February 20, 2006

My New Habit - Part I

Life for me is one long rollercoaster of sin and redemption (heavy on sin, light on redemption). I'm not bad to the bone but no saint either. I'm not even a monk. All the more so because monks, unlike me, don't steal strangers' clothes.
I no longer steal for fun so to understand why and how I came by my new coat you should consider the lyrics to the Fields of Athenrye. Particularly "Michael they have taken you away. For you stole Treveleyn's Corn, so the could see the 'morn." Set aside your love for the great Glasgow Celtic and think about Michael's motivation for stealing Treveleyn's corn. He, like me, had no choice.
Basically, I stole a duffel coat from a nightclub because someone else stole my denim jacket. I had put my jacket where I knew I would find it but when I came back it was gone. Some scum-sucking tea-leaf had pinched it and I can't figure out why. It was a pretty scabby piece with no value to anyone but me.
With no time to think I had to face facts: I was wearing a wet t-shirt and outside it was minus five - and falling. There was nothing for it. I had to lift the closest jacket or I was going to freeze; just another statistic levered off the pavement on Sunday morning, beaten by the elements on the notorious late-night crawl home along Woodlands Road. "Fuck the other guy," I thought. He can steal someone else's coat. We'll start a chain reaction; a cold and confused riot at 3am on the street outside the club.
What a jackpot. Miraculously, my new coat is a perfect fit and warm as hell. I did a deal with my conscience, resolving there and then to hand the coat into a charity shop or give it to a beggar as soon as practical.Fuck that though. I can't. Even though it makes me look like Badly Drawn Boy, (more so because I usually wear my Sambas at the same time) it's a wicked coat.
My only problem now is running into the rightful owner. Fear ye not; I've devised a cunning (and entirely uncharitable) get-out. I'm going to say I got it in a charity shop. This will be believable because nearly everything I wear either comes from a charity shop or looks like it did. Also, I happen to know that the particular nightclub in which I 'found' the coat sends lost and unclaimed property to the closest charity shop.
I therefore expect any conversation with the rightful owner to go something like this:
"Oi! That's my coat."
"No it's not. It's my coat."
"No. It's definitely mine. It's got cream paint stains on it from the time I was decorating my Mum's bathroom whilst wearing a heavy duffel coat. It got nicked from the *** ****"
"Well there's your answer. I happen to know that the cloakroom staff at *** **** take all lost and unclaimed property down to the nearest charity shop, which is where I got it."
"So it is mine. Give it back."
"Hold on a minute there Cowboy. I paid good money for this coat and, possession being 9/10's and all that, I'm going to have to insist that you reimburse me my £8 before I you get it back."
"Okay then. Here's £8."
See. Noone gets hurt and I absoloutely definitely honestly swear-on-my-pet-parrot's-life that I will donate the £8 to charity...aye right.

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