Monday, June 05, 2006

Introducing my good lady wife....

Dear Bloggers

Having said to me that I spend too much time blogging, my good lady wife has, somewhat unbelievebly, decided to host a blogspot herself! You can see what she is writing at

This could get interesting I suppose.

In other news....

The twins have now gone back to boarding school. It was the usual kind of week when they are around, namely I didn't get a chance to do anything other than prevent them from harming either themselves, myself, any of the staff or animals. Dolores (for that is her name, and I have been instructed never to call her Mrs Dr McC ever again) dotes on them. I try to be a good father, but find myself on the back foot in a defensive posture most of the time. Is this contributing to their development? I'm not sure. Twin X told me he wants to be a poacher when he grows up. Twin Y says he wants to be 'unemployable'. I'm not sure he understands what that means, and I also sincerly hope with fingers crossed that this is just a phase he is going through.

In yet more news

I can now tell you what happened after we reached the police station after the car crash (see earlier posts about Mrs Haggarty). I'll keep it short as it doesn't really warrant dwelling on such seediness in detail.

So there we were in front of the duty officer. I was still drunk. Ravel looked guilty of something. I wasn't sure what was bothering him but guessed it was something to do with his n'er do well brother, Miron. So far as I was aware we were being arrested for causing a drunken public nuisance leading to a near fatal accident, or something like that. Whether it is a bona fide arrestable offence to accidentally splatter hedgehog stew on a police car windscreen remains a mystery in my mind.

Anyway, having been arrested we were told to empty our pockets and hand over our belongings. I had almost nothing in my pockets except keys and wallet. Ravel had an assortment of various small items including buttons, paperclips, a couple of pens...

....and something very, very shiny......

'Wasssat...?' I enquired, not yet focusing too clearly on objects more than a foot away.

Ravel made as if to pocket the item again but the arresting officer prevented him from doing so and prized the item away from his closed palm.

'It appears to be a ring sargeant' said the policeman.

I squinted at the ring. It looked familiar.

'It is indeed a ring' confirmed the duty officer with an authoritative voice. 'Is this your ring sir?'

'Lemme ave a look' I said. The policeman held it close and I looked at the stone sitting on the top of the ring. I blinked a couple of times to make sure that I was sure of what I was seeing.

'Is that a ruby officer?' I asked the policeman. He nodded.

'Oh good grief. I think....Ravel.....what have you done?'

'Do you recognise this ring sir?' asked the duty officer.

'Yes, iss my wife's. It belonged to her grandmother. It's a family airloom. Ravel...' I was beginning to feel a bit nauseous as reality took a firm grip.

'Did you give this gentleman the ring sir?'

'No officer. He must have.....or maybe his brother.....both of you?' I was staring at Ravel but he was avoiding eye contact.

'Where did you get this ring, sir?' asked the duty officer of Ravel. There was no response.

I felt myself becoming emotional, most likely a consequence of an oncoming hangover, a certain degree of self pity, anger at Ravel and his brother, the thought of having to explain this to my wife, the sudden realisation that I was unlikely to have a faithful research assistant much longer, the fact that I had a whiplash pain in my neck that was independent of the hangover, and the fact that it was 4 o'clock in the morning.

'YOU FUCKING BULGARIAN IDIOT. YOU ARE FUCKING FIRED. HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU DO THIS? I DON'T FUCKING BELIEVE IT. YOU ARE FIRED...DO YOU HEAR ME!' I shouted, tears welling up. Ravel just kept looking at the ground. Wouldn't even meet my mad staring eyes.

Yes, I actually fired my most faithful research assistant on the spot. I honestly couldn't think of anything more sensible, and I do regret that now, but at the time it seemed like a reasonable thing to say. After all, would you keep a thief/accessory/receiver of stolen goods in your employ?

'Sir, I am arresting you on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.....' started the policeman. And so it went on. Ravel was taken away to the cells. I was forced to make a statement about what had happened then taken to the cells to sober up. They told me they would let me out in the morning. I had never been in a police cell before. It smelt of antisceptic. I fell asleep almost immediately.

