The Phone Call
Story prompted by a real incident
I was walking through the village when an odd engine noise alerted me to a lorry moving slowly and weaving on the road. I realised the driver was texting and not paying attention to his driving, so got the company number and emailed them to complain. They never responded but the incident prompted this story - which is PURE FICTION. It did NOT happen.
Pop Up Shop
"That new butcher's shop is great," Ann enthused as we left it and crossed the road. "It's so much cheaper than the other one. And it's good quality too."
I nodded, moving over slightly as the pavement narrowed, so we could continue walking side by side.
"It hasn't been around long but it's getting a lot of custom," she continued. "These pop up shops have only appeared since the recession." I nodded again. A conversation with Ann tended to be rather one-sided but it meant I didn't have to think of a response very often, which is why the odd engine noise caught my attention. I looked up.
"That driver's texting," Ann said indignantly. She must have noticed the engine sound too. And as we watched, the lorry drifted across the road. "That's disgraceful," she exploded. I could see the mobile phone in the driver's hand as he held the wheel and texted simultaneously. The lorry drifted back to our side and we looked around nervously for an escape route in case it came up onto the pavement. But the driver must have completed his text, for he stopped alongside the shop we had just left and jumped out to make a delivery.
"Come on," Ann urged, "Let's go and tell him he shouldn't do that." And she marched back into the shop and started to remonstrate with the driver, who was talking to the manager.
"Not me," said the driver, then "Prove it," he was starting to get angry and I pulled Ann out into the street to avoid a confrontation.
"Here, I said, "That's the company phone number on the side of the lorry's door." I pulled out my phone and called the company as we walked away from the shop. The manager was very interested and wanted all the details of where and when but I wouldn't give my name and address, I didn't want an angry lorry driver arriving at my door!
A few days later, Ann phoned me to say that the new butcher's shop was closed and the police were there. She said more of course but that was the gist of the story and we went back to using the usual butcher's shop and paying a bit more for our meat.
A few months later, Ann burst in through the door, waving the newspaper, "Did you see it?" she shouted. She didn't wait for an answer but spread the paper out on my table, opened to an inside page, with a photograph of the lorry driver and the pop up shop's manager and a few others in court. I skimmed the page. It seems the lorry was delivering meat to shops that were not on its delivery schedule and the pop up shops were being used to sell stolen meat at low prices and were opening and closing as people complained or got suspicious. The delivery company knew the meat was being stolen but hadn't been able to find out how.
The last paragraph of the newspaper story read, "The scam came to light when a member of the public phoned to complain about the delivery driver texting while driving, which is of course illegal, and the time and place did not match the delivery schedule."
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/beautiful-business-smartphone-15742/ by PublicDomainPictures