The following little bit of fun, came into my mind after hearing about an acquaintance of mine who had made an unfortunate miscalculation while demonstrating to his spouse, "The safe way!" to handle and reload a double-barrelled shotgun. To his chagrin, his wife's annoyance, the surprise of their neighbours and the delight of a local kitchen-fitting contractor, he chose to undertake the instruction in their newly installed kitchen. They probably would have been best served, using spent cartridges. Neither admits responsibility, by the way!
I thank my little team of helpers, Sue, Angel and PapaGus for their assistance in preparing this short tale for posting. But don't expect miracles; remember who wrote it. I prefer to write in the first person, so please remember that very rarely will anybody relate a story in that manner which does not present themselves in the best possible light.
Clarification: - Tea-leaf, a thief. Usually of the sly sneak-thief kind, rather than a blatant robber or crook.
I Hadn't Expected That!
Look, I've fired off my shotgun more times than most folks have had hot dinners. But I really hadn't expected how loud it would sound in the enclosed environment of our bungalow's lounge.
Maybe it was because the noise gave me such a shock that I let off the other barrel a moment or two later. Mind you ... it could have been the shower of plasterboard and loft insulation that, besides taking me by surprise, had all-but completely blinded me for an instant.
A point to remember, folks! If you are going to fire your shotgun inside the house, then don't point the bugger at the ceiling directly above your own head. You will really not believe how much of a mess powered plasterboard and shredded loft insulation can make of your clothing, not to mention the room, as it comes down all over you.
Secondly, I discovered that it's advisable to only fire off only the one barrel. Plasterboard and loft insulation are designed to be non-combustible. But I completely failed to take into account the fact that we had more than a few boxes of assorted detritus stored up in the loft space. You know, old receipts and papers that the tax people like you to hang onto for-bloody-ever and general shit like that.
The first blast must have made a good job of shredding one of those boxes and its contents. The second -- at such close range -- had apparently set some of the shredded papers alight.
Whatever, I'm told that most of the roof was burnt off the building before the fire brigade could put the blaze out.
I was still kinda trying to see -- through the dust and the muck -- how much damage I'd done, and reload my shotgun at the same time, when I spotted the fire.
That fire, was something I really hadn't expected!
So -- as the dust cleared a little -- there I was, wondering what I should do about the flames, when suddenly a movement out front of the house caught my eye. On closer inspection I noted two all-but butt naked young men were rushing past the lounge window.
I really hadn't expected that, either!
Putting the shotgun down on the sofa -- I didn't want to give anyone the idea that I was physically threatening anybody with the damned thing -- I sauntered over to the window -- as you would -- to see what in heaven's name was going on outside.
Then I watched as the two men, dressed only in their underpants, leapt into the two strange vehicles that had been parked on my house driveway, and hastily "tried" to drive them away.
I thought it somewhat odd that the two guys had had the foresight to keep their car keys handy. After all, their clothes were liberally scattered on the floor between my lounge and the bedroom area at the rear of the bungalow.
Oops, bugger, forget I said that! That was one piece of information that I hadn't passed on to the court.
Unfortunately for them, legging-it to their respective vehicles had been a manoeuvre that I had kind of anticipated a little. And one I'd taken precautions against them successfully carrying out.
Maybe it was their haste to depart the premises, that prevented them spotting the length of chain that snaked its way from the nearside front suspension of one vehicle, to the offside front suspension of the other.
That showed a distinct lack of observational aptitude on both guy's part, in my opinion. But then again, it might have been blind panic!
Both cars rather noisily -- as those poseur type vehicles usually are -- began to move forward. One, apparently with the intention of turning to the right! The other obviously to the left!
Then there was the very loud sound of three-quarter inch anchor chain tearing its way trough metal, added to the noise of the vehicles screeching tyres and roaring exhausts.
Both vehicles proceeded directly across the street -- albeit bouncing off each other as they went; the chain progressively wrapping itself around the car's front wheels or entangling itself further in the vehicles front suspension.
Whatever it did, it brought them together with an almighty crashing sound.
You know, they'd picked up a remarkable rate of speed before ploughing through the neighbour opposite's neat front garden fence, across the lawn and then rather efficiently, demolishing his garage.
I was somewhat pleased that I didn't have to explain to my neighbour, exactly how the deed had come about.
After I'd watched my neighbours garage collapse, I really can't tell you much of what else happened that day. I can vaguely recall hearing a noise of some kind behind me, and then a kind of muffled bang ... then, everything went black.
