Imagine Aphra and Taffy parked up in the backest of back streets behind where we work. It’s littered with the pretty sparkle of smashed windscreens and the not so pretty detritus of ripped out radios and discarded tyres. Taffy’s never been there before and Aphra only parks there because she’s too stingy to pay for parking every day.
That was the set-up shot, now for the explanatory flash-back.
Some years ago I went out with a roughty toughty bloke who liked nothing better than the magical mix of testosterone and wilderness. Let’s put it this way, come armageddon it’ll be him, Ray Mears and the Bush Tucker Man garotting wolves while the rest of us are throwing stones at the windows of supermarkets. Originally he had me down as a slick urban professional and was rather surprised to discover I like the sticks because that’s where I grew up. When he got over his shock he gave me rather nice and extremely sharp fishing knife and a small air pistol. Such sweet love tokens, eh? However you can’t really take pot-shots at empty tin cans in the backwoods here, you have to do it in licenced and reinforced concrete buildings which is how it should be in a country as neurotic as the UK. And I don’t go fishing. So I had two things I never used and couldn’t Freecycle sitting in my kitchen and gathering dust.
Taffy, bless him, rather likes winding up the girlies of both sexes at work with stories of shooting ikkle fluffy bunnikins and eventually I put two and two together and asked if he’d like the air pistol. He grinned and said ‘yes’ and looked amused when I flat out refused to bring it in to the building. You don’t need to read the rules to work out that bringing something that looks like a firearm into the office would be at the very least a disciplinary offence. The company doesn’t do bag-searches, but there’s no point losing your job for something that pointlessly stupid, now is there.
So there I was in one of the town’s dodgier back streets with Taffy, handing over an arsenalette of things which are only legal because neither of us are 16. As Taffy said “we look a right couple of villains don’t we?”
It wasn’t until we’d driven out of the lane and on to the tarmac that I discovered that the car at the bottom was a police car. How glad am I that they were concentrating on faffing around with an “accident” sign and not getting confused by Taff and me?