The wardrobe saga.
The ancient man, in his seventies perhaps, is carrying the heavy wooden wardrobe, alone, down the dark street in the wind and rain. He's making rattling, gasping noises that I can hear above the storm. 'I would help,' I say, 'but I hurt my back earlier so I'm reluctant to carry anything.' This sounds awfully feeble. He stares at me, with his bulging eyes. This all started two weeks ago when I bought a wardrobe in a charity shop in Morecambe and they promised to deliver it two days later. They never came. I forgot to get a receipt, no number, the shop doesn't exist online. I sighed at being conned. A week later I go back and the old man says, 'You!' and then tells me how he spent his entire weekend driving round Lancaster in the rain, lost and unable to find me. 'Why didn't you call?' I ask. 'I did!' he yells. I draw a map and he says he'll try again in a few days. I write down my phone number... So he arrives at 6pm this evening, knocks. 'Is this number 14?' he demands when I open it, like he doesn't recognise me. So, outside and he's staggering along with the wardrobe in a bear hug. 'Don't you want to reverse down in your van?' I ask. 'No!' he yells, 'when I came yesterday I did that and couldn't get out again.' I ponder this. 'You came yesterday?' 'Yes,' he says, 'but no one knew which was was number fourteen.' I stare the house next door, clearly labelled with '12'. 'Why didn't you call?' I ask. 'I did!' he yells. He heaves the wardrobe into the lounge eventually and gasps a while. I wonder if I can ask him to take it upstairs. 'I've had a very bad day,' he tells me, 'my business partner was arrested earlier for handling stolen goods. Oh, and I've lost the key, sorry, I'll look for it and post it to you. SLAM. I sit and stare at my locked, stolen wardrobe.
So we drove back to Morecambe two weeks later, another hour or two invested in the wardrobe adventure. The old man stares at me. 'You might remember me from the... wardrobe saga?' I say, smiling. He just stares, no recognition. Eventually he says, 'I might remember you...' My smile fades. 'The key,' I say, you lost the key to the wardrobe I bought from you?' Blank look. 'You tried to deliver it twice?' Blank. 'Then you finally came and lost the key in the van?' His expression changes, 'Oh yes!' he says and goes behind the counter, rummages in a jar and pulls out a key, 'There you go.' We're suspicious, the Finn suggests he's just given me any old key to get me out of the shop. But it fits when we get home. I think the poor guy is losing his mind so I don't feel to badly towards him.