I’m sure that one or two reading this may have partaken in something similar as a youngster and I’m equally certain that it has many different monikers. ‘Ghost knocking’ is familiar and the plain and simple chapping on doors is another from back home. My friends and I though called it ‘Spirit Knocking’ – the art of tapping on people’s front door and running away and it’s many more sophisticated half-siblings in the art of annoying the local populace
I have to confess to taking part in the door knocking thing (amongst many other japes) fairly regularly a a kid. Why, the bunch of lads I hung out with managed to tie a whole line of terraced house door knockers together with black cotton one time and at a pre-determined signal, rat-a-tat-tat on all of them before legging it – pronto. We barely had time to look back for a snigger.
We used to have a ‘special’ victim in Arnold In Nottinghamshire that we would prime ourselves for. For this man we termed The Runner as he would unfailingly give chase at a fair lick (just as we knew he would). It would take us a little while to muster up the courage to disturb his peace and we all needed to be in top form to face the challenge. I kid you not, on the rare occasions we were feeling particularly brave enough knock on his front door we would actually get down in sprinter’s blocks position on the pavement when the volunteer crept up his darkened front path, ready for the inevitable. Yes – he did catch us (once). It wasn’t pretty either.
Shortly afterwards as a young teenager I joined Notts Athletic Club and began running cross-country after this extensive training on the streets of the Nottingham suburb. This eventually evolved into running marathons. I’m not sure I’ve ever run faster than those frantic, hysterical and breathless chases around the outskirts of Nottingham though.
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