There’s nothing like an international crisis to prompt action in the McCrumble household. We’ve been largely unaffected by things until the other day – after all, if you have nothing to lose then what do you have to fear?
To bring you up to speed on events in recent months I’ll spend a short amount of time relaying what happened to young Ravel, my faithful assistant who was last heard of when departing his Bulgarian homeland for the Far East, notably China, where he planned to confront the criminal mastermind behind the theft of his physical and intellectual property (viz a viz wooden replicas of the World Cup trophy).
Despite early promise of progress – namely the name and address of a possible perpetrator, Ravel soon hit soggy ground – literally. They (Ravel and his team of Chinese-Bulgarian lawyers) were sent on a wild goose chase through marshlands to reach an isolated village where the man was reported to have his factory. About half way along their two hundred mile journey they were caught in a rainstorm that rapidly turned the road to mud. Needless to say, they got stuck. No amount of legal expertise, nor even Ravels well conditioned thighs and biceps could extricate them from their situation. It was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a road less well travelled, and not a soul passed the bedraggled gang for 6 hours. It was only Ravel’s training in story telling that prevented the lawyers from suffering further – he told tales of my misadventures (see blogs passim) that apparently had them ‘pissing in the mud’ with laughter. So many stories, in fact, that the 6 hours passed in no time at all (or so Ravel says - he may have embellished his story a little).
Eventually someone driving a pickup coming from the direction of the factory. One of the lawyers (disguised as a manual worker) flagged the car down and asked for help whilst the rest of the gang hid behind some trees. The car was hauled out of the mud and the lawyer started the engine. It was at this moment that the driver of the other car asked where the lawyer was going. Since there was only one place he knew lay at the end of the road, the lawyer was obliged to give its name, since to lie would have aroused suspicion.
What the lawyer didn’t know at the time (it was later explained during a game of double-or-quits poker) was that the place in question had 2 names – one for people who weren’t trusted by the informant, and one for those whose business did not clash with the inhabitants of that place. On hearing the lawyer’s name for the place, the man became immediately suspicious and ordered that the lawyer turned around to avoid ‘bandits’. When the lawyer refused, the man produced a gun and waved it around as if to emphasise the point about ‘bandits’. He offered to escort the car back to the main road and see him on his way towards Beijing.
Fearing that the man with the gun might be willing to use it, the lawyer had no choice but to agree. He did not so much as glance towards his compatriots crouching in the undergrowth, but simply got in the car and drove slowly away, ahead of the man with the gun. Ravel and his legal aides were now stranded, a hundred miles from the main road and with no prospect of reaching their target anytime soon. For all they knew, the man with the gun might have been carrying Ravel’s precious wooden trophies. A suspicion that was, in fact, actually and very positively confirmed when one of the stranded lawyers used his high powered zoom camera to take a picture. What should he spy but this….
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