Once upon a time I was unemployed in Bradford. This was in 1991 when unemployment was a fairly normal state of affairs for young people living in the Grim North. Jobs were hard to come by and with four A levels and a degree in Psychology I wasn’t qualified for anything. Then one day a quixotic visit to the ironicaly named Job Centre actually brought about a glimmer of hope. There it was, the opportunity I’d been waiting for, the advert simply proclaimed:
. PRIVATE DETECTIVE WANTED
Unfortunately, on reading further I discovered that you had to have your own car and phone. I had neither, and my hopes were dashed.
Recently I wondered what sort of private detective I would have been if only I had the necessary car and phone. Probably a very bad one. Which gave me an idea for a story. This is how it starts.
Theodor Smith, the Worst Detective in the World
“What does vole go with?”
“You know, like “A cat among the pigeons” or “A spanner in the works”. What is there a vole in?”
“There’s a vole in my bucket?”
“Like the song!”
Theodor Smith gave Mandy what he considered to be his long suffering look.
“I was giving you a long suffering look.”
“I thought you was having a funny turn.”
“Old Arthur upstairs, he looks just like that when he has one of his funny turns.”
“Oh yes, he’s enigmatic.”
“Oh yes, not really badly though, I mean he don’t fall on the floor and twitch about like.”
“You mean he’s epileptic!”
“That’s what I said innit.”
“Maybe you should get on with your cleaning.”
“Well I was before you came and interrupted! Besides, I reckon her indoors wants a word.”
“We’re not married you know?
“Might as well be the way she treats you!”
That’s all I’ve got so far, but one day I will come back to it.