HAVE YOU EVER ARRIVED AT YOUR CAR TO FIND ALL FOUR OF YOUR TYRES SLASHED?
No? well I did.
We've passed midnight now, so it was yesterday morning I discovered it.
I know who did it. The same guy who recently deliberately broke the windscreen of my Transit Luton. Oh, he's denying it - asking me if I've got any proof.
This has been going on for a number of weeks now. It all started with me being woken out of my sleep at about 3 o'clock in the morning by angry banging on the front door. I felt sure it must have been a case of mistaken identity - some drunk had obviously come to the wrong house.
Well, not exactly...
I stuck my head out of the window and shouted, 'What's the problem?' The reply was, 'You've got 20 seconds to get your a**e down here before I pan your windows in!'
I could hardly believe my ears. I said, 'Slow down. Don't do anything, I'm coming down.'
When I got down, he started to rant at me about parking my car deliberately in the way of his van so that he couldn't get it out. Actually, it isn't even his van, it's his stepfather's van.
It was then that I realized what I'd done. When all the parking spaces were used up I would often just park my car in front of my van and partially in front of whatever vehicle happened to be parked beside it. I can truthfully say that my intention was never to show annoyance at the parkers. I was simply parking conveniently. Whenever anyone wanted out, they knew where I lived and simply knocked on the door and I moved my car and let them out - no problem. Normally, I would always park further away before I went to bed if all the spaces were used up. This time, I forgot.
For him, it was a red rag to a bull.
I should really point out, this fellow seems to be OK when he's sober. But when he's drunk he's a complete...och, words fail me - you know what I mean.
He's in his early to mid twenties and has a respectable (and quite senior) job in town. To see him at his work dealing with customers you'd think butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, but he's a real Jeckyll and Hyde character. Once he gets at all drunk - look out.
He'd been on the booze that night. I had no idea who he was. He stood there yapping incessantly at me about me having parked my car in front of 'his' van so that he couldn't get it out because I was annoyed about not getting my space. I told him that I knew what it looked like, but I assured him that it was not actually the case - I had simply forgotten to park my car properly before going to bed.
He wouldn't listen to a word. He just continued to yap at me.
I could feel my temper which I had managed to keep in check up to this point, beginning to rise. I said, 'Look mate, you want to switch your brain on, because if you go around speaking to people like that, you'll only make them angry.'
I jumped into the car and parked it. When I arrived back after parking, he said, 'I really must apologize, I overreacted.' I was delighted to hear this, and said, Och, that's OK, we all get angry and do stupid things at times', and went back into the house relieved that that was the end of it.
Ha, dream on!
Well, I'm getting tired now, and it's getting late (or early), so I'm off to bed.
THE SAGA OF THE TYRE SLASHING NEIGHBOUR - CONTINUED.
So, after hearing his apology, I naturally thought that would be the end of it. Well, a couple of weeks or so later at about 11.30 at night I popped out to post a letter. As I reached my car which was parked in the same area as the above picture, I noticed a hooded figure walking past. He was obviously drunk. I wondered if it was our friend. He looked at me and I saw that it was him. I quickly looked away and got into the car. The fact that he noticed me looking at him was enough to light the touchpaper. He turned back, approaching the car as I reversed, glaring menacingly at me through the window. He was clearly looking for trouble. The temptation from the old man within was to get out and grab him by the scruff of the neck and deck him if need be. But these desires must be resisted. I ignored him and drove off to post my letter hoping that he would be gone by the time I returned. When I arrived back, he was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief, had a quick check inside the house to make sure he wasn't lurking anywhere there and went to bed.
A couple of days later one of the kids came into the house saying, "Dad, someone's broken the window of the van." I didn't need three guesses - I knew immediately who had done it.
I was fuming. I went to his house to speak to him (he lives very close by) and was told by his younger brother that he was at work. So I went to his place of work.
When I accused him he made no denial but said that he could not remember doing it. After I gave him a good row he said that he would pay for the windscreen. I was content with that, and wasn't going to call the cops. That was on the 17th March.
The next thing that happened was the tyres being slashed.
Now, it's important that I point out one or two things at this juncture. The first thing is that it was not only my tyres that were slashed. No. Lots of other cars in the area were also done on the same night. At the last count to reach my ears the total number was put at as many as 12. Now, at this point you may well be saying, 'Maybe it wasn't him then?'
Now, this is where you can don your Columbo coat and test your detective abilities.
All of the other cars which had their tyres slashed that night, only had one of their tyres done - all four of mine were slashed.
OK, what does that tell you?
It tells you that I was the target. My car was singled out for special attention. The rest of the cars which were done between the Cearns and Grant Square were only done as a distraction - a smoke screen to confuse the issue - to throw the scent.
He wasn't too drunk to realize that the first plonker I would suspect would be him - so he took measures - what a genius! No wonder they made him a prefect in the Nici.
Anyway, in the morning, when I made my discovery, I got that sinking feeling in my stomach, and thought, 'Aw no, here we go again.' At just before 12 noon I knocked his door again. His mother answered the door in her dressing gown. When I asked if he was in, I was told that he was in his bed. I asked if he had been on the booze the night before. She answered 'yes'. As soon as I said, 'I think he's slashed all four of my tyres', she burst into floods of tears and started wailing and sobbing, saying I just don't know what to do with him, he's such a problem...I'm so sorry, I'll pay for your tyres, I'm so sorry, and so on.
She knew very well this was typical - immediately believing what I said.
I was content that the tyres were going to be paid for and also felt sorry for her. So I said, 'I was going to call the cops, but now I think that might be just adding insult to injury.' Before leaving I told her that I would have to talk to her son.
Not long afterwards, I was standing at the car telling a neighbour about it when the man himself came striding arrogantly towards me from the house saying, 'What basis of proof do you have to support this?'
That annoyed me.
I said, 'Listen mate, between you and me - I'm sure you slashed my tyres.' He asked me to come into the house to hear what his mother had to say. When I arrived in their kitchen the mother had completely changed her tune.
He had manipulated her mind. She was now singing from his hymn sheet.
I knew that he had been very drunk the night before because my mother had been speaking to a relative of his on the phone and had been told all about the problems they'd been having with him that night. When I reminded him that he himself had told me that he doesn't remember things after being drunk - so how did he know?, he said, 'But I only had a couple of pints last night.' His mother also backed up his story.
They were both lying through their teeth. I no longer felt sorry for her.
This is significant because it is well known that this man has a big problem with drink - every time he gets even a little drunk he goes off his head and does something insane. He and his mother know very well that if it gets out that he was drunk that night people only have to put two and two together.
He even had the brass neck to be quite cheeky about it. I said to him, 'You know, you've got a bad attitude.'
He replied, 'Your own attitude isn't exactly sterling either', and started to go on about me parking my car in a way that was supposed to be malicious. To him, this thing which only exists in his own warped mind is tantamount to the cardinal sin.
Boy, did I feel like laying him out at that point.
OK then, I said, 'Seeing that you're denying it, I have no option but to call the cops,' and left.
The thing that really annoys me about this is the way he went around slashing the tyres of other people he didn't even know in an attempt to cover his tracks just so that he could slash my tyres in his private little fit of insane drink-fuelled hatred.
As I write this, the police investigation is ongoing.
I'll keep you posted.