Sunday, 29 April 2012

Crime Wave

Nicholas Bailey (Carl)

I suppose it had to happen – everybody said what a thoroughly nice young man Carl – Amy's new boyfriend – was; how polite, considerate and what a good grandson he was, going to see his grandmother every weekend. Amy took Carl back to the vicarage to meet Dad Alan (who managed to get back after tearing himself away from listening to the bells and reminiscing with Jill – it would have been Phil's birthday).

Except of course that Carl wasn't, as Usha found out when she met Annabelle at a Chamber of Commerce function and ran into Carl, who said he was there representing his firm. It turns out that Carl is actually there with Rochelle, who is both brainy and good looking and, more importantly for Usha, is Carl's wife, as she learns from Annabelle, who says "that's her husband next to her. What a golden couple – doesn't it make you sick?" "Yes, it does," says Usha, with some feeling.

But what to do next? Alan is away on retreat and Amy tells Usha that Carl will be spending all weekend at his Grandma's. Usha says nothing, then Alan returns and, just as Usha is about to reveal all to him, the news about Adam comes in (of which more later).

Someone else interrupted when they are just about to reveal all is Alice. It wasn't a very good week for her and Chris, as he had his van broken into and his tools stolen. He and Alice are a bit fractious as he has to fill in all the paperwork but he apologises to her and they are just getting ready to kiss and make up and, incidentally, celebrate Alice passing her exams when, with the inevitability of death and taxes, Jennifer turns up, bearing a bottle of wine to celebrate Alice's news and the fact that the mega-dairy plan has been approved.

As usual, Jennifer exhibits a total lack of sensitivity, failing to notice the tongues of her daughter and son-in-law lolling out of the side of their mouths and the sound of heavy panting. Jen prattles on and says that Brian has invited her out tomorrow night to celebrate and would Alice and, as she belatedly remembers, Chris, to join them. Thinking quickly, Chris lies through his teeth and says that he has already booked somewhere as a surprise. Chris goes to work on the insurance paperwork in the bedroom when, in a delightful cameo moment, Alice tells him not to go "as Mum is just going." "Am I?" asks a puzzled Jennifer. Yes you are woman, so sod off. When she has eventually been turfed out, Alice turns to Chris, saying "We have unfinished business…" Could it be the insurance paperwork, do you reckon?

Elsewhere, Tony is trying to help by doing the paperwork at Bridge Farm and making a bit of a cock of it; rather than embrace the latest software and the new methods introduced by Tom, he prefers the high stool and goose feather quill approach. Tom would like to pension Tony off, if truth be told, and Peggy sticks her oar in, by suggesting to Pat that they are not utilising Tom's talents to best effect and, instead of sitting on a tractor, he should be planning the strategic future of the farm. Or to put it another way, you're yesterday's man Tony and here are your pipe and slippers, so back to your rocking chair.

Crime has dominated the stories in the past couple of weeks; Tom had his quad bike stolen (although the police got it back as it was being sold on E-bay – however clever these criminal masterminds are, they always end up making one mistake) and Chris had his van broken into. Everyone is on watchful alert and there are reports of a car being seen near Home Farm.

On Thursday, Adam rings David and says he saw a low loader parked near their polytunnels. David agrees to go over there but cannot see Adam. Calls to Adam's phone go straight to Voicemail and David is getting worried. He gets even more worried when he challenges two men who he sees in a van, which they drive straight at him. Fortunately, he leaps out of the way and then finds Adam unconscious, with a head wound. David calls for an ambulance and, when they turn up, they say that David's prompt action has helped Adam's chances.

Time to tell the family – Brian and Jen are enjoying a celebration meal when Brian's phone rings. He notices it is David and says "he can ring back later" but Jen suggests it might be important, so he answers it. Bet that took the edge off the celebrations.

The week ends with Adam still unconscious and Jen having an attack of the vapours because the Consultant says that they will do a CT scan and they might have to operate. "Brain surgery?" Jen asks. Yes, that's because it's his head, dear. Jen thinks that, if Debbie were there, her voice might awaken him, as they are so close. This must piss off Ian, who has been at Adam's bedside for ages, talking to him. "It's time you woke up," says Ian, as he goes off for a well-overdue nap, adding "when I get back I want to see you as grumpy as ever, do you hear?"

Perhaps Brian could have a word with the neuro-surgeon and, should they have to operate, get him to fix it so that, when Adam comes to, he's 100% behind the mega-dairy project. Must be possible, surely?

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