This is my favourite story from my past week of coffee catch-ups.
I know a couple who always have something crazy happening to them – let’s call them Mack and Mabel. Anyway, a couple of months ago they were waiting to cross the road in their street while a car drove slowly past.
Just as it drove past, Mack started yelling and began to chase it down the street.
“What are you doing?” Mabel yells as Mack throws his car keys at the retreating car, hitting the back windscreen and taking out a chunk.
“They’ve got our dog!” Mack screams. “They’ve got Rosie*!” [*Not the dog’s real name].
“Are you sure? Are you sure it was her?”
Mack is convinced. “I was looking into her eyes. She looked so confused. She’s been kidnapped!”
Mack yells at Mabel to run down a side street to block the car as it comes down the main road. She sprints towards the road – despite having recently had a knee operation – just as the car drives past at speed. However, she sees that it’s gone into a cul de sac and that it will need to come back out again.
For the next 30 minutes she pulls over every car that comes out of the street. She describes the dog-napping car and asks whether anyone has seen it. No one has.
Mack and Mabel are keeping in touch by phone as Mack is stationed up at the other end of the street in case the dog-nappers have found another way out. In frustration, Mabel tells Mack to check their house “just in case it wasn’t Rosie”.
A shamefaced Mack calls back to say Rosie was indeed at the house, exactly where they left her.
“The dog-nappers must have let her go,” he said, refusing to admit he had made a mistake.
“That poor person in the car; being pursued by two mad people for no reason,” Mabel tells me.
But although funny this isn’t the part of the story I like. Clearly, Mack and Mabel have been dining out on this tale because it perfectly describes the chaotic craziness that so often affects them. And as they told one person, they told another, and they told another and so on.
One guy who heard the story had a son who had been in a serious car accident and was in a coma in hospital. The father, knowing that his son was likely to still be able to hear, began to recount the tale to him.
As the story progressed, the father noticed something amazing: a smile was beginning to play around his son’s mouth. And soon the smile was a broad grin, and then a laugh. And then the most beautiful thing – his son came out of his coma, laughing.
He is now on the mend and will apparently soon be going home.
So yes, I certainly felt sorry for the dog-napper who wasn’t a dog-napper after they were chased down the street. But wouldn’t you love to find them so you could tell them about the role they played in a young man’s recovery.