Another story I wish I did not have to tell, but if I’m making notes for a scrap book, it has to be included.
Here I am in Camberley police station following a phone call I had made earlier, it was about an incident at my home in Lightwater. The desk sergeant is dealing with an elderly lady, who is reporting that her cat is missing. At first, he is quite polite and understanding, but as she is going into great detail about her wonderful pet, I could see he was losing his cool.
I thought my incident would have the same effect on him, I started to regret making the phone call. Then he peered over his glasses and he called my name.
“Mr Wegwoin”. He said—no one can pronounce my name for some reason—I sat down in front of his desk, and without looking up he asked.”Have I got the name right sir”.
“Near enough , I always know it’s me when some one stumbles over it” I said.
“I have to have the name right sir, how do you spell it?”.
This is a good start I thought, this is not going well.
Still not looking up he asked me what was the reason for my visit. “I phoned you this afternoon about the incident at my home in Lightwater”.
” And what sort of incident was that?”. — Probably hoping it did not involve cats— . “It’s about my wife’s car, you said I should come in ask for you personally”
He put the pen down and looked at me—and probably for the first time that day— he had a smile on his face as he remembered my phone call.
“Yes that’s right Mr Weg———”. His voice trailing away. ” Just tell me in your own words exactly what happened today”.
Before I could say any thing, he said “Would you mind if a couple of my young PC’s could sit in, it would be a good training exercise , should they ever come across” —he hesitated for a moment while trying to find the right words—”Such a thing in future”.
The two PC’s came over—one looked about 12 years old— , I started to explain the situation with my wife, “My wife Ann, had just come out of hospital after having her 5th hip replacement”. The 12 year old looked over for a moment I could see him imagining a woman with 5 legs.
“My wife was in her new electric invalid chair, reading her ‘Guardian’. The chair is not quite set up properly and it is inclined to eject her in the standing position too quickly, so I always stand inn front of her just in case.
The sergeant looked up and twirled his finger at me to get to the point.
“Ann said that she just read that the cost of the MOT was going up soon, and she told me that her car must be due for the test. Her car had not been used for nearly a year, so we decided it needed a good clean before it was in the workshop “.
He gave another of his looks, but I thought he had told me to say it in my own words, and that is what I am doing.
“I opened all the doors as it smelled a bit, put on a Don Williams CD, and then went into the garage to find the cleaning stuff”.
” I heard some car doors shutting and thought it was Colin, my neighbour , he alway slammed the doors of his car”. Then I heard a car start up and I knew it was Ann’s car because Saab’s have a noisy starter motor”.
“I walked round to the car only to see it slowly reversing up the drive, I could see the driver and he gave a bit of a nod. I thought it must be Mac , our mechanic, or one of his brothers—they all look alike in that family”.
” Our drive is about 50 metres long and quite narrow, so I walked along with car and told him that one of the stop lights is not working. He nodded again, then I guided him out into our road , which can be very busy. He gave a couple of toots and drove off. I picked up all cleaning stuff and went indoors to make a cup of tea”.
I said to Ann, ” I didn’t know you had booked the MOT, they have picked it up already”.
” There was no reply, I looked over at Ann, she slowly put her paper down and was just looking at me—I knew something was amiss—she had the same look on her face , when a few years earlier, I had told her that I had buried our old Ford van in the garden”.
” Thats when I rang you, sergeant, because I thought my car had been stolen”.
The sergeant leaned back in his chair and said to the now grinning PC’s. ” You see” he said ” That could only happen in Lightwater” then turning to me he said, “The insurance will not pay out sir , because you left the keys in the ignition”.
They did though, three months later the car was returned in better condition than before— and with a quiet starter motor— I just had to pay the £250 excess.
On the other hand they refused to insure us the following year.