Or could it be a burglar? Not just any burglar, but a six foot tall bloke with biceps like balloons and evil intent in his heart. Not the sort of chap to reason with.
“There's no money in the house but the TV is fairly new. Shall I help you carry it to your van? Or you could take my car, if you want. I'll get the keys.”
Oo-er. What do you do?
According to research from home security company Yale, 25% of men pretend to be asleep so they don't have to get up and investigate. A tenth said they were too scared to go and look and 20% said they would send their wife.
“Have you seen her in her curlers and face pack? Enough to scare anybody.”
Personally, I can't let a strange noise go without investigation. If I try to ignore it, the possibilities get more extreme in my mind. I run through scenarios of meeting the burglar half way up the stairs and knocking him back down and through the front door with a well delivered Kung Fu kick.
Not that I have ever practised Kung Fu and would probably strain my clack in the attempt and, if the kick was successful, the chap would probably kill himself in the fall and I would be charged with manslaughter.
The mind is a wonderful thing, particularly when running rampant in the night, so I always get up and go and look, turning on every light in the house on my way until we're lit up like Blackpool Illuminations.
I used to pick up something to use as a weapon but no longer bother. If it's a violent burglar, he'd probably take it off me and hit me with it. Best to pretend old age and poverty.
Anyway, I tell myself, it's probably Casper the cat from next door, who has a habit of sneaking in when you're not looking, and kicks up a fuss when he wants to get out again.
It never is Casper. It never is anyone.
But I'm always relieved when I get back in bed with the lights off again knowing the
house is secure.
“Where've you been?” my wife Maria might say, still half asleep.
“Killing a burglar.”
(Read more at Huddersfield Daily Examiner: http://tinyurl.com/k6omhwv).