You know you’re old when even grannies start mugging you
IWAS walking to my mum’s flat last Wednesday evening when an elderly woman accosted me. ‘Hello!’ she called, grinning and waving a cane at me in greeting. ‘I know you. Off the telly!’ I stopped. ‘Give me a hug!’ It’s not often I find a fan or someone so happy to meet me, so I held out my arms. She enveloped me in a fumbling bear hug. We had a chat, then I pointed to the entrance of my mum’s block, said I had to go in, and we went our separate ways.
When I was in the lift, I realised my iPhone had vanished from the outside pocket of my anorak. I rushed back outside. No sign of
NOTE to all mothers, in fact all women, after Kate Hudson was torn limb from limb for joking that the laziest thing she’d ever done was have a C-section. Never, ever, question other’s choices when it comes to childbirth. In fact never even comment on them, even in jest. It’s not safe. the old woman. Ran to Notting Hill police station, just round the corner. ‘I’ve just been mugged in the street,’ I said to the woman behind a screen, who sighed and said: ‘I’d just report it online and get your crime number that way.’
Ran home. Found iPad. Opened the Find My iPhone app, and soon discovered that my precious device, the first thing I’d save in a house fire after the family photo albums, was making its way down Kensington Church Street.
At this point the full horror of what I was facing began to sink in. I’d just reported my son’s iPhone stolen (in Mexico). I’d be calling my network provider to report a second theft in two days. Then waiting in for a new phone. I’d also, of course, lose all those photos, contacts, calendar entries, texts (my back-ups never seem to sync).
As my husband said the other day: ‘There are three of us in this marriage: you, me, and your iPhone.’ Forget the new iPhone X, costing more than a grand, which everyone’s wanging on about. I just wanted my old one back. I jumped into the car, and started following the moving blue blob on my iPad.
And then, of course, I lost signal. I didn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t log my iPad on to the internet, so I had to park. Go into a cafe, connect, and it was while I was doing that that the kind waitress at Blanche Eatery asked: ‘Have you rung the police?’ And then things speeded up. Two minutes later a panda car with blue flashing lights doubleparked outside. ‘Hop in the back,’ I was told. One officer logged my iPad on to his hot spot (or something) and the blue blob was back, now moving down Kensington High Street. ‘We have the victim in the back, sarge,’ one officer radioed to the cop shop.
‘Put your seat belt on,’ the other said, and turned on the siren (it was hard not to go ‘nee naw nee naw’ with excitement) and we screamed off. ‘Description of suspect?’ he asked, as we shot red lights and drove on the wrong side of the road at top speed. ‘Woman,’ I panted. ‘Between 60 and 65, I’d say. Hard to tell. Hat. Dark glasses. With a cane.’ Then it hit me. I’d been mugged by gangsta granny. We found her half a mile away. ‘On your left!’ I said, my heart pounding. We pulled up, and the officers got out. I wound the window down so I could hear. ‘Yes, I have the phone,’ she admitted. ‘She gave me a hug, and my hat came off, and she picked it up and her phone fell out of her pocket.’ ‘Why didn’t you give it back?’ the officers asked. ‘Or hand it in? The police station was right there.’ ‘I was going to, tomorrow,’ she said.
ONE cop got back into the car to put her name and address into a police database. ‘What do you want to do?’ he asked, handing me back my device. He looked at me. I thought for a second. Did I really want to take things further? What if she did intend to give the phone back?
‘Nothing,’ I said, feeling magnanimous. ‘My instinct too,’ he concurred. ‘She hasn’t got a record, we’ve got her name and address. The important thing is… you’ve got your phone back.’ My own thoughts entirely, sarge!
But he was continuing, looking at his own iPad: ‘And as she’s a 1965 birthday, she’s not exactly going to start a life of crime at her age, is she, especially now she’s on file.’
I was trying not to gasp. Gangsta granny was exactly my age!
It began to dawn on me that the handsome young policemen thought I was a nice old dear (and don’t they just look younger every year) who had to be humoured too, especially when one said with a grin: ‘Oh by the way, she asked me for a hug too – and I’ve still got my phone!’
I will try not to hold on to that thought.
ALL SMILES: But Hope, posing for a selfie, is light on experience