The man be­hind the mic

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk & World Update - Kev Lawrence

The owner of the house beamed a torch into our star­tled eyes, and while my broth­ers scarpered, I froze

A BUNCH of kids in Amer­ica got ques­tioned by po­lice af­ter break­ing and en­ter­ing a zoo. They were caught af­ter post­ing pic­tures of them­selves on Face­book, pos­ing, kiss­ing and stroking the an­i­mals. Harm­less I guess, but it was ‘af­ter hours’ and there­fore il­le­gal.

As a kid I of­ten found my­self in trou­ble, led astray by older broth­ers, ad­ven­tur­ous friends, not to men­tion my own schem­ing mind.

There are two crimes that spring to my mind – the first in­volved steal­ing daf­fodils from a grave­yard gar­den.

I never set out to dis­re­spect the de­ceased, and while tech­ni­cally I sup­pose it was theft, I was merely try­ing to show an en­tre­pre­neur­ial side of my char­ac­ter. I picked a wheel­bar­row full of daf­fodils from the road­side one sum­mer, bunched them up and sold them at the end of our drive. I hung a home­made sign with the words “Daffs, 50p a bunch” and within two hours the flow­ers were gone, and my bis­cuit tin was filled with cash. I couldn’t be­lieve how easy it was. I ex­panded the busi­ness and brought in a part­ner, my buddy Al, cho­sen be­cause his par­ents owned land that hap­pened to have lots off yel­low daffs just beg­ging to get picked. All went well for a few days be­fore his dad warned us off, forc­ing us to look else­where for stock. It was then that I struck on the idea of a late night ven­ture into the vil­lage church gar­den, which was a sea of yel­low.

On our sec­ond for­age, we were caught red handed by an out­raged old man: “You can’t steal those flow­ers, they are church prop­erty!” The busi­ness soon folded, and while I es­caped heavy pun­ish­ment I had to say sorry to a great many peo­ple.

For my sec­ond con­fes­sion of child­hood trou­ble I take no re­spon­si­bil­ity at all. I was sim­ply with my broth­ers, who reg­u­larly en­joyed scrump­ing. The art of steal­ing ap­ples was prac­ticed by many kids near where we lived, sim­ply be­cause there were so many gar­dens that had ap­ple trees.

The night we were caught, it was in a gar­den that gave us only crab ap­ples. The owner of the house beamed a torch into our star­tled eyes, and while my broth­ers scarpered, I froze. This man then marched me by my ears to where we lived, where I was forced to con­fess my evil sins to my mum and dad.

They promised to see that I would be pun­ished ac­cord­ingly. The truth was, my dad just laughed it off. “If you are go­ing to go scrump­ing lad, make sure you don’t get caught,” he told me.

I never scrumped again.

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