Getting the story

The reporter rang up to ask if he could come to Court to report on the hearing. I assured him that it would be extremely boring and was almost certainly going to be adjourned. "If you want a story" I suggested "then I have a much better idea as to how you might spend your afternoon."




"Come down, and just sit on the beach outside my house."

Why? It was just a hunch. When the front page of the local papers announces that you are going to be in court it is rather like running an advertisement to say that this would be an ideal time to break into your house. The last time it had happened I had raced home to find that Piglet had been poisoned. In the nick of time I had managed to get her to vomit up the poison and she survived, but only just.

Alan came down with towel, book, swimming togs and dark glasses and settled in for what looked like a dream assignment.

At exactly 2pm, the time when the court case was scheduled to begin, a Council staff member came down the path to the beach. He paused, right next to Alan, took out a cell phone, and rang a Council stooge in the courtroom. "Great" he said "if he is there then I have the house to myself." He boldly went on in, made himself at home, and began going through my papers. The reporter was dumbfounded. This was the New Zealand Watergate but no one had told him what to do next. He decided to follow the Council man in, and accosted him. The Council man was dismayed at being caught red handed breaking and entering. He threw a few things into his bag and fled.

The reporter had his story, but was too inexperienced to realise that he could have brought the Council to its knees and made a career for himself. He ran the story as though it was about what you expected a Council to do all the time.

Perhaps he was right, and I was the one who was inexperienced.