All that Glisters
All That Glisters
'All that glisters..' what a pity Malc didn't know, or if he did didn't understand what old Bill Shakespeare was getting at when he wrote this. Don't get me wrong I'm not that keen on all that old fashioned rubbish but he did write a few things that make a lot of sense. I think Malc's reading only stretches as far as page three and the sports page.
But still I'm getting ahead of myself here. 'Let's start at the very beginning' as Julie Andrews sang, I'm not admitting to ever seeing the film though. Not good for the street cred. Right here goes.
It was a Monday morning, as usual I was 'brassic lint' (skint to those innocents among you). The missus was giving me hassle, rent, food, a new pair of designer shoes with matching handbag, designed by somebody called Jimmy Shoe I think she said. When I asked how much all I got as a reply was 'Expensive. But I'm worth it aren't I?'
You know me, hard. But I just love the bones of her, can't bear to see her cry so I promised. What a mistake!
I do my best thinking in the pub so off I went down to the Arms. I'm good for a few pints there. Who should be sitting up at the bar but Malc, nearly finished pint in his hand. A raised eyebrow a thumbs up and within minutes we were sitting in the corner savouring the amber nectar.
Now Malc's not the brightest button in the box but you can trust him and when I told him about my dire financial state he tapped his nose, winked and went to get us another pint. Carrying them back carefully he placed them on the table and edged his chair closer to mine. In best conspiratorial mode he looked carefully around the room and then whispered, 'I've got a plan. Been working on it for a while now.' The fact that the bar was completely empty made his actions unnecessary but that's Malc for you, he's a bit of a drama queen.
Lowering his voice even more, 'You know Myrtle Grove?'
Because he was whispering and has a speech impediment and someone had just come in and put 'I want to break free' on the juke box (yes, the Arms is that old it still has a juke box), I wasn't quite sure what he'd said. I thought it was about Myrtle, Greg's ninety four year old nan, so I just nodded. 'Lovely lady, a great do on her ninetieth.'
He choked on the dregs of his pint and giving me a funny look went to get some refills.
The place was filling up and the juke box was at full belt so there was no need for whispering when he got back, but this also caused even more problems with understanding what he was saying.
'I've heard that the old geezer who lives there, Colonel Spicer-Fitzgerald,...'
'What! Colonel Spicer what’s-his-name is living with Myrtle. BUT SHE'S NINETY FOUR.'
I couldn't help it, what with the beer, the music and Malc's lisp I was completely confused.
This of course caused people to stop their conversation as they turned looking in our direction wondering what the fuss was about. He put his finger on his lips and looked furtively around.
'No, you numpty, Myrtle Grove, that big house out on the Worcester Road.'
I just nodded still confused.
'I've heard on the grapevine, won't tell you my sources just in case, that he's got a stash of gold and silver jewellery up at the house. Why should he have all that money, a big house, and a three month holiday in Barbados every winter and gold and silver jewellery that nobody ever wears, when we're down to our last few coppers,' he put his hand in his pocket and drew out enough money to pay for a last round, 'And your lovely missus is crying because she can't have a new pair of shoes. Robbers that's what they are. Taking advantage.'
He wove his way to the bar and came back with two halves.
'Sorry, that's all I could get.'
'Well after he'd spent his last few quid on me what else could I do? I had to agree to help him relieve Colonel What’s-his-name of his jewels.
As I said that was Monday, by Thursday the plans had been laid and the following Monday was to be the day of the 'hit'. The missus had spent the whole week crying,' If you loved me you'd buy me some new shoes. How can I go out with the girls wearing just M&S cheapoes when they're all wearing designer. How do you think that makes me feel and how does it make you look?'
I must say she had a point.
Well as I'm sitting here telling you this story you can guess that things did not go according to plan. Malc knew the house was empty, the Colonel in Barbados, and that his alarm was on the blink. His 'source' had told him that the back door was easily forced. I did wonder at the time why the contact hadn't done the job, should have asked I suppose.
Getting in was easy-peasy. Malc insisted that we wore balaclavas and blacked our faces, 'Just in case'. I'm sure he'd missed his vocation, should have been a spy or in the SAS or something.
The gold and silver was out on display so we loaded it into sacks and then went up to the bedroom to find the jewellery. I really should have been suspicious when we grabbed it with ease. But then of course all hell let loose and before we knew it blue flashing lights were on the drive and there was nowhere to go.
As you know Colonel What’s-his-name is one smart bunny, anything of value he has is in the bank and after the divorce his wife took the 'real' stuff with her. Everything that was left was plate or paste.
'All that glisters... is definitely not gold.