When I awoke it was to the sound of the door being opened. A policeman I didn't recognise had brought me a cup of tea. I felt immensely confused for a moment, then I remembered what had happened. My head was thumping and I felt sick. Ravel, they told me, was to remain in custody whilst they questioned him about the ring and his brother, who now had a warrant out for his arrest. The ring itself was to be kept as evidence in case of trial.

I was told that I would be given a lift home in the 'other' police car (the first one having been wrecked in the accident). They dropped me off at the institute just a few minutes before my wife arrived. When I told her what had happened she listened patiently for a while before telling me in no uncertain terms that I was a complete an utter idiot. I tried to convince her otherwise, but for some reason she refused to see my side of the story.

We didn't speak for two days. The ring, she said, was the one thing she received from her grandmother and had it been lost she would have never spoken to me ever again. I tried to explain that it wasn't actually me who had stolen the ring, but she kept saying things like 'Ravel was your assistant Joseph. I didn't employ him. Did I say you could trust him? No. Did I caution you against emplying him so spontaneously? Yes. Did I warn you that his brother sounded dangerous? Yes. ' And so it went on, ad nauseum, until two days later when she rang her mother to ask how the old, er, dear was getting on. The conversation got round to what had happened with Ravel and his brother. I listened in, not wanting to hear my name being further blackened.

'You know what they stole mother? Grandmas ring. Yes, that's right. The ring. I don't how they found it.....No there was nothing else missing. At least I don't think so. It's funny now I think about it.'

I could see my wifes brow beginning to furrow. When this happens I know that the shit is about to hit the fan, so I picked up a cushion and held it to my chest protectively.

'Joseph. Did you take the ring out of the safe?'

'No dear....' I said with caution.

'Are you sure?'

'Yes dear.' I clasped the cushion a little closer.

'Well, mother, I don't know how but Ravel or his brother must have opened the safe, removed the ring, closed the safe and left. Funny, because nothing else was removed from the safe. I keep several valuable in there. Now, I know the combination, and Joseph knows the combination. The only other person who might know the combination is....hang on a moment mother.....Joseph, did you ever tell my mother the combination to the safe....'


'Did you Joseph?'

'Actually, I might have done, yes'

I could see my good lady wife's expression change in a moment. Sometimes, when she gets really sure of something, I get scared of her. She was scaring me now and she wasn't even shouting. It's worse when she doesn't shout.

'Mother, you are the only other person who knows the combination. I'm going to ask you once and once only. Did you remove the ring?'

There was silence on the other end of the phone. It was a sure sign of her guilt. Mrs Haggarty, although she may aspire to being a master criminal, has never been able to pull it off due to her pathetic ability to lie her way out of a self-incriminating situation.

'Where did you leave it mother? Why did you remove it?'

The conversation continued for two or three minutes longer. I couldn't hear what Mrs Haggarty was saying, but I guessed from my wifes comments that Mrs H had removed the ring because she wanted to ask me something about it, but had been prevented from doing so because of her accident. She must have left it in front of the safe, but couldn't actually remember.

'I don't beleive her' said my wife later, just as the phone rang. It was the police. They hadn't located Miron, but had taken statements from Ravel. The story they told me was, frankly, somewhat at odds with Mrs Haggartys story. In essence it was thus....

Ravel had sent his brother Miron to get some food as he was very hungry. He didn't want to shame himself by turning up at the institute looking dishevelled and late for duty. His brother had entered the institute and taken a wrong turn, ending up in the lab. I was in the living area oblivious to his presence. Whilst in the lab Mironhad seen the partly dissected corpse of hedgehog no. 113. Hedgegog stew being an old family favourite he decided to make use of the dead insectivore. He took it back to the kitchen and started to chop it up for the stew but the knife hit something hard. Picking up the blood covered object he realised it was a ring. That was a surprise, apparently, and he had no idea how it got there, but decided that luck was on his side. So Miron had pocketed the ring. He left the kitchen momentarily to go to the gents, which is when I disturbed him and chased him from the institute. He had handed over the ring to his brother with the instruction that he should pawn it.

