours?

One thing led to another and within minutes sirens were screaming down Highway 99 with the full entourage of police, fire and ambulance soon on our doorstep.

I had hoped that we could introduce ourselves to the neighbours by borrowing a cup of sugar but I suppose this was going to be our way of letting them know we had arrived.

The incident, which was quickly over as soon as the cops were on the scene, raised a number of concerns about what’s going on with young women in Whistler. But all those troubling concerns aside, this was my chance to see what our cops experience first hand on a regular basis.

Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

When they were in boot camp in Regina, how many of them thought that they'd be ferrying home drunk people as part of their nightly routine, or dealing with the nonsensical verbal abuse from wasted partiers? Is that what they signed on for?

It turns out that drunk calls are a large part of what our cops have to deal with on a weekly basis. In this case, the female cop talking to the woman dealt with her in a compassionate and firm manner. I truly don’t know where she found the patience. I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

The young woman was taken home and handed over to a sober roommate and I suppose she’ll never remember what happened at our house that morning.

I, on the other hand, check and recheck my front door every night, and I have a new found appreciation for the stuff cops have to deal with in Whistler.

Hope the Whistler Welcome Wagon doesn’t knock on your door too.

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