The Unfortunate Demise of Mr Bartholomew Blythe
“Petey, have you picked up the overnight crime reports? Oh and don’t forget a new log book for the car and your butty box, I’m NOT stopping anywhere near Maccy D’s for you today, you’re starting to look like a bloody cheeseburger.” I paused long enough to check my radio for battery life and for Petey to reply.
Rolling his eyes and groaning, he stood up, tipped his flat cap at an angle and began to chew on an imaginary piece of gum. As we rounded the corner, Petey still trailing behind with his hands in his pockets, I spotted the first of many posters, stuck to the wall and swaying in the gentle breeze that was floating in from the open back door to the nick. Petey’s face super-imposed over the head of a rather comical, bedraggled donkey wearing a seaside straw hat.
“Oh bloody hell Mavis, why me, it’s always me, how the hell was I supposed to know they were doing a raid.” he wailed.
I shrugged and tried not to giggle. Poor Petey had been hauled before the Section Inspector the day before to discuss his ‘poor performance’ on his beat area. He had apparently failed to tackle a parking problem caused by a local house of ill-repute which had been causing much consternation to the local residents.
Very few customers took the bus to avail themselves of the 5-star services offered within The Little House of Raptures by Madam Penelope Perfection, preferring their fancy cars and the ability to park on pavements and obstruct driveways in order to leg it to the front door to be first in the queue. Complaint after complaint had been lodged but Petey had so far not managed to issue even one Fixed Penalty Notice.
Comsequently, this lack of action had proved to be a stroke of bad luck for one Bartholomew Blythe, a 68 year old retired Bank Manager.
Mr. Blythe had parked his shiny Mercedes into, over and on top of a nearby wheelie bin, wedging it under the front end of his prized car. This was in part due to his haste to beat a younger, more agile customer to the front door of The Little House of Raptures. Once on foot, Mr Blythe had negotiated a street lamp, two further wheelie bins and a skip, and had breathlessly made it to the front door first. Displaying a particularly smug smirk, he’d been welcomed personally by Penelope Perfection herself and had disappeared inside, leaving the young ‘customer’ at the gate.
Sadly, if Mr Blythe had taken the time to scrutinise his adversary during this mad dash for a knee tremble, he might have noticed the ear-piece he was wearing which was connected to a police issue radio, which was attached to the belt that held a Casco extendable baton and a pair of handcuffs.
Alas these little appendages were not extras for an anticipated tryst of hot and steamy sexual encounters within the walls of 23 Worcester Close, but standard issue for all police officers.
Much to the surprise of all who surveyed the rapidly developing scene, the young man who Mr Blythe had left at the gate suddenly started to run up the driveway shouting “Go, go, go..” as the front door to The Little House of Raptures was trashed by Constable Dexter Collins of the Rapid Entry Team with his bright red metal Enforcer.
As Mr. Blythe was led away, flushed and excitable, the realisation hit him that if he had taken the time to park properly, he would have been behind the fresh-faced plain clothes Detective, Ian Rotherham rather than in front and as such, would not now have the honour of being front page news of the local Gazette whilst attired in his best Marks & Sparks 100% cotton red striped boxer shorts and a pair of gaiters holding up his socks.
After the successful closure of the Little House of Raptures was concluded with eight arrests and a large quantity of Class A controlled drugs seized, the Search Logs, Warrant and paperwork signed, all Officers involved returned to their respective unmarked police vehicles that had been hastily abandoned in various locations in the road. Their elation was short lived as each of the six vehicles, as owned by the Chief Constable, now sported a Fixed Penalty Notice slapped on the windscreens for parking on double yellow lines.
Each ticket was proudly signed with a flourish;
Constable 1469 Peter THACKERAY A1 Division
Petey had done it again, he had provided his now completely exasperated Inspector with an unwanted result coupled with an awful lot of extra paperwork to the Chief Constable explaining why the Police Finance Department would be billed for parking offences on their own vehicles.
Looking at Petey now, standing in the corridor shaking his head at the posters, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for him. He tried hard but always seemed to fail. I had to try something to build up his confidence.
Jumping in the patrol car, I decided to give him a little pep talk as I drove out of the station yard.
“Look mate, it’s just a case of thinking before you act, a few seconds delay can mean the difference in getting it right, it’s lateral thinking mate, just think it through.” I gave him a sympathetic smile.
He shrugged his shoulders, picked at a length of cotton on his trouser leg and opened his mouth to respond but was quickly cut short by the radio.
“Alpha Romeo 21 can you make to a report of a Sudden Death, details to follow when you’re ready – discovered by the deceased’s G.P…”
Arriving at a modest little terraced house the Doctor led us in single file upstairs. Opening the bathroom door we were greeted by a vision of none other than Mr. Bartholomew Blythe, ensconced on the soft close seat of his avocado low level flush toilet, paisley pyjamas around his ankles, The Sun newspaper on his lap, bent forward with his nose stuck to page 3.
