Living in a house converted to three flats, Jacky was only slightly surprised to see on the hall table, post for a name she didn’t recognise. It was a package the size of a bag of sugar, and the name on the front said Stenny Johansson. She checked beneath it for her own post, found none, and went on her way.
The package had been there for three days when the doorbell rang early on Sunday morning. A cheerful blonde-haired, ruddy-faced Swedish man stood on the doorstep, and Jacky peered at him through her hangover,
“Hello! Hello! I am so pleased to see you here. I was hoping that you had a parcel for me, Stenny Johansson?”
“You’re Stenny Johansson?”
“Yes, I’m over here from Sweden and my wife sent my parcel to the wrong house. Do you have it?”
“Oh, sure,” said Jackie, blurrily and confused, she handed over the package.
“Oh what a relief. It is parts for my vacuum cleaner and I’m leaving in a few days, so I need those parts before I leave the country.”
“Ah,” said Jacky, wondering vaguely why anyone would have vacuum cleaner parts sent over from Sweden if they were about to leave the country, but instead she nodded sagely.
“Oh you are a doll! You’re a lifesaver!” said Stenny, exuberantly, in a noisy way that hurt her head, and Jacky was relived to shut the door.
Three days later, on Wednesday morning when Jacky was still on her first coffee,the door bell rang and Jacky trudged down the stairs to open it. In the doorway stood another blonde, cheerful man.
“Ah yes! Hello! My name is Stenny Johansson, I’m hoping that you have a package for me,” said the man.
“No, someone called Stenny Johansson picked it up a few days ago,” said Jacky, feeling befuddlement flush her face red.
“No, no. I am Stenny Johansson, that is my package. Do you have it?”
“No, I just told you, someone picked it up.”
“But it’s mine,” said the man, sweaty indignation furrowing his face. “It’s vacuum cleaner parts, I need them to fix my vacuum cleaner. Did you check he was the real Stenny Johansson?”
“No, why would I check that?” asked Jackie, she was feeling indignant now. The second Johansson stormed off, shouting,
“Well you shouldn’t have given my post away! That’s illegal, you know?”
When the third Stenny Johansson appeared at the door, Jacky knew instantly. He had the same ruddy face, tousled blonde hair and look of optimism. Before she could speak, he tried to force his way in. Jacky put her foot against the door, but it took all her strength to keep the new Stenny outside.
“But those are the parts for my vacuum cleaner!” he shouted through the letterbox. “How will I clean my house now?”
The fourth Stenny Johansson didn’t bother announcing his name as he shoved the door aside with such force that Jacky went flying against the wall and knocked her head. With her thoughts still spinning, she was only dimly aware of Stenny Johansson stomping up the stairs to her flat, and then stomping back down a few minutes later. She didn’t really register the bright red object in his hands, and it was only later when she found her Henry hoover missing that she understood that he’d taken it.