Skip to main content

Little White Lie

THE car parking space at Intu Bromley shopping precinct was tight. As I pulled in the passenger side mirror to leave enough room for the other driver to exit, I scuffed the left front tyre of my car on the post base which protruded out. A silly design actually.

To exit I had to shuffle across to the passenger seat as the other car was too far over. But I made sure that the Hackney cab, which was not black due to the ad emblazoned across it, had enough room via its passenger side door.

My twelve-year-old daughter had an iPad and one of the speakers had been playing up for months. At the Apple Store the staff were incredible. A diagnostics confirmed that the speaker was faulty and not up to its high standards. Rather than send the iPad off to be repaired, which was my daughter's fear, Apple changed it for a brand new one.

We were delighted!

We stopped off at KFC for a snack, popped into HMV for a movie - Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, and Waterstones for a book.

The driver must have returned to green cab. The space alongside mine was now free.

I initially took it for a parking ticket. Jammed under the windscreen wiper was some notepaper, hastily ripped off from a pad. It had uppercase blue-ink handwriting. Six words. One began with a single letter: "U".

'What's it say?' my daughter asked.

'Nothing. It's just a piece of paper blown on to the the car!'
A little white lie.

Perhaps I answered too harshly. Perhaps too evasive. Perhaps she saw a shocked or bemused expression on my tanned face.

She tried to snatch the note.

I snapped at her: 'Leave the bloody thing!'
I decided long ago that I would protect her. They were just words anyway. Quite familiar words though.

Why then the need to hide them from my child, why the little white lie?

I crumpled up the notepaper, placed it in my pocket, surveyed the parking area.

No one in sight.

My mind flashed back to when I was my daughter's age. 'Half caste!' 'Half... breed!' 'Nigger!'
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names...? Names did hurt. Is that what the persons who wrote those words meant to do? Or was it coincidence?

As I exited Intu Bromley, I wondered if the CCTV cameras might reveal the identity of the person who placed the note (pictured below) on my windscreen.

What do you mean, I would like to ask.


Popular posts from this blog

Professor Joan Ginther: Do the numbers add up?

A Texan aged 63 has won at scratch-off card games every two years since 2006. In 1993 she also won a lottery bringing her total winnings to over $20m. Which is amazingly coincidental. But what if a seemingly ordinary person somehow managed to narrow the odds and beat the system, goddamnit? An American newspaper might say slim pickin's. TheBigRetort says...

Joan Rae Ginther’s luck began in 1993, when she won $5.4 million dollars on a game known as “Lotto Texas“.

Another win thirteen years later in 2006 netted her $2m.

Curiously, every two years since that date, she has won at scratch off games, two cards having been bought at her local store.

In 1993 she won $5.4 million; the odds: 1 in 15.8 million; in 2006 she won $2 million in a scratch off game; the odds: 1 in 1,028,338; in 2008 she won $3 million in a scratch off; odds: 1 in 909,000.

Her latest win in 2010, also a scratch off, was for $10 million; odds of winning: 1 in 1,200,000.

In fact experts contend that the odds of winning four…

Linda Ann Weston shock: escaped prison first time round

Police in Philadelphia recently discovered four abused and vulnerable adults shackled together in a dank cellar where they were being held captive, with dogs for cell mates. Officers also discovered a teenage girl. Three people have been arrested. It has been widely claimed that one of the captors, Linda Ann Weston, 51, served time in prison for a similar crime. TheBigRetort… but she didn’t.

In November 1981, Bernado Ramos was reported missing by his mother.

His body was found in a closet two weeks later.

Linda Weston, 23, and Venus Weston, 21 his lover, were later charged and convicted with his captivity and murder.

Apparently Bernado had been the father of Venus’s child but refused to support it. It was his last mistake.

The Weston sisters had beat him with a broomstick and eventually starved him to death in the cupboard.

A remarkably similar modus operandi when compared with the current charges.

However, Linda Weston, now charged with abduction and enslavement in the more recen…

Harry Bensley: The Great Iron Mask Hoax

[Engraving, Copyright (c) Jim Westergard. Used with his kind permission.]
On the 1st January 1908, following a remarkable wager, a man wearing an iron mask set off on an astonishing 30,000 mile journey around the world - then disappeared. TheBigRetort... The Great Iron Mask HoaxIn previous posts I detailed the extraordinary saga of 33-year-old Harry Bensley, who accepted a bet made between an American philanthropist and an English nobleman: to push a pram around the world, with his face encased inside an iron mask, for a purse of $100,000.
Many sighting were recorded of "The Mask” at that time but then... he inexplicably vanished. TheBigRetort: where in the world did The Mask go?Almost one year after the wager made between Harry Bensley aka The Man in the Iron Mask, a publication known as “ Answers” (December 19th, 1908, pi63) received a response to this same question; it has remained buried until now.

The respondent – who remained anonymous - had a very interesting tale to tell:…