Sunday, January 14, 2007

Raffles comes to visit

I have certain impressions of the type of person who commits burglaries in England. This is mainly founded on the account of such characters given in books like the Raffles series created in the 1890s by E. W. Hornung or Bill Rumm, the reformed burglar in the Lord Peter books by Dorothy L. Sayers. This impression stops in time with the character of Fletch in the television series Porridge.

You could say there is a certain romance colouring my view of the English burglar and as I have never met one, that impression was likely to continue on unsullied.

Until this morning.

I looked out at the frosted glass window of our garage door and wondered why the condensation was so heavy. "That is not condensation" said Rups (he who knows all) "someone has put a sheet over the door"

The rest was all a bit of a cliche, dash to the shed, discovery of the place in tatters, things taken and a general spirited rant or two (me).

They didn't take much, all that is in the garage are things which are either on the way to eBay, the bin or the charity shop. I think the total was a box of books, some old jeans (I mean 12 years old) a broken wireless router and a broken buggy. The problem is that they slashed, threw about and generally tore the shed up. What REALLY bugs me is that I spent two hours out there before Christmas tidying the place up so we could put the desk out there to make more space for our annual Christmas party. Had we been done over then (as I believe the parlance is) their pickings would have included the home office - printers, a working wireless router, PC etc. So I suppose that is quite lucky.

I am worried that they are going to sell the buggy to some unsuspecting family. The brakes are broken (it has a complicated bike brake arrangement) and we had tried to get them fixed prior to selling the thing but it can't be done. Hopefully they will discover this and dump it rather than putting a baby at risk.

Somehow the image of Raffles reclining in his velvet smoking jacket after relieving some obnoxious Duchess of his diamonds does not quite tie in with the type of person who takes a buggy. They were not to know it was broken. We could have been reliant on it for a baby. I mean a router and all that is fair game but a child's buggy. Pretty damm low.

Ach well, they'll get theirs, karma and all that.

I'm off to read Wodehouse. There is one account of Bertie Wooster's failure to steal a cow creamer that never fails to make me smile. Now, if you want respect as a burglar, there is a target to go for.

What sort of an inbred descendant of a Muppet and a numpty plank steals a decade old musty smelling box of jeans???


Neil said...

Can I pat myself on the back for being one of the few Americans who knows who "Raffles" is? Is he really still popular in the UK?

Violet said...

The last time I got burgled, they took away two suitcases full of out-of-season clothing, including two severely studded leather belts from Bali. Thankfully, they didn't take my scarlet leather motorcycle-style jacket (also from Bali) because I'd worn it to work that day.

In case you hadn't guessed, this was back in the Eighties...

Jacob P. Murgatroid said...

What terrible news, Eliza. There's only one punishment fit for that type of prole: flogging. Flog 'em hard, say I. Flog 'em until there's no flogging let in your are and the get your man to flog 'em some more.

I'll keep an eye out for a old musty smelling box of jeans and if I find it, I'll inform Scotland Yard immediately.

Enjoy the cow creamer. It is a particularly good jape.

fjl said...

I think the usual British burglar is sadly warty, teenagerish, unappealing. Alas, Raffles is long gone.