25 Aug


INFLATABLE DOLL photo: doll s25.jpg

“He just fell down like a sack of potatoes!” exclaimed Tiny Bloxam as he tried to lift up the dead weight of Royston Williams from where he lay prone on his doorstep.
“He thought you were dead,” snapped Angelina in an unkindly voice as she ran, panting towards the groaning Royston. “That’s a thoughtless thing to do to a man with a weak heart,” she added viciously, “standing there as large as life when he thought you were dead. You should be ashamed of yourself!”
“Hey! What’s going on?” roared Blinky from the car. “Have you got into the place? I hear no shots! Is it lousy with scumbags bristling with semi-automatic armaments all primed and ready to go, go go? Are you being kidnapped?”
“It’s Tiny!” called back Angelina.
“What? Haven’t they carted his corpse off yet?” shouted Blinky. “That’s what I call inconsiderate, letting the flesh of a good officer decompose in the open street! Why, he could have been mauled by any number of cats! Dogs could have had a field day, tearing his flesh from his bones! I smell cat here and now, a tabby by its stink! I hate cats.”
“He’s alive!” called Angelina, and “sir,” she added as a slightly offensive afterthought.
“Nonsense!” boomed Blinky. “We were told of his demise only yesterday!”
“I am, sir, alive…” put in a confused Tiny Bloxam. “… and well,” he added as a form of confirmation.
“No you’re not. You’re dead!” woofed Blinky, “and when I say you’re dead that’s exactly what you are! I will not be contradicted! Why, man, we’ve spent the last twenty-four hours working out how best to get the swine who shot you! We were quite prepared to put our own lives on the line – at least the other two were! So do us all a favour, will you, and lie down and be dead!”
“Take no notice of him,” whispered Angelina. “He’s blind as a bat and twice as stupid,” she added, wondering if bats really were stupid or just pretended to be.
“It’s old Curmudgeon, isn’t it?” asked Tiny, “I’d know that voice anywhere! He’s a swine … they all say that, all the coppers across the county! I even went to his so-called open day in order to see just how ridiculous he is … I like a good joke, you know … they don’t call me Teasing Tiny for nothing!”
“Teasing Tiny, eh? Anyway, I saw you there,” hissed Angelina.
“Of course you did! I recognise you now! How are you? I thought you were the most beautiful creature on God’s Earth … or on any earth come to think of it… I had wonderful dreams about you that night, the sort of dreams no man should explain to a lovely lady for fear of causing her head to swell and her underwear to fall off … but you left such an impression on me and I hardly got a wink of proper sleep that night. I even had to blow up my inflatable doll as a substitute…”
“And that’s meant to be flattering?” gasped Angelina. “Inflatable doll indeed! But before I slap your face I think we should do something about the Sergeant here…”
Royston groaned and stirred. He’d had quite enough of lying on the cold concrete of Tiny’s doorstep and would have struggled to his feet earlier had he not been too fascinated about the bit about inflatable dolls, when he found himself wondering where a man in need might buy one.
“Is he armed?” shouted Blinky from the car. “Do we need back-up? Have they shot the Sergeant? Swines if they have! And get that Tiny Bloxam to lie down and be dead! We can’t have indiscipline in the ranks!”
“Don’t worry. I’m paid to make sure he doesn’t do anything too rash,” whispered Angelina. “He’s not a bad old stick really, if only he’d realise that blind men can’t see … but he doesn’t seem to have got that message yet!”
“I’d do something really rash if you were paid to watch over me!” chortled Tiny. “I’d have those panties off you in no time flat, see if I wouldn’t! They don’t call me Bum-smacking Bloxam for nothing!”
“Just you wash your mouth out, constable!” rapped Angelina tartly. “I won’t have that kind of talk in the presence of Royston here!”
“Then tell him to wander off…” smirked Tiny. “Leave just you and me in the world, baby…”
Royston struggled to his feet and shook his head in order to dislodge any stray cobwebs that may have remained after his collapse.
“Why were we told by ambulance men and police and the like that you’d been murdered?” he asked. “It’s been a shock to us, finding you alive and from what I’ve heard of your lascivious thoughts it may have been better if you had been done away with!”
“It was an episode of Crimewatch*,” sighed Tiny, “and they paid handsomely to use my house in a reconstruction of a murder in a similar area… I’m going for a fortnight in the Seychelles on the proceeds, and I’ve got money for two if the young lady wishes to accompany me … sea, sun and sex … and all sorts of things!”
“You are a disgrace to your uniform!” snapped Angelina, though secretly she felt flattered.
“So you’re not dead then?” sighed Royston. “It’s all been a big hoax?”
“Hoax is the wrong word, but it wasn’t real,” giggled Tiny. “Anyway, why did you want me in the first place?”
“Well,” began Royston, “you were at the Open Day organised by Inspector Curmudgeon not so long ago, and we’re trying to contact everyone who was there. We found an … artefact … that someone left behind and we’re making enquiries…”
“My loupe!” crowed the young constable, “you found my loupe! I wondered where on Earth it had got to! I’ve gone over the places I’ve been to up to finding it missing, but must have forgotten the none-event you call an open Day! I’ve even been examining my poo in case I swallowed it by mistake after a night on the sauce!”
“Your … loupe…?” stammered Royston.
“Yes! The same!” chortled Bloxam. “My auntie Hilda gave it me for my ninth birthday after I said I wanted to be a jewel thief when I grew up! She said I’d best learn how to recognise quality if I saw any and that a jewellers eyeglass would help! Oh, I’m so happy that you’ve found it!”
“Just a minute,” growled Royston, “how do we know it’s yours?”
“It’s been coated in something that looks like gold but isn’t,” smirked Bloxam, “she had it done because it’s only a cheap one and she thought it would look better yellow!”
“You’ll have to identify it, though,” said Angelina. “In all honesty we’ll be glad to have it off our hands even though we really believed it was a priceless relic from Egyptian times.”
“Oh, it is Egyptian,” chirruped Tiny, “made a few years ago in a small factory just outside Cairo! Auntie Hilda bought it there when she was trying to find a souvenir fit to offer a handsome young nephew like me! That’s when she also bought me my inflatable doll, though I haven’t blown it up too many times recently…”
“You’re disgusting,” Royston told him.
“I know,” he grinned. “So can I have my loupe, please?”
“You would be able to,” said Royston, beginning to enjoy himself, “if it hadn’t been stolen from the pocket of Inspector Curmudgeon during the course of the investigation.”
And he slowly, ever so slowly, collapsed back onto the concrete doorstep as his world went black yet again.
© Peter Rogerson 25.08.14

*Crimewatch: a BBC television programme in which reconstructions of high profile crimes are presented to the public in the hope that something may ring bells in the minds of the public. The trouble is, they’re all watching television and so used to a diet of crime drama they get easily confused…



  1. slpsharon August 25, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Hilarious ending.

  2. Peter Rogerson August 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I’ve decided that I sometimes can’t cope with serious, Sharon.

    • pambrittain August 25, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      That’s a show I’d love to see. Great twist, Peter.

  3. Peter Rogerson August 26, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    “Crimewatch” has graced our screens since 1984 (
    Well then, onwards and upwards!!!

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