𝗦𝗧𝗨𝗣𝗜𝗗 𝗦𝗧𝗨𝗙𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗟𝗬 𝗛𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗘𝗡𝗦 𝗧𝗢 𝗠𝗘
𝗦𝗧𝗨𝗣𝗜𝗗 𝗦𝗧𝗨𝗙𝗙 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗨𝗔𝗟𝗟𝗬 𝗛𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗘𝗡𝗦 𝗧𝗢 𝗠𝗘 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗜 𝗨𝗦𝗘 𝗜𝗡 𝗠𝗬 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞𝗦 (that my editors think are too far-fetched to be true)
This is honestly completely true. I’m not kidding.
A few years ago I got a call asking if I could come and witness some documents for someone (as a Justice of the Peace). It was one of those situations where it was the brother of a friend of a friend who had been told that I was a JP and his mother called and asked if I could come and sign something for him.
Now, I don’t usually go to people’s houses obviously, but given the whole friend of a friend situation and the mother said he couldn’t drive at the moment, I thought, that’s fine, I can call in on my way home.
So, I turned up at the house and knocked on the door. No one came and so I knocked again. Still nothing. I checked my phone and the address and made sure I had it all right, then just as I was about to go back to the car and call the phone number, the door opened. The older woman I had spoken to on the phone smiled and invited me in. She seemed very nice and the house seemed pretty standard.
I sat at the kitchen table and she asked me if I wanted a drink. I decided not to as it would mean I could get this done and get going quickly. She then hovered around the kitchen making small talk and I wondered where the heck the son was. She certainly wasn’t offering any polite explanation like, oh, he’s just finishing up and will be with us in a few minutes. She just kept making small talk.
I fussed with my bag and got my JP stamps out as I waited.
And then, a couple of minutes later, I heard rustling from somewhere above me. Without moving head, my eyes shot upward. Several things came to mind in that moment: they had a possum in the roof, they had wind getting in through missing roof tiles. What didn’t come to mind was what happened next.
Tilting my head upward, I locked my eyes on to the manhole cover on the ceiling above the other end of the table. It moved and then slid to the side and out of nowhere feet appeared. Then legs appeared, a torso, and eventually a head as the man landed his feet onto the kitchen table and climbed down.
At this point, my mouth was gaping and my eyes were wide. I tried to straighten and not look as alarmed as I was feeling. He hopped onto the ground while dusting himself off, plopped himself into a seat opposite me and immediately explained that the police were looking for him and he just wanted to make sure I was actually the JP before he came out.
I nodded and smiled and wished I’d asked for a drink. A stiff one!
We spent the next 30 minutes or so with him telling me ‘his side of the story’ of why the police were after him (which I really didn’t need to know, but there seemed to be no opportunity to really get him to stop) and then he swore and signed the wildest Statutory Declaration I had ever witnessed.
We finalised the paperwork and I hightailed it to the car in somewhat of a confused daze. I also vowed to only meet people in public places from now on!
𝙁𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙧𝙞𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙮 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