Our very knees are all atremble as we make our way down these lonely streets in the near darkness. We clutch our holy shopping lists close to our chest and whisper the magical spells of our favourite TV commercials under our breath, trusting in the mystical powers of price-comparison websites and bright bold pink stain removers to keep us safe from what lurks in the shadows around us. We trust in the power of the one-eyed god of the living room to keep us safe from this world that lies outside our front doors.
The one-eyed god has warned us of these dangers, in graphic detail and in lurid close up. As we hurry on down the street we watch carefully for any sign of the pixellated faces that will signal danger, or the blurred number plates on the cars that pass by which are the tell-tale signs that something nasty is afoot.
Our tabloid fears grow on apace as we step out into the very streets our Daily Paranoia has so stridently warned us about in many a boldly-headlined front page exclusive and screaming editorial. We know there should be loud drunken rioting, fights and mayhem spilling out into these mean streets as we wade through rivers of running blood past the burnt out shells of overturned cars and gutted looted shops.
But all is quiet.
Perhaps too quiet….
Then out of the shadows comes a fearsome shape hulking towards us. We tense, ready to defend ourselves, instinctively tightening our grip on our shopping list.
“Morning, mate,” says the postman as he emerges from the gloom into the hesitant light of another wary dawn.
“Morning,” we sigh in relief as the postman goes by, mercifully leaving our throats uncut, as he goes off to deliver the post to Mrs Knobgobbler at No. 37.