Max and Tina seen on previous reconnaissance outing
Earlier this summer, we left our daughter at home while we holidayed in Cornwall. She was under strict instructions to water thirsty plants and to regularly feed our feathered garden visitors. Needless to say, when we returned all local bird-life looked strangely emaciated and if the plants could talk they'd have been croaking "Water! I need water!"
So perhaps I shouldn't have been too surprised to discover that while we were in Portugal, my captives received very little in the way of food or water and their slop buckets were filled to the brim. The stench hit me like a tsunami when I went back down to the underhouse. Honestly, how can people live like that?
Newspaper stories come and go so rapidly. Editors are always looking for fresh items to keep their readers engaged. After seven days, "The Star" seemed to have completely forgotten about the disappeared parking officers so this afternoon I felt okay about bagging two more. It seems that they are under instructions to operate in pairs now.
With seven of the blighters languishing in our cellar/underhouse area, I was happy to bring the number up to nine. I netted them when they were on their lunch break in The Botanical Gardens not far from the old bearpit. They were just sitting on a bench swapping tales of motorists they had victimised while tucking into their potted meat sandwiches and Cheesy "Wotsits". I tiptoed up behind them, as quiet as goose down. Then after looking left and right to check that nobody was around, I hurled my trusty net over them.
The female one started squealing like a demented piglet but I had come prepared and quickly stifled her noise with a cooking apple. The male one yelled "Geroff!" half a dozen times before his mouth was also immobilised with fruit.
With not a little difficulty, I dragged the pair of them through rhododendron bushes and into my car which was waiting on the access road on the other side of the shubbery. She's called Tina and he's called Max. I had a hell of a job forcing Max's right leg into the boot. He kicked me in the belly which annoyed me so much that my strength increased and in a jiffy I was able to slam the hatchback door. I felt slightly winded.
Driving home, I planned to wait till just past midnight to move these latest two into the underhouse. They're still in the car as I type this update. Twice I have had to go out to the car to prevent Max from kicking at the bodywork like a donkey. If I had some chloroform, he'd get a face full I can tell you. Meanwhile, Tina just lies there whimpering and shaking slightly like a small child. Serves her right for becoming a parking enforcement officer. I mean, what did she expect?
Nineteeth century bearpit, in Sheffield's Botanical Gardens