'Not at all Dr McCrumble', countered the policeman. 'Your facility will meet our needs very well. Not only is it secured to a high standard, but you also have CCTV. We will be in touch on a regular basis, and it will only be for a night or two. I understand this is most irregular, but the situation here is simply too much for us to handle on our own. Think of it, if you will, as an example of community policing. And you owe us a favour. And we'll compensate you for your inconvenience, of course.'
'I do? You will?'
'Yes. Let's not get into details just now, shall we? I'll send him round now. You might like to check your window locks and such like. And hide any valuables you might be keeping there. We've also run out of bedding, so you might like to find a spare mattress and duvet. Well, I must go now as our guests are demanding some dessert wine. He'll be with you in thirty minutes.'
Anyways, to cut a long story short, it was the local police Inspector. He was having a dinner party, and had been alerted by the duty sergeant regarding an acute shortage of cells at the local station, on account of the village May Ball having turned riotous and several revellers having been arrested for lewd behaviour. The Inspector then called me, to discuss what he called 'a matter of local security'. The ridiculous suggestion he made was that I should host a suspected thief in the Cumbernauld Art Insitute on account of the police cells being full. Such was my surprise, and so brief was the conversastion, that I didn't have time to suggest I house one of the revellers instead. What was the inspector thinking? A thief, in my Art Institute? What if he took a liking to one my works of art?
This question was one of many racing through my mind as I awoke Dolores. She was even more annoyed than me, and told me to tell the police Inspector to choke on his After Eights (actually, she swore rather badly, but I know the local police read this blog, so I've censored her comments). 'What are you going to do?', she finally asked.
'I suppose I'll have to go along with it. The Art Institute is secure, I suppose...'
'Its a portacabin with single glazing and flimsy window locks! If he stamps his foot hard enough the floor will give way. Has the Inspector ever actually visited?'
'He came to the opening ceremony a couple of years ago. I'm a bit surprised actually, now you mention it. Well, mmm, actually, now I think about it - maybe I did exagarate the level of security to him a little bit.'
'You idiot. Trying to impress were you?'
'Not so much impress as....well, you know how it is...'
Dolores turned over at that point and switched off the light. I tried to rouse her, but she refused to become more involved, citing my own buffoonery as reason for her recalcitrance. In the end I was made to search out the spare mattress and duvet on my own. I dragged them down to the Art Institute and opened up the door. The exhibition space was empty, as I've not had time to produce any new art work this year. The door to the office was ajar, so I closed and locked it before checking all the window locks. I briefly wondered about toilet facilities, as the only one for the Art Insitute is a portaloo outdoors, about 10 metres behind the cabin, before spying the bucket I had filled with sand for putting out small fires / stubbing out cigarettes. On emptying the bucket I felt a small surge of pride in my ingenuity. So long as he wasn't prone to sudden bowel movements, the bright-red receptacle would easily suffice for the night.
I'd barely finished locking up when I saw the police car pull up to door of the main building. I recognised the officer as one who had previously arrested me, and we exchanged brief smiles before he opened the rear door of his car and motioned for the inhabitant to emerge....