Someone to Watch Over Me
"Ah now. Yes."
"Why are you following me?" "Well, I'm ah, I'm, ah." "Come on. Out with it!" "I'm a mugger. Yes, that's it. I'm a desperate man, and you'd better give me all your money or it'll be the worse for you." "A mugger? Really?" "Yes, that's right." "I have to give you all my money or else what? What are you threatening me with? Do you have a weapon or anything?" "Well." He patted down his pockets obviously hoping as if by some miracle to find a flick knife or a Berretta somewhere on his person, finally admitting, "No." "Perhaps you're trained in some eastern art of unarmed combat." I think you're allowed to be sarcastic to someone who's mugging you, it's just that you don't normally get the chance. "Yes that's right! These hands are lethal weapons." "That's a lie isn't it." "Yes." "I think you should probably go, don't you?" "Yes." Of course he was back the next day, scratching himself to death behind a ridiculous bushy black beard (like me, he's red-headed). I don't want to give the impression that I'm any sort of shrewd and ruthless interrogator, but in the circumstances you hardly needed to be. Strange thing is, I had no trouble believing him. Straight away - if I was going to have one I thought, he would probably be like this, ineffectual, dishevelled. Still, it was a bit weird, sitting in this coffee shop talking to a complete stranger in a false beard who seemed to know everything about me, and to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the most embarrassing episodes of my childhood. There's still a lot I don't know about him. For instance, why is he here? Why does he insist on talking with this terrible cod-Irish accent? And why is he always so touchy when I mention the fairy thing? Well I suppose that's obvious. And to be fair, there isn't anything very 'fairy' about him - not what you'd expect - no wings, no wand, no tutu (the Christmas tree gags don't go down at all well). There's always a slight grimace when I call him by his official title. There is I suppose plenty of godfatherly advice (sadly not of the horse's-head-in-the-bed variety), most of which is terrible.