Sometimes you have to wonder how the heck life gets quite as strange as it does. On Saturday, we had a tapas party with friends. Everyone brings round something appropriately nibbly (and some beer), and by early evening we have a table growning with goodies. Simple. Very little organisation or cooking involved, but enough to feed people and have spares for a week or three.
Anyway, with a couple of dozen people in and outside the house, conversation was the evening’s primary pursuit. We’d eaten and drank, the warm, relatively sunny, day fading into an equally pleasant evening. As we stood in the garden chatting, somewhere in the distance we heard sirens. Several of them. Living on the outskirts of Manchester in 2008, this isn’t so out of the usual. However, as we continued chatting there was a sound like something hitting a fence, or possibly someone being hit with a fence, rather closer to home. Curiousity rose somewhat, especially as the sirens continued to persist and get just a little louder and clearer. Falling back into conversation, a russle at the back of the garden drew attention to someone making an entrance. Staggering from the rear, amidst the trees and bushes, came a guy in dark trousers and a green top, with blood streaming down the side of his face. He muttered something along the lines of ‘Sorry… I’ve been in a fight.’, before heading off along the garden path, round the side of the house, and off up the street.
The evening rapidly descended into some bizarre co-mingling of ‘The Bill’ and ‘Scooby Doo’, as various members of the party went off to find the guy or see what that crash was, while others recounted the tale of ‘the man in the garden’. Police with dogs and police in helicopters followed, the latter particularly noisy, with searching beams flashing in the night sky. We were told later that the police caught the guy. He’d hit another driver, at considerable speed, and one or more of the cars had gone off the road – tearing up fences. ‘The man in the garden’ had exited his vehicle, leaving the other driver for dead, to make his escape across the back gardens – and the police had tried to follow him that way, explaining some more fence banging rather reminiscent of ‘Hot Fuzz’.
So… from simple tapas and friends, the evening turned into something very different. By the end of the evening, enough had happened to ensure the whole event would be discussed for weeks and months to come. Good food, however tasty, might not have made the event so memorable!