(Best Rod Serling impression) "Stephen Kerr was an ordinary man, doing an ordinary job...but nothing is ordinary...in The Twilight Zone"
Once I was in Letchworth Garden City (I didn’t know where it was either) on a mission to get a Mr Richard Wilson to sign up with Pickford's - for all his Careful Moving Needs.
I entered the slightly rundown garden of the above and knocked on the door, whilst making notes about parking/access etc. Very boring to read, even more boring as a job, believe me.
He didn’t answer first knock. With a second knock I turned my back to the door to cast my eyes over mini-Basra and said, "I don’t believe it!", under my breath. It's quite a good impression actually.
I then turned around to find that he had opened the door, second knock, and was standing there like the shopkeeper from Mr Benn, suddenly appeared , but looking like a fat Goth, for indeed that was what he was.
He ushered me into a house that had "character", shall we say. I was half expecting a Fagin or Miss Havisham to loom large. He apolgised for the truly extravagant amount of books that littered literally every room.
I replied that I loved a house crammed full of books and said, trying to engage him and find common ground,
"If I leave a house without books then I think the occupants are nothing but Pagans"
"We are Pagans, actually", he replied with all sincerity.
This was backed up by a very dodgy-looking pentangle thingy hanging from his wall and a broomstick resting in his hallway.
I'm ushered upstairs, being dragged there by a strange smell. I have smelt it before but I couldn't put my nose on it.
In the first bedroom was his wife, on a PC, suitably Gothed. I'm informed that the PC and table are going as part of the move but the cage of rats to her side was their responsibility.
THAT WAS THE SMELL!
About eight Rattus Rattus (or is that sixteen?) all coiled together like a huge King Rat.
Unperturbed, I carried on nonchalantly, as if a bedroom full of rats was an everyday occurrence.
The second bedroom bought more and more books, my eyes focusing on the Alan Moore tome, "From Hell."
I mentioned to Mr Wilson that Alan Moore was a famous Northamptonian, I was from Northampton, and my dad's cousin, Tom Hall, had him singing/talking on a couple of his early albums. It's all in the detail to secure the sale!
Hearing our conversation Mrs Wilson then seemed to float into the room. Apparently Alan Moore was on old family friend.
Did she remember my dad’s cousin? Tom Hall? The singer? Full, Falstaffian figure always recognised, when I was a kid, in a pair of red, white and blue dungarees?
Not only did she remember him but in the only hanging wardrobe in the house not to have books or rats falling off of them she pulled out a pair of dungarees. When she was younger, darker-skinned, and not wearing any colour as long as its black, Tom had given them to her to play dressing up games with.
(Best Rod Serling impression) - "What had started as an ordinary day in Letchworth Garden City would end as ordinarily too. But every so often, Stephen Kerr, and maybe you, enter The Twilight Parazone."