Neither mirth nor woe: Mystery gift
Don't talk to me about mystery gifts.
I once bought a house in Reading, from a dodgy sort of chap who was moving back to Ireland.
He struck me as a dodgy fella from the start by the tractor parts he kept around the house, and his insistence on declining to give a forwarding address on the grounds that he hadn't actually built his house, nor would the Irish government ever find out that he was building a house.
But still, he was selling us his house at a bargain price, on the understanding that we never attempt to dig up any part of the garden.
The first Christmas after we moved in, there was a knock on the door. It was a man-with-a-van.
"Your hamper," he said.
"Your hamper. Sign here."
I signed, and received, in return, a lovely Christmas hamper full of all manner of footstuffs and sweets. Quite literally the Best Christmas Walford's Ever Seen
It was from Aunty Brenda, whoever she was. We presumed she was related to Mr Dodgy who lived there before us, but with no way of finding out short of sending the thing back to the hamper company, we scoffed the lot.
This happened for three years, and the mystery hamper supply stopped.
Then came a knock on the door. It was the police.
"It's about Mr Dodgy..."
"You can't prove anything. It's all gone."
"Aunty Brenda. We know nothing."
"I have no idea what you're talking about. We were just wondering..."
"...if you knew what he did with the firearms?"
"His Aunty Brenda?"
"On our way."
Aunty Brenda - wherever you are - We're very, very sorry. But it was tasty. And we hope they didn't need the latex gloves.