Thursday, 23 October 2014

Neighbourhood watch

“We can offer you a cup of tea in a bit,” said Roger, his eyes twinkling as his wife, Elizabeth, finished his sentence. “But I’m afraid if it comes to a drone attack or a CIA sniper, you’re on your own!”. We were standing in their front garden, discussing a phone conversation Roger had just had with one of their neighbours.

Within two minutes of my arriving at my clients’ property, the phone had rung. It was the American lady who lives opposite; clearly a responsible person, and custodian of a well-developed sense of civic duty.

“Roger, I don’t want to alarm you, but a man with a beard has just gone down the side of your house.”

It was unclear whether, in the mind of the informant, the most sinister thing about this event was the fact that a man had gone down the side of the house, or that this suspicious character was in possession of a beard – an item which, so my client was given to presume, he was wearing on his face in the traditional manner, although it must be admitted this had not been made explicit.

“Well, um...thank you Pamela.” Roger, the politest man you could meet, had made a masterful recovery from the shock of the news. “But I take it that the individual in question is the same chap who has just parked a green land rover on the drive, with his company logo, website and phone number on the sides. It’s Andrew, our gardener. He’s been bringing his beard down the side of the house every fortnight for two and a half years now.”

“Well, just so you know, ” came the reply, unphased. “You can’t be too careful.”

So there you have it. Reader, consider yourselves duly warned; Men with Beards have been seen in your area. Be watchful.

You can’t be too careful.