Friday, 2 August 2019

The case of the mystery crime

A strange thing happened down our way a few days ago. It was early in the morning, about 7:00 o'clock when I was taking the dog out for a walk. I went up Gardenia Avenue and as I passed Number 72 I noticed that the front door was slightly open. Not fully open so you can see right into the house but ajar. It's a small bungalow where Mrs Scrivener lives. She is an old widow who's been there for years. I remember her husband. A very small man always dressed in a black formal suit. He looked like the little man you have on top of a wedding cake.

Anyway, as I approached Number 72 and saw the door ajar I heard a voice cry, "Help ... Help ..." I quickly tied the dog's lead to her garden gate and went towards the front door. I pushed it slightly and shouted, "Hello ... Is anybody there?"

No response ... I pushed the door further and went into the corridor and shouted again, "Are you here Mrs Scrivener? Are you OK?"

Still no response. I was confused and worried at the same time. Had I imagined the cry for help? Why was the front door open? What do I do now? Do I leave hurriedly? Do I search the house? What if Mrs Scrivener had fallen and was in some danger? Do I phone the police? Or an ambulance?

Why is it that in life we are sometimes faced with so many questions to which there are no easy answers? Someone should write a book with all these questions and suggested answers on what you should do. For example - If you are walking down the street and hear a cry for help you should first establish with certainty the requirement for assistance before taking any further action.

Can you imagine how useful such a book would be? It would answer all questions that befuddle us in life. Like, do you pour the milk or the tea first in the cup? On which side do you break a soft-boiled egg, the sharp narrow side or the wide one? When wearing underpants do you put your left leg in first or the right? Or do you lie naked on the bed with your feet in the air and put them in the pants simultaneously? How about when wearing trousers? Or socks? Or shoes?

These and many other questions could be listed in a book that would help hapless people like me lead a much happier life.

Mrs Scrivener's house has only two rooms, bedroom and living room, and kitchen and bathroom. I decided to have quick look round. No one there except a beautiful red parrot standing on a perch in the living room.

As soon as I entered the living room he screeched, "François Bordeaux did it ... François Bordeaux did it ... "

A frisson ran up and down my spine. Perhaps it was the mention of the French name. Had it been an English name then a cold would have run up and down my spine. But French it certainly was.

I looked at the parrot. He looked back at me, bobbed its head once or twice and then repeated, very slowly and very clearly, "François Bordeaux did it ... François Bordeaux did it ... "

I did not know what to do. What had François Bordeaux done that was so dire to be imprinted on a bird's brain? Who was François Bordeaux? Where is he now? What has he done to Mrs Scrivener? Where is Mrs Scrivener?

Yet again, such questions should be listed in a book with suggestions on what one should do in case this happened to them. Of course they could change the names of the protagonists but the situation could really happen in real life. Walking down the street ... hear cry for help ... enter house ... parrot accuses protagonist ... and so on.

I heard a noise behind me. It was Mrs Scrivener entering through the front door. As soon as she saw me she jumped and said, "What are you doing here? You gave me the fright of my life ... I saw your dog tied to my gate and wondered what was going on ..."

"I saw your front door open ... and heard a cry for help ..." I mumbled.

"A cry for help? Who would that be?" she asked.

I looked at the parrot and then mumbled again, "your front door was open ..."

"I must have forgotten to pull it shut last night. I went to see Edna next door. She won £30 on the church bingo so I went to celebrate. Must have had one sherry too many because we fell asleep on the armchairs."

"Oh ... " I said, looking at the bird again. He preened its feathers and looked all innocent.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" she asked.

"I'd rather go to the toilet ..." I replied as my panic was beginning to subside a little.

Afterwards I asked her, surreptitiously, "Do you know anyone called François Bordeaux?"

"No ..." she said, "who is he?"

"Ehm ... no one important ... that's a lovely parrot you have. What is his name?" I asked changing the subject and putting down my cup of tea.

"Polly ... most parrots are called Polly. My husband bought him years ago!"

"He is wonderful," I lied, "does he talk?"

"Nope ... not a word ... as dumb as a bird. I have tried over the years to teach him to talk but he is totally stupid. He stands there on his perch bobbing his head left and right but has never said a word. He is good company though. Reminds me of my husband. He didn't speak much either!"

I finished my tea and left hurriedly.

There definitely should be a book with a list of questions of all the things that could happen in life and possible suggestions on how you should deal with them. Perhaps I will write it. Perhaps you could suggest questions to be included in the book.

What do you think?

16 comments:

  1. A book that asks and answers all those impossible questions . . .that could be a dream come true for most of us, but a nightmare, I imagine, for the person who decides to actually write it. Love how your mind works, Victor!
    Blessings!

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    1. We are often faced with impossible situations in life, Martha. Such a book would be a great help; but it would need to have a great index to find the right solution quickly.

      God bless.

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  2. The book would be very heavy and thick if it contained all those impossible questions and answers. What happens if you don't find your answer, that would mean a new and improved updated version. :)

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    1. The first question in the book would be: How to avoid a hernia! The second question would be: How to update your book with Kindle.

      God bless you, Bill.

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  3. Now we really need to know: WHO is Francois Bordeaux? (And why am I now longing for a sip of the grape?) I suspect that bird is up to no good.

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    1. I am just as intrigued as you, Mevely, as to who François Bordeaux is. Perhaps we'll never know.

      God bless.

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  4. Another thought provoking post, Victor. I need to know just who Francois Bordeaux is (or is "he" a red wine?)... and I agree with Martha - your mind is a mystery!!

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    1. The mystery deepens ... sinister music ... Who is François Bordeaux? Does he exist even? Will we ever know?

      Tune in same time same place tomorrow. Bring your friends with you.

      God bless, Terri.

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  5. I think that Polly is quiet devious.

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    1. I suspect he knows more than he is letting on.

      God bless, Happyone.

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  6. Your new book would be an international best seller, Victor:)

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    1. I hope so, Chris. I'm writing it as we speak.

      God bless you.

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  7. The book is a good idea, except so many decisions must be made in an instant that most often it would only be able to tell you what you should have done...isn't that what wives are for?

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    1. Yes you are right, Joeh. But sometimes you have to make decisions that wives need not know about !!!!!!!

      God bless.

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  8. That great idea for a book will take forever to write if you try to keep the questions alphabetical and I have a feeling that it will be a series as large as the Encyclopedia before it is finished!
    But the mystery here is...who is Francois Bordeaux and why doesn't the parrot talk in front of others besides you??

    God Bless ✝

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    1. I agree with you about the book, Jan. Perhaps I could print the index separately in another book?

      Hope you enjoy reading these stories in chronological order. It started as an experiment. This post first, followed by another, and another ...

      God bless you Jan.

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