Had a brush with the law yesterday. I was in town visiting Googling Brother, as one does -- hiding individual anchovies in the bottom of his filing cabinet and taping them to the underside of his desk drawers when he's not in the room* -- and afterwards he and I went to see an Alex of our acquaintance. Shooting the breeze and coming up with plots for a chap Alex knows who makes 'crazy-ass martial arts' films set in Aberdeen. I'd just finished describing my 'Torry Samuri' idea, complete with ninja-style fight in a fish house, when we heard a creak from the direction of Alex's front door. We all go quiet. Nothing. Then it's back to figuring out how to make a filleted fish work like nunchucks.
'Clunk' ... 'clunk'...
Alex gets out of his seat to see if it's someone coming in. He has a kind of open door policy, where people generally wander into his house and shout hello. It'd drive me mad -- I believe in ringing the doorbell -- but hey, different strokes and all that. Alex opens the lounge door, there's a heartbeat's silence, then, "COME BACK HERE!" and the sound of thundering feet.
GB and I leap from our seats, rushing from the lounge and inadvertently doing that laurel and hardy -- shoulders getting jammed in the door thing. Alex is hammering, hell for leather up the road, after someone.
GB shouts, "I'll get the car!" and that leaves me, standing on the top step, unable to leave the house, as there's no keys anywhere in sight to lock the bloody door. So I can't go chasing after the bad guy. GB jumps into his car, there's a squeal of tires and he roars off in hot pursuit. But I'm left looking after the house. Just in case whoever Alex is thundering after wasn't working alone. It's weird searching someone else's house, looking to see if anyone's snuck in.
Now I should probably point out that Alex isn't the smallest of puppies. He's about six foot three, four foot wide, and about eighteen and a bit stone. Big guy. And he can move when he needs to. Not the sort of person you want chasing you. It takes him a little bit to get up speed, but when he does it’s like that big stone ball at the start of Raiders Of The Lost Ark. But eventually he puffed and panted his way back to the house, looking like a beetroot in a yellow shirt. Mr Burglar has escaped.
GB arrives back five minutes later, also empty handed. And so Alex goes through the place, looking to see if anything's been taken... And that's when we realise that Mr Burglar probably isn't the smartest cookie in the jar. He's missed a laptop, two digital cameras a mobile phone, a wallet -- all lying about in the hallway. In fact, there's no sign of him actually getting away with anything at all. Stupid bugger.
So we call it in and Grampian Police send round a patrol car, complete with flashing blue lights. Two unformed WPCs appear, one to take a statement from Alex in the lounge, as he's the only person who saw Mr Stupid the Burglar (even if it was only from the back, as the little sod legged it), and the other one to take GB and my details dons la kitchen.
It's a sad admission to make, but I've never been that close to a Woman Police Officer in my life. So she asks my name: and I tell her. Asks my occupation: I say 'crime writer'. Asks for my phone number: I'm obviously in there. And then she goes through to the lounge to speak to her partner.
Five minutes later she pops back into the kitchen to say, sorry, she's only just realised who I was. How bloody weird. She's read the book and liked it: in fact she's been sharing a copy with five of her colleagues and they all liked it. I bask in my moment of fame! Then start asking if she'll show me her truncheon. Well, a boy's got to try, hasn't he?
And she showed me too.
I'm so dirty :}#
* You see: I've been trying to get myself a hobby.