Italian Job 3 – The vase

I have to be honest and say I thought Christmas had come early.  Quick jolly down to Rome in the Autumn, find some old bloke ask him what the problem was and then do a little courier job all for top dollar.  If only life was this simple all the time.

My phone call from Dawn was very unsettling.  Try as I might she would not tell me what she had to done that could be so bad.  If it had been a conversation with somebody I got on with, it might have been easier, but to say it was awkward would be putting it mildly.  However I did get her to calm down and told her that as soon as I was back we would get together to talk through what the problem was.  When I suggested this I expected a succinct “Piss Off”, so when that did not come I really knew that thinbgs must be pretty screwed up.

Eventually my flight was called and I had to end the conversation.  She sounded a little happier, if happier is the right word and she had promised not to say or do anything that could cause any kind of fallout. The problem is that people promise not say or do anything and then do the exact bloody opposite.  I don’t know why but they do.  In fact I am starting to think it might be more effective to say “throw it all in and confess” or whatever and it might be more effective.  Reverse therapy or whatever the term is.

I took my seat on the aircraft and returned to my magazine whilst the other passengers were boarding.  My plan was to fly to Rome and then head down to the town of Cassino, find Mr Hawthorn first, then head back to just North of Rome pick up the art works and head for home with all the goodies.  After all I didn’t fancy punting about with a few thousand quids worth of paintings and  lump of sculpture in the boot of the hire car.

An overweight lady of forty something with her hair pulled back in a sort of bun and wearing the standard British uniform for travelling to Europe ie imitation canvas walking boots, combat trousers and a Berghaus fleece approached my row of seats.  She had a little back back pack and a carrier bag.  She effectively blocked the whole aisle while she huffed and puffed and got the pack off her back and then decided to put the carrier bag in the over head locker.  Why she didn’t take the back pack off before she got on the plane I don’t know.  Anyway she eventually got it off and with more heavy breathing she swung it with what I can best describe as gay abandon in the sort of general direction of the the overhead locker.  Quite what the fuck she intended to do I don’t know but what I do know is that the bloody bag cracked me fair and square on the melon.

What happened next was all rather quick and sort of rolled into one. There was a loud crack and it was obvious that either she had done some untold damage to my skull or she had broken what was in the the bag. A woman next her shrieked “OH MY GOD” I looked round to see what else had gone wrong and realised for the commotion breaking out that I was what was wrong.  Blood was pouring from a wound on my head.  Bollocks just what I needed.  I got my hankie out and located the offending wound.  Head injuries bleed like there is no tomorrow usually look worse than they are.

The lard arse woman in the Berghaus fleece then shouted at me “You have broken my vase”

“What?” I exclaimed “I broke  your vase?  I don’t bloody think so, you hit me over the head with it.”

“I did not” she bawled.

“Explain then why I am sitting here with blood pouring out of my head and you are standing there holding a carrier bag with God knows what in it.”

The stewardess appeared and this girl should have been an ace detective.  “Is there a problem” she beamed.

“No” I said “It is quite normal for me to bleed from the head” I said somewhat sarcasticly.  It was wasted on her.  She looked at me and said “Maybe sir you should put a dressing on that before you boarded the aircraft”  For fucks sake.

“I was being witty” I explained slowly “This lady has managed to break a vase or something that is in that bag on my head”  There was murmurs of approval from th other passengers.

“NO I DID NOT YOU FUCKING BASTARD” shouted my assailant

“Excuse me madam” There was a bloke of about 45 standing there.

“WHAT” she shouted back

“I am a police office and I have to tell you that unless you amend your behaviour you are liable to be arrested.  You dropped your bag on this gentleman’s head as a result of which he has sustained an injury.  An accident as I am sure the gent would agree”  I nodded dripping claret on the floor “However your behaviour since the little incident is not acceptable and if you persist I will have no alternative but to ask the security police to attend the aircraft and eject you from the flight”

The woman turned and looked at him.  Her face was beetroot her eyes bulged and she was snorting like a bull.  “You officious little prick why don’t you just fuck off and mind your own business.  You should be arresting rapists and criminals”  spit and flem flew from her mouth and onto his face and jacket

He smiled back at her totally unfazed by the verbal onslaught “Madam nothing would give me greater pleasure that to have nothing to do with you, unfortunately you have blocked the gangway of the aircraft with your body thus preventing me from getting to my seat.  Trust me, if I could I would  ignore your loutish behaviour.  Regrettably however due to your conduct and demeanour I have no choice but to interject”

“YOU…”She started

He held up a hand and said “Not one more word.  Sit down or get nicked” He meant business and she knew it.

“But..my vase” she said

He pointed his finger at her and I knew she was a hair of gnats knacker of pissing this bloke off.

“You should have been more careful with it.  You will have to buy another” He said “Now then” He said very calmly but with total authority ” I think you owe this gentleman and apology” and then turning to the dim airhostess “Perhaps you could sort out a dressing and plaster for this mans head”.  The air hostess scuttled off for a first aid kit.

“Sorry…”The large lady stammered “I have been under a lot of stress recently and..well Oh I know I should not have acted like that”  She was bright red and tears were in her eyes.

“No harm done” I said smiling.

No harm done!  Norm you spaz how bloody English is that?  The lady sat down in the row behind me and the policeman took the seat next to me.

“I hope you didn’t mind me butting in,  but I got the impression you were about to get up and chin our friend”  He said pleasantly.

I grinned “I think I might have got a bit of kicking”

He looked back at me and gave me a withering look  “I doubt it” He said “But some of these Greenham Common ladies fight dirty”

I am pleased to say that nothing remarkable happened on the flight to Rome.  I chatted to the copper and we had few mutual acquaintances.

There was a slight hitch at the car hire place because they had run our of cars and the only thing they had was a brand new top of the range Ford Mondeo.  I am not  great lover of Fords, but this car was the dogs whatsits.  Black with black glass, it was a real pimp mobile.  It was very nice to drive. Pokey and handled like a dream, big yet not cavernous, I made a mental note that should I ever decided to buy a biggish car this would be up there as good value for money.

Now I was ready to face a thousand deaths as I headed for the Italian Autostrada.

One Response to “Italian Job 3 – The vase”

  1. John Humphries says:

    My father in law says the Italians are positive drivers. He never said what kind of positives. I think they are lunatics.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.