Come here you lot – I want a word with you!
Yes, YOU, the person reading this! Thanks to the activities of one of you, your law-abiding and respectable scribe has been required to “help the Police with their enquiries”!
Oh, don’t worry – I haven’t been banged up in a cell and questioned by “Good Cop; Bad Cop” inquisitorial teams for hours on end – it’s much more prosaic than that.
Let me explain.
Last Thursday (28th August 2014) I came home from work at about 5:15pm to find a piece of paper on the front doormat. Careful forensic examination showed this to be a Cambridgeshire Constabulary compliment slip with an anonymous hand-written note asking me to call a named person at Barton-on-Humber Police Station. The message made no mention of the reason for this or of any urgency but like a good boy I immediately called the number given.
This turned out to be “busy” for the first 20 minutes of trying and when I did get through I got a recorded message telling me that the line was only manned from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday!
So I tried again just after 9 on Friday morning – still the recorded message, so I left one of my own at the sound of the tone. I was called back later that day and advised that the person I needed to speak to would not be back on duty until Monday afternoon and would call me then.
Still no idea of what it was all about so I had to spend the weekend and most of Monday wondering.
And then at 6pm just as my “late shift” was ending I had a call from a very nice man I shall call “Sergeant Dave” from Barton-on-Humber police station and finally found out what was going on.
It seems that an old lady in the Humberside village of Goxhill has been receiving postcards!
Nothing unusual in that, I hear you say, but these are not addressed to her by name, are all quite similar in content, are quite plainly not meant for her at all and she finds them unsettling enough to have called the police about them!
I don’t think I can quote word for word what Sgt Dave read to me but the intended recipient was referred to as “coffin dodging” in their “hovel in ………..”. I deliberately didn’t finish the place name at the end of that sentence (Does that mean I’ve got a suspended sentence?) because we’re going to take a short diversion right now.
I need you to follow the links to these two earlier articles of mine and to read them including the comments at the end.
Done that? Good. Notice the common factor? The Police did!
For the words ending that sentence above were “Pogworthy-on-the-Scrunt” – a ludicrous place name invented by my good friend in Thailand and not used, as far as I know, anywhere but in those two posts. Indeed if you Google that name, links to those sites (and now, presumably, this one too) are the only entries that come up.
And that’s how the police located me and my friend’s comments. Despite the pseudonym there are sufficient clues in these 200 plus pieces for a determined detective to work out my real name and the general vicinity of my address. Or they may just have asked WordPress.
The postcards that were sent were described to me as being “unusual” – apparently pictures of a scientific nature and were posted somewhere in the UK. I am quite sure that Sgt. Dave would have mentioned it if they had been from “overseas”.
Now, when this was being explained to me I was able to state quite categorically that I knew no-one living in Goxhill but couldn’t help but laugh when that ficticious place name was mentioned. I also said immediately that I could see why they were asking ME about it.
And apart from one other thing that I haven’t mentioned yet I would have bet that some random reader had stumbled on one or other of the above articles and thought it would be a good Monty Python-esque name to throw into a series of quirky postcards.
The part I have missed out is the name the writer used at the end of these cards – the name of the gormless, gap-toothed cover boy of Mad magazine, much beloved by my friends in the weird half of my school class in the 60s – Alfred E. Neuman!
So it looks a bit like SOMEONE I used to know might be sending these cards and if they are part of my treasured readership I simply will not believe they are doing it deliberately to unsettle some old dear and must need rather to check their address book a little more carefully.
I told the Sergeant this and he agreed. This won’t be going anywhere as far as the Police are concerned but as I feel some remote sense of responsibility I agreed to do my bit and contact anyone who might have done this misaddressing – and this is the best way I could think of to do it.
So, if you’re reading this and you are sending cards to someone in Goxhill, South Humberside, please, please, please SEND THEM TO THE RIGHT BLOODY ADDRESS!
Of course if anyone wants to tell me in the comments bit at the end of this piece that they have made some mistake in this matter I can simply tell the Barton Fuzz that it has been put right and leave them to set the old lady’s mind at rest.
And just to end on a positive note, Sergeant Dave and his colleagues apparently found my articles to be “Quite entertaining”. Every cloud……..!