Mr. Blythe had sadly breathed his last whilst performing his bedtime ablutions and enjoying the charms of a particularly well endowed young lady courtesy of the tabloid newspaper. Petey let out a nervous snort.
“Oh shit Mave, he’s really dead!” he quickly clamped his hand over his mouth.
The Doctor gave me an incredulous look, I returned it with an apologetic grin. “Petey, if you’re going to barf go outside or at the very least use the sink.” I gave him a hasty shove out of the bathroom.
I took the Death Certificate from the Doctor and checked the time and his signature at the bottom. Petey’s gag reflex was working overtime, I could hear him heaving outside on the landing.
Waiting for the Undertaker to arrive to transport Mr Blythe to the Mortuary I began to check around for anything that would point to a next of kin. Twenty minutes later, after a chat with his next door neighbour, we’d ascertained that he’d been an eternal bachelor with no known family. I found it all quite sad really, a man alone in the world. Apart from his little visits to Madam Penelope Perfection, which we had put a stop to the previous week, he had nothing. That was what probably made him resort to The Sun newspaper.
Jeez, that reeked of desperation in my book.
Giving a last glance at his neat little sitting room, I ran back upstairs to check on Petey, who had gone unnervingly quiet. I pushed open the bathroom door and there he was, sitting on the edge of the bath, mouth wide open, gazing at poor Mr. Blythe. He barely dragged his eyes away from the rigid corpse before he spoke.
“You know Mave, we shouldn’t really leave him here, it’s so undignified. Can’t we just move him to the bedroom?” he sighed.
Now, this is where alarm bells should have rung loud and clear. This is Petey, the sort of guy where his Fairy Godmother would tap him on his shoulder with her magic wand and shout “Turn to shit….” because invariably with him, everything did. Sighing, which was all I ever seemed to do when I was with him, I began to wonder why I wasn’t listening to my inner voice.
With Petey on one side, me on the other, I tried to lift him whilst Petey pulled up his pyjama bottoms. As Mr. Blythe had been there for in excess of twelve hours rigor mortis had already set in and The Sun newspaper was firmly clenched in his hands, proof that even in death he was not going to relinquish his Page 3.
Having covered his modesty, we started the task of getting him from the bathroom to the bedroom.
Mr. Blythe was currently holding his ‘sitting position’ quite rigidly and as we attempted to negotiate the narrow bathroom door onto the tiny landing we realised that he was now the wrong shape to angle round and fit through the door. His knees became wedged on the door frame and no amount of wriggling would free him.
“Petey go back a bit, lean over towards the bannister, that’s it…bit more, bit more…oh bloody hell grab his pants, they’re dropping down…..”
By this time Mr Blythe had twisted round, and Petey, finding the weight was getting a little too much for him started to sag putting him in a position where his face was inches short of Mr Blythes’ posterior. As luck would have it, this was the exact same moment that the build up of gasses contained within Mr Blythe decided to seek an escape route. A resounding paaaaarrrrrp bounced off the narrow landing walls.
Petey squealed loudly. “He’s farted Mavis, oh God he’s only gone and farted in my face!”
Wrinkling up his nose, he let go of Mr. Blythe in order to take the opportunity to wave his hands manically in the air whilst displaying a very girly fit of pique, leaving me to prop Mr Blythe up on my right knee whilst holding him under his armpits.
“Bloody hell you idiot, grab hold of his legs or I’m going to end up dropping him…”
“……but Mave he farted…I think I’m going to be sick…” He wailed.
My patience was wearing thin.
“Petey, believe me sunshine you’ll be more than sick if I get my hands around your throat, now just pick up his bloody legs.” I hissed
Reluctantly he grabbed hold, but not before he had turned seven shades of purple through holding his breath. After much huffing, puffing and trying to remember how I had moved my two seater sofa from one room to another the previous month, we began to work on the old adage that where there’s a will, there’s a way and eventually managed to get poor Mr. Blythe into his bed. Standing back, we surveyed the scene.
“Aww Mave, we can’t leave him like that, it’s just not right, you’ve got to do something, please Mavis..”
With perspiration dripping from underneath my fringe I stood and looked at Mr Bartholomew Blythe, retired Banker, valued Client of The Little House of Raptures, long term subscriber to Men Only and shook my head.
He was now lying on his back, legs bent at a right angle, knees almost to his chest with The Sun Newspaper still firmly clutched in his hands, as though he was sitting on an invisible bog.
I glared at Petey whilst I prised the paper from Mr. Blythes’ clenched hands. I looked around and finding an old copy of The Guardian on the bedside cabinet, I opened it at the stock & shares and replaced it between his nose and his knees, sat him up, plumped up his pillow and brushed his hair into a side parting.
“Oh that’s so much better Mave, thank you. You know, he could almost be sort of waiting for a bacon butty and a cup of tea in bed instead of being….well…you know….being sort of…dead.”
No Petey, I really didn’t sort of know…….. but one thing I did know, it was most definitely a better class of newspaper.
(c) 2015 Gina Kirkham
Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Primark Thong