“Oh bloody hell Mave……why me?”

I stifled a giggle.  Looking around at everyone’s faces, I could see they were all doing exactly the same.  Bob even had both his index fingers shoved up each nostril, trying to suppress a rather loud snort.

Petey was standing forlornly by the back door of the Police Station.  His metal key chain was dangling from the door, key still firmly in place in the lock.  Running my eyes to the other end of the chain, where the sturdy S hook had been clipped to the back pocket of his rough serge uniform pants.  I shook my head and grinned at Bob.  The back pocket and a large portion of material was still attached to the S hook, which was still attached to the chain, which was still attached to the key, which was still, very embarrassingly for Petey, attached to the door.

He was frantically trying to cover up a huge gaping hole in the back of his pants which allowed those who had gathered around at the first squeal uttered from Petey’s lips, the opportunity to glimpse in all their glory, a pair of bright yellow Batman boxer shorts that sported the words kapow, bam, zap and splat.
Petey had just learnt another valuable lesson.   Remember to take your key out of the lock before you let the door slam shut behind you.

“Just tell me, why me?”  he moaned again.

I jiggled the key out of the lock.  “I don’t know Petey but it always is and it’s always funny mate, just look on it as entertainment for the troops.  A sort of duty.”  

I could hear Bob sniggering behind me.  Deep down I did feel sorry for him.  If Petey could faark it up, break it, lose it or display his idiocy to the world, he invariably did – in style, and today was no exception.  Whilst Petey went to change his trousers, I loaded up my patrol car and checked  the log book. 

“Mave, do us a favour, take Petey with you, don’t think I can get through ten hours with him in my car.” Bob threw his briefcase on the back seat of AR13.

I looked at him sympathetically.  “Err, now let me see…….. think that’s a big fat nope mate, I’ve had him the last two shifts, sorry it’s your turn.”

Before Bob could reply, our radios burst into life.

“AR21 can you start making a report of intruders on, silent approach as occupier is still in the house with a possible suspect hiding.”  

For once Heidi’s excitable voice genuinely evidenced the urgency of the job as we hit the early morning commuter traffic, blues and twos giving both cars a clear passage until we exited on the other side of Town.  Branching out into leafy residential roads, we curved down onto Plantation Hill and swept out at the bottom into Calday Forge, the playground for real life Millionaires.  Leaving the blues on but killing the klaxons, we followed the widening road round until we reached the address.

I pulled up outside a rather ostentatious new build with huge wrought iron gates and winding driveway.  Stumbling out of the car behind, Bob in tow, Petey excitedly carried out his famous jiggle whilst pointing at the name plate.

“Oooh look Mavis,  it’s called Fook Hall….” struggling to contain himself he added “……oh wow it sound just like fuc……”

“Okay Petey, that’s enough, let’s concentrate on the job in hand hey matey?”   I quickly cut him off as the electric gates swung open to greet us.

I could hear Bob snorting behind me as we ran up the driveway.  At least I thought he was snorting.  Knowing how out of condition he was, fuelled by 26 years of Mrs Wongs Special Fried Rice and just lately her Salt & Pepper chips, he could have simply been suffering a long overdue cardiac arrest in a nearby bush.  I turned to check, although glowing a startling shade of peuce, he was still with us.

Mr Simon Wetherington-Phipps, the owner of Fook Hall was anxiously standing at the entrance to the house, framed by the limestone and oak doorway.  He was a noted high price Divorce Lawyer who, as legend would have it, had never lost a case for his long list of celebrity clients. The affectionate name for his house had been taken from his much rumoured catchphrase of  Let them sue for whatever they want, we’ll just show ’em you’ve got fook all; half of fook all is fook all whichever way you look at it’.

Still in his expensively cut navy blue pyjamas, he hastily beckoned us inside and through to the cavernous kitchen.  It was spectacular with a vast bank of fitted cupboards on three sides in high gloss black with stainless steel handles and a large breakfast island in the middle.  I couldn’t get over the absence of sticky finger marks, smeared butter streaks and drips that my own kitchen units normally sported.

