I've had some pretty crappy days over the past couple of years, but last week had one of the worst of my whole life, and funnily enough after recently breaking a long blog hiatus to reveal I'd actually joined the police, it was a police officer who made a fleeting cameo in my afternoon and was instrumental in fucking it up.
The backstory is that since leaving the force I haven't had much use for my battered old Ford Fiesta that now sits forlornly outside my house, literally gathering cobwebs on its wing mirrors. After being driven only a couple of times in the preceding six months – to pick up my late dad from hospital then later help clear out his pad – it was needed again for a short-notice work assignment in the neighbouring county, which meant having to jump the flat battery.
No problem: my one local mate Andy (a driving instructor, who taught me to drive) was able to swing by during his lunch break with jump leads, and after we hooked up our engines mine instantly spluttered into life along with the radio and alarm with a turn of the ignition. Happy at the painlessness of the procedure, I went back into the house after waving Andy off to gather my stuff and lock up, leaving the engine running because of course if I switched it off it wouldn't start up again due to low battery level.
Incredibly, however, in the space of those few minutes a random passer-by on my quiet residential street actually got into my car and grabbed the keys – but he wasn't a thief. I heard the engine cut off while closing my front door and looked around to see a man opening my front gate with my car keys in one hand and an opened police badge in the other.
"You know that leaving your engine running is illegal sir," he admonished while handing over the keys. "And anyone could drive off with it?".