I am not sure if John will ever forgive me for not getting him a goat. He didn’t speak to me when he came home to find he was goatless in spite of his heartfelt requests. He slouched about moaning, groaning and shooting me sideways glances under his lashes, absolutely refusing to look me in the eye.
‘No goat, no goat’ he chanted all weekend, even refusing to have a look inside the shed. He hid his eyes every time he walked past it, it was just too painful a reminder of what might have been had I not been such a selfish, thoughtless mum.
My report that weekend clearly stated ‘Could do better’.
In my defence I never once said it was even a remote possibility. I was however in the minority. After my last blog post everyone who knows John either phoned, text, emailed or facebooked me to let me know their opinion on the subject, and you all said ‘oh go on, get him a goat’
In fact my friend in Ireland summed it up in his own inimitable way when he said ‘Ah go on now, you’ll be after getting yer man a feckin goat’…….all very Father Ted!
I had already mentioned it to Adam, who like his dad believes as far as John is concerned anything is do-able.
‘Quality! we’re definitely getting him a goat’ was his laid back response, while I shrieked like a banshee.
I could see Adam’s mind working overtime trying to work out how he and James could kidnap a goat, get it into the back of the van and into the shed without me knowing.
Adam has got form for this kind of thing, although admittedly not with livestock. John has also got form for wanting the impossible. It’s a worrying combination. Let me explain……
A few years ago John wanted a large blue and white plastic National Lottery Sign for Christmas. They can usually be found outside newsagents and convenience stores and stand about 3ft high. It is sort of an upside down snowman-ish shape with a large ‘head’ a slightly smaller ‘body’ and a heavy oval flat base.
He had become obsessed with these signs and I would spend hours standing outside various newsagents in the vicinity while John bounced, hooted and skipped around the signs.
I had enquired of our local newsagent to see if he could perhaps ask the National Lottery people if John could have one, obviously I would pay for it, but he was most unhelpful. He had no sense of charity and no sense of humour. He was having none of it even though he knew how much John loved the sign as we were regularly camped outside his shop. However no amount of mooing (John) and eyelash fluttering (me) could change his mind.
What’s more he asked me to stop hanging around outside his shop with John as it was not good for business. Apparently it looked like we were loitering!
I cancelled our paper delivery immediately and transferred our business and our ‘loitering skills’ to another shop.
When I told Peter about it I should have noticed the steely glint in his eye. Suffice is to say that I had absolutely no idea that he and Adam were already hatching a plan.
These signs have a heavy weighted base to prevent people walking off with them, but this did not deter Peter and Adam, oh no quite the opposite.
I had said ‘No’ to John’s request, for all the obvious reasons, a) where would we get one….b) where would we put it…. and c) well I couldn’t think of a c) but there must have been one?
This only further fuelled their determination.
And so it was one dark cold December evening Peter mumbled something about popping out for half an hour and before I could ask where to, he was gone.
Apparently for a couple of weeks he had been doing a recce of all the newsagents in a six mile radius that had Lottery signs.
Eventually he found the perfect shop, not too many street lights and a disinterested shop assistant constantly fiddling with her mobile phone. The heist was on.
Peter was the getaway driver, while Adam being the younger and fitter would be ‘The Lifter’.
Peter drove up to the shop, and they immediately spotted a CCTV camera, why hadn’t he noticed it the first time? Also for some reason there were lots of elderly people wandering about. Something else Peter hadn’t accounted for when doing his recce of this particular newsagent.
Peter looked at Adam, Adam looked at his dad and realising that this was their only chance he uttered the immortal words
‘F*** it, let’s just do it’.
With no further ado and under the watchful eye of the CCTV camera and a gaggle of OAP’s Adam jumped out of the car and grabbed the heavy Lottery sign around the middle. He wrestled it towards the car, much to the surprise of the assembled band of old ladies who were on their way to bingo in the social club up the road.
They got very animated and started shouting, pointing and waving their handbags. They weren’t exactly sure what was happening as it was dark, spitting with rain and their glasses were misting up, but it looked like a tall young man was wrestling with a smaller tubby man. There was an audible gasp as Adam with Herculean strength managed to get the lottery sign into the back of the car. Peter put his foot down and they sped off. Mission accomplished.
The old ladies immediately bustled and hustled off in the opposite direction eager to tell their friends at the bingo what they had just witnessed. I imagine it went something like this…..
‘Ethel, listen. Dot come here and listen. As true as I’m standing here I tell you, this car drove up, a tall man in a mask got out and grabbed this poor little fat man with no legs! no legs for gawd sake. Dragged him down the road he did and threw him in the car….just like that! Poor little bugger never stood a chance’
To say I was not best pleased when Peter came home with the Lottery sign, would be an understatement. I went mad, what was he thinking? You can’t just take a sign from outside a shop? It’s not right! What about CCTV! The police will be here any minute for goodness sake!
I had visions of us all being arrested. It took me a long while not to panic every time there was a knock on the door or a police car drove past me in the village.
On Christmas morning John was beside himself with his fantastic Present, his very own little tubby man with no legs.
Now perhaps you can see why I was a little nervous at Adams response to the goat debacle.
Please excuse me while I just pop out and check the shed!