Years of nurturing.
Molly-coddling, research, trial and error and heartache has finally left you with a prize winning effort. Something you’d be proud to have judged by a retired chap with a handlebar moustache at the local fete.
Every day you go out to work and most of your colleagues are unaware of the dirty little secret you’ve got hidden away in your back garden. Maybe it’s an elephantine fruit or vegetable? Perhaps it’s an ornamental pond full of cherished Koi Carp?
Either way it doesn’t matter.
You may have an annual planner,fixed to the wall of your immaculate shed, listing everything you need to do, in glorious Technicolor, and all of your secret potions and mixtures arranged in alphabetical order. There may even be a technical manual or two to masticate over in those quiet moments when no-one is looking.
But it won’t mean a thing.
You see, at some point one of your neighbours is going to let you down. Not intentionally of course, but they will. In our aspirational world it’s always nice to keep up with the Jones’, and this will attract Billy. The only thing he wants to keep up with is his drug habit and he likes houses displaying the trappings of successful endeavourment.
You probably won’t even know the person Billy has chosen as an unwitting donor for his heroin fund. They could well live on the road you back on to and some distance away. Mrs Jones across the road does know Mr Ambitious and also knows that Billy is not one of the immediate family. So, when she gets woken by the noise Billy makes forcing a window she gets on the phone to us.
Now you’re in for it.
An unstoppable chain of events has now started. Mrs Jones will wake someone at Metcall up who will assign the unit furthest away, but the one round the corner will hear the call too and take it. Now, you may believe that Billy will get caught in the act and that will be that right?
Err…Not quite. No matter how subtle we like to be, any car racing up the road in the early hours of the morning will spook Billy into legging it. To go out the front would mean running straight into the arms of plod. Even without a stripy top and a bag marked ‘swag’ we’ll spot something is up. Instead, he’ll be on his toes out the back and the game will be well and truly afoot.
The first you’ll know about it is when the lithe and appropriately dressed Billy skips across your back garden and onto the next. You’ll wake just in time to look out and see the not quite so lissom officer heading for the fence separating your valuable produce form the outside world. He’ll be weighed down with equipment, several years of doughnut residue and enough disorder penalty tickets to keep the government in second home allowances for years to come.
You can try crossing your fingers, toes and those of your nearest and dearest too. You could pray to your chosen deity, rub the foot of an ex-rabbit touch every piece of wood you can lay your hands on, but it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. As the puffing officer launches himself over the fence there is only one place he’s going to land.
Try to keep a stiff upper lip at this point, just think of the compensation (probably about 29 pence per kilo with the current credit crunch). Don’t be tempted to go and look to see how bad the damage is, it’ll be total, trust me on this one. Besides, we’ll help you out with that anyway.
Standard practice would have the officer requesting support services at the same time as demolishing everything in his path. They’ll be along in a minute. First to arrive will be the owners of the voices so often heard on Police, Camera, Action. They’ll illuminate your garden with a very bright light. This will let you see the extent of the damage.
It’ll also help you witness the arrival of the burglar’s nemesis: The Mark One landshark. As the handler launches it over the fence into your garden you’ll have a front row seat, to watch the crowning moment to your horror night.
The cocking of a leg.