Well, what a night we've just had.
It all started rather well with a few friends over for dinner. Mr WithaY made us all cocktails ...or aperitifs...I'm not certain what they actually were, other than hugely alcoholic. It was a mixture of some odd French strawberry liqueur liberated from Father in law WithaY's house, 16 percent proof I think, mixed with Bison grass vodka. And ice.
By the time the food was ready, the hilarity meter was registering HIGH. We ate, we drank some more, we laughed a lot, and by the time our guests left we were stuffed, exhausted, pissed and ready for bed. Mr WithaY announced that he was going to sleep the sleep of the dead.
No. No he wasn't.
At about half past 3, maybe quarter to four, we were woken by a dull rhythmic thumping sound.
Not a loud car stereo heading past the house.
Not a very, very fat person walking home.
Not a dinosaur on a rampage* through West Wiltshire.
It was two thieving scroats, smashing their way through the front door of the petrol station with a sledgehammer.
Well, what would you have done?
My first instinct was to get tooled up with shooters and go out to Stop Them In Their Tracks, in the manner of some vengeful American cop out for Justice.
However, what with me not being a cop, American or otherwise, I decided that was a bit of a crap idea, so Mr WithaY went to call the police instead. He was able to give the police a running commentary on what was happening, looking out of the bedroom window, watching a crime in progress.
The vile little toads were in through the smashed door incredibly quickly.
They used, as well as the sledgehammer, a large concrete block which was sat outside a neighbour's garage, usually deployed as a hefty doorstop. We watched them pulling the broken glass out of the doorframe, then scramble through the door into the garage, smash open the locked cabinet full of cigarettes, and pretty much strip it bare. All this took about 4 minutes.
They ran out of the garage to a car parked in the dark by the recycling bins, and hared off along the main road towards town with no lights on.
Mr WithaY and I continued to peek out of the window as the garage owners arrived, then the police. Mr WithaY got dressed and went out to tell them what we'd seen. He was gone for over an hour. Apparently they were making cups of tea and everything.
While he was over there, drinking tea and discussing the state of the nation with the police, reports came through on the radio that the robbers had been apprehended. Apparently the police had spotted them (no lights, speeding, probably driving like thieves in a getaway vehicle), given chase through several local villages, and finally collared them.
When searched, the sledgehammer, a huge sack of fags and a change of clothes for both perps were found in the car. Bang to rights, I'd say.
Turns out, our garage was the fourth one to be robbed that night. I can only assume that the crime statistics for West Wiltshire will be looking a little better after this. Assuming that the thieves in question aren't simply slapped on the wrist and released back into the loving arms of the local community, of course.
Mr WithaY enjoyed watching the robbery on the garage's CCTV recordings while he had his 5am tea.
Other news: There is, apparently, a "West Country Burlesque Artist" coming to perform in Frome. We may have to get tickets, it sounds too weird to miss.
I hope her costumes involve baler twine and feed sacks.
*It will happen one day, mark my words.