“You’re hoarding criminals upstairs”, is what I said to our neighbour below. “You might want to disassociate yourselves with us from now on, in fact you may even see an E-fit of my other half on tonight’s Crimewatch UK, so tune in.”
Yes another confession, another run in with those handsome boys in uniform, I’m almost tempted to give them a high-five next time I see them in the street.
So the story begins with a knock on the door in the late evening, “It’s the police, can we come in and have a word with you please, Miss?”
An attempted break-in had taken place earlier in the day at 9.30am down the street, (a spate of them in the West End I’m told) I thought they were perhaps doing their rounds and alerting the neighbours, but no, that’s not why they were paying us a visit.
“We regret to inform you Miss, that your vehicle was seen at the local garage, filling up with £10 worth of petrol and then driving off without paying, this was recorded on camera at the approximate time of 5.30pm on Wednesday 4th July.”
The officer continued, “Yes, it was a male driver who was spotted driving the car at the time. He filled up the car, proceeded to enter the garage, purchased a few items and then left without paying for his petrol.”
Heads turned to look at my other half, who firstly had a look of shock on his face but then also of one of complete innocence and said, “It wisnae me (in a Manchester accent) whilst I blurted, “Nooooooo!” with a big guilty look on my face.
Already a tense and awkward moment, I found myself rambling to the nice officers, about this being a mistake or perhaps an accident. Meanwhile my other half thought for some reason it was an appropriate time to offer the boys a hot brew. Yes that’s right, accused of stealing petrol from the local petrol station and then offering the lads a wee cup of tea, timing has never been his forte.
I’m sure you can picture the scene, I wished my wooden floors would snap and drop me to the ground. “My other half is recovering from a brain tumour“, I blurted.
Yes it was out my mouth before I could stop it, the poor officers didn’t know where to look and bowed their heads to the floor in silence.
“We don’t want you to worry about this and sorry for the stress it may have have caused you,” said the nice officer.
I pulled out my iPhone and checked my diary and discovered that I was the one who was driving the car on this particular day and not my so-called better half.
The officers apologised and left us, they would return at a later date after double-checking their details and information.
The door closed and nervous laughter consumed us both. “I can’t believe you used the cancer card once again”, said my other half. Yes he often uses it to his own advantage when it comes to the last chocolate biscuit in the tin or who should sit at the window seat on the plane, but when you are questioned by the local bobby over a drive-off allegation, I’m not allowed to mention it. It’s a good job we both have a similar sense of humour.
In the hours that followed, my detective instincts took over and I discovered that my darling other half had been to said garage the day before and purchased his lottery tickets. I recall that evening well because the girl in the garage had given him a scratch card instead by accident. Not wanting to create a fuss he just left with it and returned home. An expensive mistake to make I moaned at the £3 scratchcard but we gave it a go and luckily for us, we won £10 that night.
The smiling officers returned the following day having done their research and yes it was my so-called better half who had driven off the previous day. I explained the scratch card story to them in full and rejoiced at our lucky win. “He’ll have £10 to pay for the petrol then”, said the nice officer.
Apparently I’m told that ‘driving-off’ is a common occurrence and that doctors and lawyers do it all the time, we can add forgetful journalists to that list too.
We returned the £10 to the local garage, who were nothing but kind and laughed about the situation. Not sure I’ll be filling up there anytime soon though!
Let this be a lesson to all those filling up in future, “driving-off, it happens to the best of us” to quote the local bobby.
To find your nearest petrol station and download the MyGas app click here
And just because I thought it was appropriate: Noddy