All right, I'll start at the beginning and explain it all as best I can. Well, as good as I did to the judge and jury anyway; with just a couple of exceptions. Well ... you know what our legal system is like ... I er ... Never mind! I'm sure you understand.
Look, I was unconscious for over a week after that day, so I have to be given a little leeway as far as my memory of the events is concerned.
That weekend I had planned to join my brother Brian, for a couple of days sailing and fishing off the south coast on his little yacht. I'd set off directly from work, right after knock-off time, to drive down there.
I suppose I was probably three-quarters of the way through my journey when Brian called me on my mobile phone to inform me that he must have eaten something that had been a little off. Brian didn't think that a couple of days on the yacht with bad attack of Delhi-belly was really a very good idea, he'd been pebble-dashing the karzi since he'd got home from work. And I had to agree with him.
As a matter of fact, I couldn't believe how fortuitous Brian's attack of the screaming sh ... the runs was. For weeks my wife Shirley had been harping on at me to paint the hall at home. She'd even got as far as talking me into buying the paint the previous weekend. But I hate decorating when Shirley's around the house. God, the woman never did get the idea that the whole house can't be spotlessly clean, whilst you are actually decorating part of it.
The fortuitousness, was down the fact that -- because I was going to be away for a couple of days -- Shirley had arranged to go off to stay at her sister's place for the weekend, rather than spending the time alone in the bungalow.
Doubly fortuitous for me, because I couldn't stand the stuck-up bitch, or her insufferable Bible-punching husband either. Shirley going up there on her own for a couple of days, meant one less occasion that I'd have to put up with the buggers that year.
Nope, I could nip back home, sink a few bevies, and quietly get the bloody hall painted in peace. And make as much mess as I liked, while doing so.
So, after Brian had called me, I spun the car around with a smile on my face and headed back home post haste; thinking how pleased Shirley would be when she arrived home on Sunday evening to find the hall all freshly painted.
It was quite late when I made it back to the house, and, I was somewhat taken aback to find that two strange cars had been reversed into my driveway.
You know, the first thought that crossed my mind was that we had burglars.
After all, the two cars were a Mitsubishi Evo VIII and a Subaru Impreza, two of the quickest production cars available. And -- I was well aware from all those TV police chase programs -- the getaway vehicles' of choice, for young tearaways and criminals.
Only the week before, there'd been a program on TV, where a young turd, had entered a house to get his hands on the ignition keys of an Evo VIII, because the cars are virtually impossible steal any other way. Little plonker made a rear mess of the motor before the police eventually got their hands on the little sh ... Typical kid, thought he could drive because he was in a fast car.
Anyway, I kind of pictured the scene inside the house in my mind. The cars had been reversed almost right up to the door of our integral garage. In my mind, I could almost see the toe-rags quietly ransacking the house in the dark, and stacking all of Shirley and my valued possessions behind the garage door.
Then -- when they were ready -- they'd open the door and throw everything into the back of the two vehicles, before making their high-speed getaway.
I'd actually hit the first two nines on my mobile phone, when another thought crept into my mind. "Had I got it wrong?"
What if Shirley's sister and her old man had come down to see her, instead of Shirley going up there? After all, I'd headed off to my brothers place directly from work; there could have been a change of plan that I didn't know about.
Perhaps, they'd come down to visit Shirley instead! I'd look like a complete bloody banana, if I called the cops on my own Mrs and her family, wouldn't I?
And, bloody poseurs they were, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Mr and Mrs "Shit don't stink" didn't drive an Evo and an Impreza. It would be just like them to bring both vehicles along, just to bloody-well show them off to Shirley and the neighbours. I could picture them standing outside my house, polishing the cars whilst secretly smirking to themselves.
Bugger, they'd probably planned to hang around until I got home on Sunday night as well; just to rub my nose in it!
For a few minutes I sat there, wondering what to do for the best.
Why calling Shirley on the telephone and asking her where she was, never came into my head, I just can't tell you.
Look, as I explained, I was out of it for well over a week after that evening. I can't be a hundred-percent sure about what I was thinking, or of exactly what, or why I did anything.
Anyway, the idea of blocking both vehicles in the drive with my own car was out of the question. Thieves would not think twice about bulldozing my car out of the way, or driving over my nice manicured lawn either, so I squashed that idea without much thought. But then I remembered the anchor chain!
On our last trip out on his boat the year before, Brian and I had anchored near a wreck, to do some fishing. Unfortunately the anchor had got hung on the wreck, or maybe on some rocks on the seabed, and we'd eventually been forced to abandon it.
Being a thoughtful brother, I'd bought Brian a replacement anchor and twenty metres of chain as a Christmas present to replace the lost items.