Christmas Gets the Boot

Stephen Bell of CSHS in the U.K. submits this hellish story on behalf of his son, Matthieu. It happened a few years back and is adorably British.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...

On Saturday 14th December, the Microsoft Christmas Ball in the Roundhouse, London, was well underway and I was resplendent in my new Dinner Jacket - all very James Bond etc., until my car was clamped outside our hotel and my dinner jacket went mysteriously missing at the Ball along with £100 in cash that I had for taxis, emergencies etc.

Sunday saw my car unclamped after a lengthy discussion with London officials and I spent the next six hours on the motorways of England dropping various friends home in Surrey and Berkshire before heading to Bristol to a dinner party.

On Monday morning, the rear of my car was totalled by a speeding Transit van who decided not to stop at the red light where I was already stopped. This happened at 10:30am and it was not until 4pm that I was actually picked up by a Recovery truck due to the insurance company, the Royal Automobile Club and the garage where the car will be repaired, arguing over who should come and get me.

So I killed time by doing all my Christmas shopping. When I finally arrived back in Reading and picked up the hire car, I could not be bothered to lug several bags of Christmas presents up three flights of stairs after the day I had had, so I locked it all in the boot.

On Tuesday morning I drove to my little village railway station and parked the hire car right under the CCTV camera. I went to a big important customer in London for the day and was invited to their Christmas Party. To cut a long story short, at 4am I was in the spare room of one of their IT Managers somewhere in Pinner.

At 11am Wednesday morning, I returned to Pangbourne railway station to find the hire car (only 450 miles on the clock) with no windows or wheels. The glove box was open (there went more cash and my 50 favourite CDs) as was the boot (several hundred pounds worth of Christmas presents). Bugger!

By Wednesday night I was in bed with a horrible throat virus and there I stayed until Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning I headed into town and put my switch card into the ATM - it promptly swallowed it. To cut another long story short, Halifax Bank Head Office had suspended my account (at that time over £10,000 in credit due to my selling my house) because of a £5 non-payment on my Halifax credit card. However, rather than calling me to ask would I like to pay this, they suspend the account THE SATURDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND NOTIFIED ME BY MAIL!

Today, the BMW is just back and Halifax are working to unravel the mess. However, I will have no cash card or cheque book (it was in the car) until the New Year and have no Christmas presents. Oh, and the insurance company have said that I am not covered for any loss of personal goods!

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