I didn't know what to believe anymore. Ravel, to my knowledge, had never lied to me. Mrs Haggarty was known to everyone as a prolific pilferer. Was it credible that she was somehow trying to steal the ring using a dead hedgehog as a device? She denied it of course, but I wouldn't put it past her. Read through the blogs again and see what you think....

The police asked if we wanted to press charges. I was initially inclined, but Mrs Dr...I mean, Dolores, was reluctant. She is even more suspicious of her mother than myself sometimes. So we told the police that we didn't want Ravel detained any longer and that he should be allowed to return. It was an emotional reunion. Ravel basically prostrated himself at my feet and begged to be taken back on. He said he would work for free if necessary, and begged that I shouldn't send him back to Bulgaria. I told him that I would be keeping a careful eye on him in future, and that I would have to demote him to sub-research assistant for the time being. He agreed, and made a solemn promise never to act so foolishly again. Then we hugged, like men do.

You think that's the end of it? Well for now it is, though I must say I am mightly unsure about the whole episode. Something happened between Ravel and his brother that I do not understand. How the ring ended up in Ravel's pocket I'm not sure of either. But at least I didn't lose either the ring or my favourite research assistant, and now the kids have gone back to school everything is finally back to normal....



Gorilla Bananas said...

Your mother-in-law is a dreadful rascal. A woman who can steal from her own daughter is capable of anything. You were right to forgive Ravel, but twin X needs a stern lecture on the evils of poaching. "Poachers can and will be shot on sight" is the phrase we use where I live.

SafeTinspector said...

The hedgehog was highly trained and had ingested the ring prior to evisceration.

I just know it.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

GB - I tried to talk with him, but he just kept telling me that I was a pheasant and should be in his next pie.

SafeT - The average hedgehog has a brain smaller than your average raindrop. I doubt very much the poor thing ingested the ring - unless of course it was force fed....hmmmm.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I must say that I thought that your blog was quite interesting.. will have to look at it again at some time.

Nikki said...

AH! Finally! The rest of the story! I was jonesin' for it.

I hope that your time with the boys was enjoyable and full of mischief. LOL

...and keep and eye on that assistant of yours. I'm getting extremely bad vibes all the way across the pond.

Anonymous said...

I Found Absolutely FREE PlayBoy & PentHouse:
If I find something else I'll inform you.
Best Regards, Yuriy

Nikki said...

Dr. I didn't know you liked that sort of thing


Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

It'S SPAM I tell you! Good grief. I'd better get rid before Dolores sees it!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I have never, NEVER heard of any Bulgarian parasitological research assistant (trusty or otherwise) stealing a ruby ring before. Not a one. Ravel didn't do it! The Bulgarians hate rubies alhough you can't leave them in a room with a pencil - they loooove graphite.

Poor maligned, innocent Ravel! I want to cook him something comforting with potatoes.

Charlie said...

Dr, I have given this mystery a week's worth of consideration. I have walked the floors at 3 a.m., beaten my head against various solid objects, and howled at the wrong howling times in church, which always earn me a hairy eyeball or two.

After weighing all of the evidence, sifting through clues, and wearing my Sherlock Holmes hat to bed, I can only conclude that . . . the butler did it.

SafeTinspector said...

No, poops! The hedghog ate it! It did!

Dr.JMcC:For a second, one intensly pleasurable second, I thought your spammer stated his name as "Yurfly".
That somewhere, somehow, there was a man (or woman, as the case may be) that had such a name was a fine thing indeed for the moment I held that illusion high.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Sam: Indeed it wasn't him. I think from reading my own writings that I worked it out.

Admiral: see above comment. I don't have a butler!

SafeT: No it wasn't the hedgehog either.

Let me tell you what I think happened:

Recall that at one point in proceedings Mrs McHaggarty was found bending over the operating table. It is my suspicion that she hid the ring in the hedgehog with the idea that it would be thrown out into the trash from where she, or an agent, could recover it at leisure. The plot was foiled when myself and McCavity re-entered the lab.

As for Miron, I've not yet worked out his involvement, but I'm working on it.