(In which our hero has a good idea or so he thinks)
Five years ago I got made redundant from a firm of builders that I had worked for since I was about nineteen. Seemingly thrust onto life’s scrapheap at the relatively young age of 43 I decided to start my own business and since then I have never looked back. Since the pandemic I have been able to scale things back a bit and I am now pretty much the man to call in this village and three neighbouring villages if you need something fixing – there are not many kitchens in a five mile radius that I haven’t fitted cupboards into or patios that I haven’t helped lay. One old lady paid me £200 last Christmas to build her a table that her granddaughter can build Lego on.
Busy Earnin’- Jungle (2014, XL Recording, Taken from ‘Jungle’)
It was about five minutes after Mrs Checkley told us all that Angela Finch was staying with her sister that I had my first brilliant idea (well I thought it was brilliant). The fuss of the broken vase and the possible missing person had, if you excuse the term, died down a bit. Taking my cue I asked Kevin, who, was unusually quiet, a question.
Plan A – Letters & Colours (2007, Mother Tongue Records, Taken from ‘Gaunt’ Single)
“Kev” I said, trying to appeal to his chirpy London demeanour, “A few weeks ago, Angela asked me if I could fix a cupboard in her kitchen for her, I said I’d do this week. Do you mind if I do it when you pop round to feed the cats? Shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes, it was just a bracket that needed rehinging.”
Silence. So I continued.
“Or you could just give me the key and I can go and do it now, its on the way home after all, I’ll drop the key back when I’m done. Be nice for her for it to be done when she gets home. Her tins of rice pudding keeps falling out of the door you see”.
I’m usually a rubbish liar but I think I’d sounded pretty convincing, almost as convincing as Mrs Checkley I would say. Although I might have been pushing it a bit with the rice pudding. Angela Finch would make her own rice pudding for sure.
Lies – Deap Vally (2013, Island Records, Taken from ‘Sistronix’)
Kevin stops sweeping the floor and, after the briefest of glances across to Mrs Checkley, who I am absolutely sure nodded her head, reaches into his pocket, and produces a set of keys. They are dangling off a pink dinosaur keyring which has ‘Dinosaur World’ stamped on its belly.
“Can you drop them back to me before 7 tonight please, as the cats will want their dinner”,
and with that he lobs the keys through the air and fall on the pew next to me with a clunk and I pick them up and literally run out of the church.
Don’t Look Back – Teenage Fanclub (1995, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Grand Prix’)
I went the long way round to Angela’s house, and I parked my van in yard by the farmers barn, phoned my wife to tell her where I was (in case I never returned) and then walked the couple of hundred metres down to Angela’s house. I stopped twice to check that I wasn’t being followed by Kevin or Mrs Checkley and then let myself in the back door.
The first thing that greeted me was Matthew, one of the cats, a big noisy brown shorthaired who leapt off a sideboard and meowed loudly at my feet and scared the life out of me. I gave him a quick stroke, popped my bag down on the floor, and told myself that despite not knowing Angela’s sister name I should look for an address book.
Where Do I Begin? – Chemical Brothers (1997, Freestyle Dust, Taken from ‘Exit Planet Dust’)
I walked into the small sitting room, there was a big bookshelf on the wall by the door and a wall cupboard containing crockery and a series of framed photos on my left. I had just picked up a photo of Angela with her arms around two small children when the phone on the table behind me rang.