100! What do they think I am? Dumb or something? Why, I make more money than – than – than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!

One of Pa’s cheques had bounced. The cheque in question was from his current account to his building society. The cheque in question apparently had his signature on it. The cheque in question had not been written by Pa.

Pa’s cheque book was still safely in the bureau and there were no obvious signs of a break-in. But both building society books were missing. Phone calls revealed that both accounts had been emptied.

The 87th Precinct being unavailable at the time, Ma and Pa had to settle for the Edmonton Police Force. They pieced together the following story. Someone had taken a cheque from the back of Pa’s cheque book, which was why he hadn’t missed it. They’d also taken the building society books and Pa’s old-style driver’s licence.

The perps had gone to the building societies, “paid in” a cheque from Pa’s current account, thus establishing themselves in the minds of the clerks as genuine account holders. They used Pa’s driver’s licence as ID – and, presumably, as a template from which to copy his signature – and withdrew most of his pension lump sum.

The police were pretty certain who’d done it. They told Ma and Pa that similar fraud cases always led to a member of the family. In vain did Ma explain that she kept such close tabs on us all, even a purchase of excess shoe-laces would raise questions in the house. It was, said the police, always the family. They maintained this stance until one of the security videos showed that the person claiming to be an elderly South Londoner was, in fact, one of a couple of young black men.

“It’s funny, isn’t it,” mused the police-officer. “You wouldn’t have thought they’d be that clever.”

This all happened pre- Lawrence, so we can only hope that such a remark wouldn’t be made now. Pa did eventually recover his savings but, learning from his misfortunes, I am determined to be extra-careful when I get my lump-sum this autumn. After all, there’s always the chance that family members will attempt to swindle me of the money to fund their garden gnome habit.

However, keep this to yourself, but this week I’ve had a bit of luck which means they’ll be no financial worries at all when I hang up my mortar board.

Just in the last three days, I have learnt that I am due $750,000 from the Central Bank of Burkina Faso owing to the discovery of fraud among their officials. I can only hope that the Co-op are equally vigilant in their dealings.

It also turns out – and how lucky is this? – that the United Arab Emirates have randomly selected me through the internet to receive $2.8 million if I tell someone in Zambia my name.

My income is also going to be boosted by more than $23 million from the amazing good fortune of having the same surname as a series of wealthy businessmen who died with all their families in the Malaysian air-crash, the Indonesian tsunami, the Concorde air-crash and a rather nasty car-crash in Benin. I’m putting aside the worrying thought that my name is cursed because a variety of bank officials are happy to share this booty with me rather than have it go to the state, unclaimed. All I have to do is tell them my name. Makes sense to me.

What with that and the refunds I am apparently due from the Tax Office, Amazon and the Santandar account I haven’t got, I’ll be living the life of Riley come September.

I won’t let it go to my head, though. I shall give most of it for Parkinson’s research, of course, but will need to keep some in reserve. You’d be amazed at the number of my friends and relations who get themselves into scrapes abroad – Kenya, the Bahamas, Norwich – and need my urgent assistance to get them home. You’d really think they’d take more care in these perilous times.


One hundred posts!  Every now and then – well, most days actually, I look at the statistics which show how many people have read my blog and wonder who the readers are and what they make of it all.  Particularly intriguing is when the stats show that someone has gone back and read lots of the past posts, which suggests that either they quite like my stuff or can’t believe how I get away with it.  I’d love to know how they stumbled across my nonsense: are they a teacher? A Parkie?  Someone paid by my mother? It would be great to be able to suggest posts they might like.

If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothin’. Bless you all.


Because I have signed up to GiveAsYouLive, the books for school I bought on-line, raised 52p to help fund Parkinson’s research. It cost me nothing and has brought a cure that wee bit nearer. The link to GiveAsYouLive is here.

The Jelly Chronicles Volume 1 is available as an i-book here. Any proceeds to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust.



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