If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Criminal Confesses

The Triumph Owners' Club had its first rideout of the year today, a very pleasant spin round the North Pembrokeshire coast, stopping at various points for ice cream and/or coffee. (We are planning a kind of pub-crawl-style ice cream van circuit of the county for later in the year, working title Ice Cream Sunday.)

When I got near home, I decided to call in for some fuel. I filled the bike and, as I was replacing the filler cap, I saw a bike that I had seen at work at one of the other pumps. It was a very tidy Honda 250 Super Dream in red and black. It's old enough to be almost a classic, and is in unmolested and original condition. I asked the lady rider if she worked at my place, and she replied that it was her husband who rode it to work - she was just taking advantage of the good weather to blow away a few cobwebs. We chatted for a bit, and then I returned to my bike, started up, and left.

Anyone noticed what I missed out?

I got home and emptied my pockets, and felt that I had more money than I should have done. It was then that I realised that I had fogotten to pay for the petrol in Morrisons. I had got out of all my bike gear by this time, so I dived in the car and drove like a maniac to the filling station. All the way there, I was expecting to see police cars with blue lights on in my mirror, or round a corner to find a road-block and an armed response unit pointing several Glocks in my direction. When I arrived at the supermarket I was expecting at least a Panda car on the forecourt, with a uniformed officer gravely taking notes and sucking his pencil. Nothing.

I parked up and joined the queue at the till. No-one was whispering down a telephone; no-one was eagerly checking CCTV footage. I felt a little let down, to be honest. I spent the time in the queue planning what to say.

"Er, I filled the bike up here about 20 minutes ago and I think I forgot to pay."

"Oh, it was you, was it? That's - hang on, just a minute, how do you do a drive-off, Matt? - there we are. Eleven pounds 12 pence to you, Sir." Matt was sanguine. "Fair play to you, mate," he said. "I wouldn't have bothered."


  1. "How do you do a drive-off, Matt?"

    Obviously such a common occurrence that the computer system has a dedicated option for dealing with it!

  2. The sun shone on the righteous.

  3. Microdave - my thoughts exactly. He was told to press this, enter that, do the other, and then asked me for the money. The receipt came out with the legend "default payment", so there is clearly a protocol for dealing with forgetful bikers.

    Joe - yes, I like to think so ... :)

  4. You'd better hope that they didn't put you on a list!

  5. They were so couldn't-care-less about it that I am not sure they ever knoew who I was. I had assumed they have number plate readers (hence my unseemly haste to return) but perhaps not. I shall have to remember that, next time I am short of a bob and need gas.

  6. Did go wear your helmet so that they could recognise you

  7. Good point. I kept my helmet on throughout the original episode, but I returned bare-headed. Perhaps I should have worn a false moustache.


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