Thursday, 28 May 2015

Norman the Gnome Goes Missing

In the last few months there have been a spate of garden based burglaries in the street and this week saw another one. I say spate but up until now there had only been two, but people don’t describe burglaries in terms of duos, do they? I also don’t think they are referred to as a spate when only one person has been burgled, that person being Reg.
It started with an old wheelbarrow that for some reason he’d left in his front garden overnight, it contained a few plants ready to be potted up and some manure. The burglar clearly had no need for these garden goodies and had upturned the contents onto the border and made off with the barrow. Reg was fuming, he discovered his loss the next morning as he headed off for the daily paper and his ranting and shouting woke me from my slumber.
‘Well beggar me, Margaret, come and look at this, some blighter’s had me barrow. Margaret, Margaret, can you hear me, we’ve been burgled.’
Margaret hurried to the front door, I think more to try to shut Reg up than to commiserate with his loss. The absence of a phone in her hand seemed to antagonise him more.
‘Well, have you rung the police, can’t you see we’ve been victims of crime? You need to get a move on woman the first 24 hours are crucial.’
‘The police? Do you really think that’s necessary, I mean, it was only a wheelbarrow.’
I thought his head would explode, this was causing more anguish than Ken’s bush.
‘It’s not what was taken Margaret, it’s the effect it’s had on me, look at my garden, manure and plants strewn all over, I feel violated Margaret and no mistake. I want action taken and I want compensation.’
I can report that the police had no interest whatsoever, I think mainly due to the small value of the item in question, although they did send a victim support worker a few days later to make sure Reg was ok. I felt very sorry for that poor woman, she appeared to be a well-meaning volunteer with the intention of doing her bit for society. If she’s still volunteering now I’ll be amazed, Reg sent her away with such a large flea in her ear that she would have needed the help of a vet to dislodge it.
The wheelbarrow was spotted a week or so later in someone’s garden a few streets away, being used as a hen house, Reg did knock but the owner said he had found it in a skip, and as it had a hole in the side to provide a doorway for the chickens, he decided to let it drop.
The next thing that went missing was a bra off of Margaret’s washing line, it was a pink lacy affair, not quite the underwear you’d imagine for her, but someone other than her and Reg had clearly decided it was to their liking. It had been a windy night so the surrounding gardens were searched but to no avail. Reg again had phoned the police but as previously they were not interested and with his words of anger he did add a request not to have the victim support worker appear again (I imagine she was extremely relieved).

This week it was Norman the Gnome. It stands in Regs’ front garden, a solitary figure without friends, I think it was a present from one of his grandchildren and although I have heard him claim to hate it, he is always very complimentary about it in front of them. The problem is, this is not the first time Norman has gone missing, in fact it is year three. The first year he was gone from May till July, being returned one night as mysteriously as when he disappeared, the second year he went from May till August and this time he sent a postcard of himself relaxing on a boat. The rest of the street found this highly amusing but Reg remained unmoved, this year however he was raging.
‘Is this all a joke Margaret, is someone tormenting me on purpose? And if so, why? What have I done to deserve this? D’you think its Micky the meat from the market?’

Margaret remained tight lipped on the subject and I don’t blame her, but why Micky the meat would want to get involved in rearranging Regs garden equipment is a mystery to me.

I suppose the good news to report is that the bra did finally turn up, in a tree in the churchyard, whether it had blown to its final resting place or been thrown there by a high spirited joker remains to be seen, but it has certainly been put to good use.



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