Thursday, 11 November 2010

Two Birds, And The Usefulness Of Knowing When To Make A Quick Getaway.

God, today is stressful. First of all, Trish phones.

"Andrew's in London," I say. "Did you think it was Friday?"

Seems I'm not the only one who has no idea where my husband is half the time although, as The Boss is always in Westminster on Mondays to Fridays when Parliament is in session, you'd think Trish would have learned that by now.

"No, I know it's Thursday" she says. "I want to talk to you, Molly. Is that Victoria still there?"

Trish doesn't sound at all like her usual dynamic self. And why is she asking me?

"Um, yes," I say. "Though I'm not sure for how much longer."

"Thanks. That's all I wanted to know." Then Trish hangs up. I've got a horrible feeling that that wasn't the answer she was hoping for.

Five minutes later, Greg is reading the local paper when he says, "Shit!"

"What?" I say, as Vicky does that long-suffering sigh that denotes her disapproval of swearing. She's probably got her eye on an internship with the Pope next.

"Look at this." Greg puts the paper in front of me.

The front page says: "Man run over by neighbour in bizarre feud." Oh, for God's sake. It's Mr Meeeurghn. He's been mowed down by one of his neighbours, and is now in Northwick General. With minor injuries.

"Maybe we should have taken him more seriously," says Greg. "Seen who they've arrested?"

"Not yet," I say. "Who?"

"John Fuk-Yue. Claims he had an epileptic fit while at the wheel."

Brilliant. Just brilliant. One loony constituent ploughed down by another. Now they'll both want us to help them get justice. Talk about a conflict of interest.

Mind you, there is something very neat about two of our most nightmare constituents putting each other out of action. You might almost say "two birds with one stone." If you were that sort of person.

"Killed two birds with one stone, there," says Greg - who obviously is that kind of person. "Bloody marvellous. Though I've just realised something else. It's not just those two who live on Florence Road. Miss Chambers lives there too - and Mr Everett. The council must be building a loony ghetto."

"Well, we're still not sure Mr Everett is a loony," I say. "It might just be his head injury."

"He scared the shit out of you last time he came in. You said The Twilight Zone theme was playing at full blast."

Greg's right, actually. Despite his smart suit, and his educated and superficially polite demeanour, there is something strange about Mr Everett. If you contradict him at all, or indicate that you are checking his story with the relevant authorities, you can sense the aggression boiling away just beneath the surface.

He claims to have been the victim of a mugging but, so far, no-one seems to believe that that is the reason he was found lying unconscious in the street. Not even the woman who was his girlfriend at the time, though I haven't told him that yet. All the witnesses refer to his habitual drinking, though - when they're willing to speak about him at all, that is.

"Well, yes, " I say. "And I do wish he hadn't taken such a liking to me. I'm getting tired of him coming in every other day, but I've decided I'm not going to see him on my own again, anyway."

"I doubt he'll like that," says Greg. "Seeing as you seem to be becoming his raison d'etre."

This is a really unnerving thought, and I can feel myself go pale.

"Don't fret," says Greg. "That's why we're going to do our next CRB check on Florence Road."

"Oh, God. Do we have to do more of those?" I say. "I've had quite enough of living dangerously."

"It's more dangerous not knowing what we're up against, Mol. This time we'll just do one street. And we'll wear trainers in case we need to make a quick getaway."

"Pity Mr Meeurghn didn't think of that," I say.

Now I come to think of it, it sounds as if The Boss might need to get some running shoes, if Trish's tone was anything to go by. I can't believe I used to complain I led a boring life.

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