“Ssshhhh keep it down, can’t quite figure out where he is, but he’s in hear somewhere.” he whispered, putting his ear up to a door in the far corner.

“Sir, what makes you think there is someone in your house.?” asked Bob in his best professional manner.  Well, as professional as you can get when you’re whispering like a 5 year old playing hide and seek.

Mr Wetherington-Phipps wound the cord from his pants around his fingers before he spoke.  “Well, we were having breakfast and, I err….err…you know what it’s like first thing in the morning, we all have little bouts of flatulence and when I passed a small amount of wind, I heard him.”

Petey coughed.  I gave him a look that said ‘don’t even think about it’ but it clearly fell on the ignorant or just plain stupid.

“Oooh do you mean fart Mr Wetherington-Phipps, I tend to fart a lot in the mornings too.” he excitably proffered with a genuine look of sympathy and understanding.

Mr Wetherington-Phipps rolled his eyes, shook his head.

“What do you mean by heard him Sir?” Concerned that we were all standing in the kitchen discussing wind, whilst a burglar was potentially still on the loose, I pushed for more information.

Mrs Cressida Wetherington-Phipps, dressed in a stunning gold flecked floaty robe, tied lightly at her very slim waist, glided across the kitchen, china cup in hand.

“Oh my goodness Officer, if you had lived with him as long as I have….” she pointed a perfectly manicured fingernail at her husband. …then you would understand even a perfect strangers reaction to him when he steam-presses his Calvins.  It was laughter Officer, laughter….someone was laughing.”

I looked at Bob, totally perplexed.  Steam-pressing his Calvins?  That was a new one on me.  

Seeing my confusion, she smiled sweetly and continued in her plummy voice.  “From where you come from, that probably means fart to you my dear.” she sniffed.

No sooner had those eloquent words left her mouth when a loud choking, snort of a giggle emanated around the room.

I glared at Petey, who shrugged his shoulders mouthing ‘not me’.

I looked at Bob again, who also shook his head.

“There it is again.  I told you I had heard something.  Mr Wetherington-Phipps hissed at the beautiful Cressida, who in turn pursed her lips like a wild tom cats butt.

Bob pointed to one of the large larder cupboards at the far end of the kitchen and moved towards it.  Petey with his baton drawn followed me over as Bob started mimed the counting of 1,2 on his fingers.

I opened the door on 3 and there squashed amongst the NEXT at HOME polka dotted broom and matching mop, one foot in the polka dot mop bucket with an abundance of Marks & Sparks carrier bags draped around him, head bent at an angle to accommodate the top shelf was the one and only Angus ‘Roofie’ Johnstone, prolific domestic burglar and thief of our Parish.

Bright pink in the face, sweating profusely and compliant as he was still snorting with laughter, he blurted out.  Oh for fucks sake Miss, even in Walton they don’t fart like him….” he roared “…he even played a tune with his butt trumpet and she hummed along!”

Roofie continued his uncontrollable laughing whilst Mr Wetherington-Phipps looked suitably embarrrassed.  “And her, lady muck, steam pressing yer Calvins, you’ve gotta be kidding me?”

Slapping the handcuffs on, Petey began to caution Roofie who was still beside himself with childish laughter.  Getting caught burgling hadn’t been on Roofie’s agenda when he’d broken into the Wetherington-Phipps abode in the early hours of the morning.  When Fook Hall’s kitchen had become floodlit due to the occupants early rising, he had hastily secreted himself in the nearest available cupboard that would accommodate his rather aged and portly frame.

Sadly, Roofie hadn’t anticipated that his own childhood weakness at not being able to suppress his mirth at the sounds of tuneful flatulence would once again come to the forefront and betray his hiding position.

Bundling Roofie into the back of the patrol car, Petey grinned, thought for a moment and then imparted the immortal words;

“They’re dead posh round here aren’t they…..I never, ever iron my underpants, do you Bob?”

Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Primark Thong (c) 2014

Gina Kirkham