A month ago someone kicked the wing mirror off my car and then urinated all over it..the car not the mirror.
I instinctively felt this was unlikely to be a new specialised car wash promotion from the Bosnians who wash your windscreens at traffic lights all over London. But was it linked to the Middle East situation? I had bought a salt beef sandwich just hours earlier, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t been followed.
As I was leaving by car for France that day I supposed it just conceivably could have been a Glaswegian bon voyage greeting .But I live in London. It turned out to be an English drunk clearly trying to emulate William Hagues prodigious youthful drinking habits.
BUT How do I know this I can hear you asking?
BECAUSE WE CAUGHT HIM! Thats how!
It has always been my fantasy.. to catch a guy vandalising my car in mid flow. Millions of us Londoners fall asleep every night with this dream as their head hits the pillow. Everyone I know has had their car broken into on a regular basis.
When I say WE got him ..to be accurate two VERY big guys got him.. I was fast asleep in bed at the time. Its a thing I tend to do on a regular basis at 4 in the morning.
After dining out in the West End I had parked my car outside Claridges Hotel and taken a taxi home.
(Any would be vandals reading this, forget about cars outside big luxury hotels.. cos inside watching are banks of cctv cameras and very large men just waiting for you to try and kick a car wing mirror. Think about it. What else have they got to do? ..a hotel at four in the morning is just a big building full of sleeping old rich people. They are looking for action.)
They turned him over to the police.
I got an emergency mirror and another more traditional car wash and set off for the South of France.
A month after my return I still hadn’t heard anything from the police. I called the crime desk at Savile Row police station. The officer dealing with the attack was a PC Brainey.
“I left a message on your mobile Sir”
“I never got one.”
“Well I left one Sir ”
“Well I never got it.”
“I left one Sir”
“How do you explain that I got all my other messages but not yours PC Brainey?
“Look we can go on like this forever Sir, what can I do for you?”
“What sentence did he get? I asked. “A year in Wormwood Scrubs?” “2000 hours community service?”
“We didn’t charge him Sir”
“WHAT do you mean you didn’t charge him?” I shouted?”
“Before we can charge him Sir, you have to sign a statement saying you never gave him permission to damage your car.”
“So if I was beaten to a pulp by an axe wielding maniac whilst out shopping in Oxford st. you wouldnt charge him until I signed a statement swearing I had not asked him to kill me with an axe? ” I asked.
“That is a hypothetical situation Sir” he said. “Do you want to sign the statement or not Sir?” “Yes I certainly do!” I said.
“Right then, I will leave it on the station desk for you to sign Sir.” He said.
“Good .” I said. I have been having a bit of a run of bad luck with my car recently.
Two weeks ago I left it with the engine running for just 30 seconds while I went to buy a paper..When I came out of the shop I saw a car exactly like mine coming down the road towards me.
Actually it was my car! There were two young white guys in it.. they must have been 18 years old ..between them.
At moments like this the words “Don’t do anything stupid” have no meaning. I immediately leapt into action. I ran after the car..They were driving it like they had just won the lottery. I caught up with them as they were still looking right, then left..then right again before crossing the junction into the main road.
” I AM A POLICE OFFICER! GET OUT OF THE FUCKING CAR..YOURE UNDER ARREST!”I shouted VERY loudly. I’ve watched television.
Guess what happened?
They jumped out of the car .
I couldn’t believe it..one push down on the accelerator and they could have been heading down the M1 at 150mph..en route to dying young in a blazing inferno embeddded in a motorway bridge.
They ran off, but the car continued on its own.with both doors wide open. I ran after it ..like a cowboy running after his horse. I caught up with it before it hit anything and jumped in. I managed to stop it… I knew where the brakes were. Thats the kind of driver I am. I rang 999. I was put on hold for 12 minutes, They should play soothing muzak and have voicemail.
“Thank you for calling 999 Your life or death call is really very important to us ..our operators are very busy at the moment .BUT if you are being stabbed..please press one. If you are being shot..please press two…if your car has been stolen..HA! HA! HA!…”
The next day Scotland Yard’s only comment was “It is a criminal offence to impersonate a police officer.”
I am not making this up.
Somehow.”STOP..I AM A LIFE INSURANCE SALESMAN.YOU ARE UNDER ARREST..GET OUT OF THE C AR..OR I’LL SELL YOU INSURANCE..!!” doesn’t have quite the same ring of authority to it, does it?
I am selling my car.I think it is jinxed. I have now started driving a mini.
Last night someone broke into the mini and tried to take it to bits from the inside out.
He didn’t succeed. The police think he was disturbed.
How do you think I feel?
ROSENGARDWORLD: A NEW WEEKLY COLUMN APPEARS EVERY SATURDAY