On opening the kitchen blinds a couple of Monday morning’s ago, Nick and I discovered a sporty Audi A3 inconsiderately parked a few feet from the end of our driveway. I confess I’m not at my best on a Monday morning; we are invariably running late and shouting at the kids, so having to back out around the wretched thing all day long left me a little on the short tempered side. By Tuesday it was still there and Nick and I began to wonder which of our neighbours could allow their guest to be so thoughtless. As it happened, it had snowed overnight and the boys (all 4 of them) were outside before the school run throwing snowballs at each other. Nick opened his car ready to take the kids to school and John managed to score a perfectly timed strike on the dashboard. There was a split second moment of pride where I basked in the knowledge that John, not really known for his sporting prowess, had managed to throw straight, swiftly followed by the realisation that Daddy was not so impressed. Actually he was mad. The boys got in the car and Nick put the vehicle in reverse.
You know what happened next.
I saw it in slow motion, indeed, it felt like I foresaw it but was too paralysed to prevent it. Even at just a couple of miles an hour, it turns out you can do a fair bit of damage to a sporty Audi.
Still in my dressing gown I started knocking on the neighbours’ doors, angry, frustrated and ready for a confrontation. None of the neighbours could shed any light on the provenance of the car but one pointed out the window that had been open since Monday – how odd, in snow….
Then the penny dropped.
Nick made an interesting call to work, worthy of inclusion in Forbes’ Most ridiculous excuses for missing work, that went something like this, “sorry, I’m not going to make it in today; distracted by a snowball on my dashboard, I backed into a stolen car which I’d forgotten had been abandoned at the end of my driveway and now I have to present myself at the local constabulary”.
Thieves eh? Dante was right, it’s the 8th circle of hell for them.
I was just recovering my equilibrium on Wednesday when the phone rang. A helpful man from Microsoft with news that there was a virus on my computer and if I would just fire up my internet browser he would talk me through sorting it out. After the Audi debacle I wasn’t in the mood for being treated like an idiot. A few profanities later and I felt a bit better. Annoyingly though, they rang back again the next day… and the next. I got to recognise the number and started answering with different salutations – “Microsoft helpdesk” just resulted in having the phone slammed down on me, which wasn’t as satisfying as I’d hoped it would be, so I was wondering if I could feign an MI5 secure line, but that probably credits these fraudsters with too much intelligence. Nick answered next time they rang and kept them on the phone for almost 10 minutes before they realised they weren’t getting anywhere. It was entertaining though, when they thought that we had 18 computers, all of which needed fixing.
Liars and scammers, you belong with the thieves.
Clearly the week couldn’t fail to improve. As usual, I turned to my favourite distraction at the moment and continued researching the North America leg of our trip. All this talk of thieves and liars has given me an idea for Nick’s 40th birthday, later this year – I’m thinking David Copperfield or perhaps Penn and Teller; someone who can put the art of deception to genuinely impressive use. At nearly $90 a ticket though, it had better be awesome or the 8th circle of hell won’t be retribution enough!