The plot thickens. The police turned up as promised after we attended the local Police Station. The Déjà vu feelings accompanying our second reportage of our stolen pot plants did not escape Helvi or me. Visiting Police Stations again? Is this now becoming a ritual in our retirement? The policewoman behind the counter remembered us well. To have potted plants stolen twice within a few weeks was a bit out of the usual, she admitted. How did you go with the sensor lights? ‘Well they worked but did not deter anyone,’ The thief must have got well lit, we answered. She nodded and asked which plants got stolen and the value. ‘Cyclamen, the same as last time but not in ceramic pots.’ ‘They were housed in those white plastic mixing bowls.’ Now I know what happened to my bowl I used for pan-cake mixing, I added. This anecdote to pancakes made the policewoman smile. Perhaps she too understands pancake making and grandkids. It showed a rarely seen but warm human side to the police force. The total value would have been around $ 50.- or so, we said. They had flowered so beautifully since the last theft of the previous cyclamens. They too were stolen at the peak of their lives.
‘It’s really the threatening letter left in our letterbox more than the stolen plants which we take more seriously.’ And with a flourish I showed her the note that asked us to ‘stop bullying or sell up,’ signed by ‘owners.’ ‘This was left in our letterbox,’ we added for good measure, and emphasized the threat to our wellbeing in urging us to sell up and move. ‘At our age, we don’t easily move as when we were young,’ we demurred. We pointed out the second plant stealing must be connected. The reason for this bullying was complex. They always are of a human nature unable to give and take. I gave the policewoman some short snippets of how I fared for about twenty minutes as secretary of our Shared Housing Complex, the Body Corporate, after refusing to engage perfectly good neighbours in guerrilla warfare about parking cars.
I assume that my refusal to engage in neighbourly fights must have been the catalyst in this bullying letter-box note and subsequent plant thefts, I added, with some earlier practise in using the word ‘catalyst.’. Getting-on with neighbours is clearly not in the world that our chairperson resides. ‘So much time on hands, yet so little time left to sow seeds of misery, unhinge others,’ I told the policewoman. I thought it prudent to add a little earthly philosophy now, encouraged by her recognition to the earlier pancake bowl reference. ‘The main suspect is 84, and probably on her final few years.’ She is on borrowed time. What drives this woman to do this?
We could tell that the policewoman now wanted to wrap this up. We felt, that the essence of our concerns of the bullying, was understood. ‘We will make a report and the police will visit you in the next hour or so.’ After that we thanked the nice police woman and hurried to get some shopping done. I needed to buy some aspirin which I take on a daily basis. The taking of aspirin and a wine or beer are my only drug habits. I resist seeing doctors, and so far so good.
We drove home and once again looked at the little table outside now looking forlorn and empty of the cyclamen. We went inside and fiddled around a bit waiting for the policeman’s arrival. We were not disappointed. He arrived fully decked out as if on an Isis terrorist mission. Gun in holster, baton at the ready, canisters of what we assumed to be deadly sprays, incapacitating even the most hardened psychological disturbed maniac.
He made a report and told us he would go and question the 84 year old neighbour woman, the main suspect of the bullying note and organiser of the continuing theft of our loved cyclamen plants. The report has a number for future reference.
I will keep you, dear readers, informed.