..it comes and goes, it comes and goooooeees.
(That's for those of you old enough to remember Boy George in the days when he confined his notoriety to singing chart hits and taking heroin, rather than chaining rent boys to radiators and being sent to jail).
ANYWAY - during the whole debacle of my missing ball and it's subsequent discovery, nestling amongst several million volts of electricity inside a sub-station - I alluded to it's theft being 'karma' for a very bad thing I did to a village Christmas tree during my youth. As I've moaned about my kids enough this week I shall confine tonight's post to the Tale of the Disappearing Christmas Tree.
It happened like this.
Somewere in the depths of rural Somerset a woman turned 40 in the run up to Christmas. This woman happened to be my friend's mum and thus my friend (and I, as her 'best friend') were allowed to attend the party which was held in a local village hall. The run up to the party was highly exciting and we took great thrill in being put in charge of decorating the hall - even if this did result in us arranging all the balloons in such a fashion that they represented a set of testicles with a large erect penis rising from the midst of them.
There was a huge buffet and alcohol to be got hold of so all looked promising.
Can't go to far wrong can you?
Well the thing is that everyone else was about 40 (funnily enough) and in our eyes rather dull (this was in the middle of farming-centrale so much of the conversation revolved around the price of bull calves and milking yields, not that thrilling to your average teenage girl looking for love, lust and something more appealing than the smell of cow muck). After a while we got bored - VERY bored. And bored teenagers and alcohol are a very dangerous combination (as I'm sure I will see again when my children hit that magnificent era of their lives).
After a while we de-camped to the porch area of the village hall - just so we could 'hang out' away from the 'olds' - and in this porch area was the village's Christmas Tree. A Christmas Tree obtained via charitable funds donated by the church...... So what did we decide to do with it? Leave a small gift beneath it? Add a touch of decorating brilliance? Say a prayer for world peace?
We hoisted it on our backs, smuggled it across the car park and then, using our combined efforts, tossed it like a rather magnificent caber, over a very high fence and onto the very posh golf course whose land neighboured the car park.
I honestly don't know. All I can say (in a true teenage fashion) is 'I dunno, it seemed like a good idea at the time'.
Then we rolled around laughing, went home and fell into alcohol induced deep sleep.
Until circa am the following morning when my friend's mum (the birthday girl herself) came rushing into the room and woke us to inform us that she needed to talk about 'something very serious which had happened in the village'.
It appeared that the cleaner had arrived that morning to see to the hall and the tree was missing. The tree was (apparently) irreplaceable - sourced from church money of which there was no more - and Christmas was - to all intents and purposes - over for the village hall now.
All the parties and concerts and little events planned in the run up to Christmas would be stark shadows of their former glories - because the bloody Christmas Tree was missing.
Her mum - having booked the hall - was being held responsible and, by this point, threatened with having to fund a replacement (they claimed the tree had cost £300 - THREE HUNDRED QUID!? It looked like a £30 job from Wilkos but hey, who am I to argue?). Her mum was practically shaking and seemed fearful that at any moment an angry posse would arrive at the front door demanding she hand over the tree. So she begged us - and I mean BEGGED - to let on if we knew anything, anything at all about the tree's whereabouts.
We glanced at each other nervously. We clearly both felt bad. Really bad. What had been a drunken prank with no obvious consequences (or in fact reason) had now turned into a 'really very bad thing'. As our eyes met we could almost read each other's minds and almost at once we spoke the same words....
.... 'it was Sian'.
Sian was a girl who lived round the corner from the village hall/golf course and she was a huge pain in the arse (I doubt she reads this blog - it would be beneath her). Although she hung out with us from time to time (begrudgingly - in very rural areas you sometimes don't have a lot of choice about who you share taxis with or go to parties with), she clearly viewed us all as mere peasants (on more than one occasion she declared us 'common') whilst, at the same time, she was prone to strange outbursts of violence. I once witnessed her slap a boy for offering her a stick of chewing gum and, at one point, she slammed a pizza into my face for no apparent reason whatsoever. One minute I was standing at a buffet talking, the next minute I was breathing in cheese and pineapple and she was screaming at me. Odd. Very odd.
Anyway - we didn't like her and neither did any of our mums.
"But Sian wasn't at the party!" said my friend's mum.
'Err, she crept in. She saw there was a party and came and sat in the porch with us. She was acting a bit mad and suddenly picked up the Christmas tree and ran off with it. We tried to stop her but she was obviously drunk or high or something'.
Now, quite how plausible it was that a young lady from one of the counties leading Public Schools would randomly appear at the door of a 40th birthday party before abducting the village christmas tree, is somewhat debatable - but the point is my friend's mum believed us.
'SIAN! Well I might have known it! Why didn't you say something at last night!'.
'Because we're scared of her and she was acting REALLY mad!'.
'Right I'm phoning her mother right now!'.
Small hole in our plan there.
'Errr, let us do it, she will talk to us, we can get her to reveal the location of the tree.....PLEASE!'.
'No, I really need to talk to her mother. Does her mother even know she was out? I can't let this go'.
'Errr, I think her mum's away at the moment. Her Gran's looking after them and you know she's really old and stuff. Let us talk to her'.
And thus ensued us making a fake phone call to Sian, in front of my friend's mum, complete with fake conversation with the speaking clock about the tree's whereabouts:
'You did what?'
'The time is 8.06 precisely'.
'The time is 8.06 precisely'.
'Where exactly along the fence?'
'The time is 8.07 precisely'
'The golf club you say?'.
'The time is.....'.
We then had to call the golf club and explain and persuade them to retrieve the tree from the bunker into which it had fallen. To say they were none to pleased would be something of an understatement.
And after that we pretty much got away with it - although we did cringe mightily and hold our breath when my friend's mother approached Sian at a local gymkhana and, pointing angrily at her face, shouted "I know ALL about you and the Christmas tree and quite frankly I'm disgusted. I hope you realised just how much trouble you caused! Don't expect to EVER be allowed into my home, EVER again! You got that? Good!" before marching off. I think Sian was slightly confused.
Or at least I thought I got away with it - but the theft of my ball proves that what goes around really does come around - even if it waits a decade and a half to do so.