Date: 10th November 2023
Highway Robbery in Govan
“Ahm tellin ye, he was wearing bright orange.”
“The mask? It was green!”
“Aye the mask? It was orange tae.”
“Full green. The tracksuit he was wearing. Green. Aye, and wi tassles…”
D.I. Clement, just transferred from Europol, has never come across anything like it before…
Picture the scene…
D.I. Clement is standing outside a gentrified coffee shop. The kind where croissants are reimagined with avocado and charged at thirty times the trade price for buying them from Costco. They have been robbed. By a masked man. Who has now disappeared off into the sunset. And the descriptions from witnesses go from vague to outright contradictory. It makes him smile.
A Govan mist has descended on this November morning around the Ibrox subway station, making this look like a scene from a Sherlock Homes movie.
D.I. Clement is on the trail of a masked man who has been robbing these middle class rich places and apparently handing the cash into he local Trussell Trust foodbank.
It is making “the masked man” a hero in the eyes of those tenants of the Govan who have not cashed in on the upscaling of flats into apartments and renting them out to people with more money than anyone else in their neighbourhood. To some the place has gone to the dogs, and those dogs eat smashed vegetables on toast with a drizzle of oil that has been squeezed out of another vegetable. Most think the skinny vegans who have moved in could do with a decent co-op steak pie inside them and some have offered to arrange a funeral to help them gain access to one.
But D.I. Clement is no fool. He knows that lawlessness can only lead to… well more lawlessness and he has been recruited to turn this part of town around. He wants to turn the frowns upside down…
Taking a walk from outside the coffee shop he meanders past Farmfoods towards the last place hit by this mysterious man in a mask. He sees the proprietor of the au naturals soap dispensary and smiles awkwardly. The proprietor comes towards him and asks the obvious question, ”you caught him yet?”
D.I. Clement shakes his head and then asks the next most obvious question, “can we compare notes from this incident,” he nods towards the coffee shop, “and yours?”
“Will it help?”
“It might. After all, the more we know about this guy, the more likely it is that we can find him and prosecute him.”
The proprietor puts down the boxes they are carrying and folds their arms.
“So, what do you want to compare?”
“Description of the man who robbed you was,” he looks back at his notes.” Five foot nine, well built, decent frame on him? Am I right?”
The proprietor nods.
D.I. Clement indicates the coffee shop. “Over there they say he was six foot seven, white and wearing a beard behind the mask.”
The proprietor looks puzzled.
D.I. Clement asks, “are you sure of your description?”
The proprietor nods.
D.I. Clement, who has very thick skin is starting to feel something irritating it. He realises that there is a very distinctive smell coming from the boxes. “Can I ask,” he asks, “what is in the boxes?”
“Bergamot and honey drizzle soap with a touch of rosemary,” responds the proprietor.
That’s it, D.I. Clement is allergic to bergamot. It’s time wrap this up quickly before he needs an epi pen.
“And he took cash from you and a few bars of soap?”
The proprietor nods.
D.I. Clement, again, indicates the coffee shop. “All he took was cash from the till over there. Not even a sneaky wee cappuccino was had.”
“So?” asked the proprietor quizzically, with their head titled to one side like a Labrador trying to hear better.
“MO, modus operandi!” exclaims D.I. Clement. “We need to establish patterns. Your robbery does not fit their robbery and so, we must deduce there are two masked men operating.”
The proprietor nods. “Really? Two masked men. Robbing people. In Govan”
D.I. Clement nods. “From my preliminary investigation, I have heard, that locally there is a big hoose, where robberies were frequent and not always did these men wear the masks. Perhaps they have, how you say, evolved ”
The proprietor looks dubious. “I have not been here long. I wouldn’t know about that.”
D.I. Clement thanks them for their time and gets away and round the corner to where the foodbank is permanently situated. Watching the people going in for their weekly shopping because they have no other means to feed themselves makes him all the sadder and more determined to brighten the place up. Deputy Manger M. Danilo nods towards him.
They walk towards each other and embrace in the street. People see two servants of the public, one in a uniform and the other as a volunteer greet each other. What they don’t have is what was said between them.
“Ditch the soap you took and watch out. Doing two in one weekend was risky,” warns D.I. Clement. M. Danilo nods. D.I. Clement’s nose bristles as the odour of the soap on the masked Robin Hood of Govan tickles his nose before he disappears into the fog round the subway station.
“Aye,” he thinks. “There is more than one way to bring joy to these unfortunate people who have suffered for so long in the shadow of those incapable of bringing anything more than misery into their lives. The time has come to bring real change…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that Philippe Clement is allergic to bergamot, unless you know differently, so, this is clearly a piece of fiction.
The fact is that big money transfer from Feyenoord, Danilo is beginning to make his presence felt in the Rangers team, despite the fact that for games he has to wear a mask and as I write this will be hoping to rob Hearts of a Cup Final place…
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