“Look Chris, it’s a well-known fact that the loos in the Houses of Parliament have traces of cocaine on them… they’re all at it!”
Ahh, another justification for crime!
A drug dealer’s rationale is that they’re doing people a favour… by providing a service. Burglars reason that the householder’s insurance covered their crime. And practically everybody cites the bankers as giving them a green light to do something criminal. So, reflecting this back, encouraging people to acknowledge and understand their actions, sometimes feels like a daily uphill struggle.
A few weeks ago, I called into our local garage. After filling up the van, I went in to pay and the manager caught me.
“Hello Matey, had one of your community lads in earlier, can you spare a minute? Come and have look at our CCTV.”
There was Robbo on the screen (he’s about my age and been with us for a couple of months) carefully folding a copy of The Sun newspaper into the Daily Mirror and only paying for the top copy!
This felt awkward. It was.
“We’re not making a thing of this, you know not pressing charges, but thought you would like to know.” Yes, I did want to know but, ho hum, how best to reflect this back to our criminal mastermind?
Later, I gave Robbo a lift down to the bus stop, with a surprise detour, straight to the garage. Where we sat (rather uncomfortably) in the van while I explained that I wanted him to go in and apologise…
After suggesting I could “F@#k off”, he proceeded to enlighten me on his complete innocence. So, I enlightened him on the CCTV footage and we agreed to go in together.
Robbo and I stood at the counter. Robbo said he was very sorry and it had all been a bit of a misunderstanding then, casual as you like, he turned to leave. “Hang on,” I said, “you need to pay for the paper.”
Robbo replied that he wasn’t paying for a shit comic like that.
By this time, I was rather regretting the whole idea, customers were backing up and unhelpfully my face was now bright red. I stood my ground.
Robbo stared at me, then at the lengthening queue behind us, and with a grunt put some coins on the counter.
As we left I smiled at a few people who seemed to want to know me. I was finally at the door and about to breathe a sigh of relief… when Robbo shouted back to our audience, “He asked me to do it.”
I thought he might like to walk to the bus stop.
This time next week Tony will be starting his trek across Costa Rica for LandWorks.
With just a few pounds to go until he reaches his target of £4000 there is still time to sponsor Tony