>This is a long and involved tale, so you may wish to take a wizz or something before you settle down to read it, OK?

  1. Last year, I took Mrs. P’s Yaris for its NCT. In order to prepare for the test, I had to remove those horrible plastic full wheel covers that are held in place by cable ties. These are removed so that the tester can poke around with the wheels or something. After the test (the car passed – thanks for asking), I drove the car home and replaced the wheel covers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any long cable ties – the short ones I had were useless and within a day or two, we’d lost two of the wheel covers. I’d tried a number of locations for proper replacement covers (not those horrible ones you get in motor factors), but without success.
  2. For my birthday, and having no real idea what to get me as a gift, the family bought me a €100 gift card from O2. I’d been thinking of upgrading my mobey for a while, so I used the card to get a new Sony Ericsson model with GPS and everything.
  3. Today, I decided that I needed another 2-pin to 3-pin electrical plug adaptor. I keep buying musical kit from Thomann in Germany and they keep sending over items with 2-pin power leads. Now, back in the old days, one used to cut off the 2-pin plug and replace it with a 3-pin, but we don’t do that type of thing nowadays. As I only have one 2-pin/3-pin jobby, and I want to use a number of gizmos at one time, I thought I’d better get me a second adaptor.

Now, here’s where the story (finally) gets interesting…

I went over to my local branch of Woodys to see if they had an adaptor. No joy. I then went to the nearby Expert Electrical store to see if they had one. Nothing there either. I decided to go into downtown in Nenagh to try one of the electrical stores there. The Expert and Woodys stores are in a retail park, which one exits via a roundabout. As I was heading towards Nenagh, I noticed in a gateway a single, solitary wheelcover for a Yaris. It had obviously been jolted off the wheel by a pothole (and God knows we have plenty of those in Nenagh). Having looked for wheel covers for ages without success, I decided I might as well have that one, but I wasn’t in a position to stop there and snaggle it. So I kept driving up to the Centra roundabout, did a yewie and drove back to park opposite the gateway. I ducked out of the car and ran across the road to claim my prize. But as I did, I heard something fall out of my hoodie and hit the road. It was only when I was back in the car with the wheel cover and driving away that I realised that my new mobey was missing.

So I had to drive back to the retail park roundabout and do another yewie to return to the gateway from the opposite direction – all the while cursing my stupidity and imagining that my poor phone had been ground to dust under the wheels of a juggernaut. My road rage, which is never far below the surface, emerged in all its ugliness as I swore at all the stupid motorists who were driving at a needlessly slow pace and preventing me from reaching the gateway…

…hours (well seconds, actually) passed and I was parked outside the gateway, looking desperately for the mobey. Nothing to be seen. Obviously somebody had recognised it for what it was (a brand-new mobile phone with GPS and everything) and had, let’s face it, nicked it.

I was just about to head for home and start ringing the phone to see which bastard had trousered it, when two schoolboys, maybe 13 or 14 years old, approached me. One of them held out something in his hand and asked “Hey, is this your mobile?”

Well, of course it was. And I thanked him most profusely. I offered him a financial reward, but I had no notes, so I have him €5 in coins. It was as much as I could give him without delving into tiny coinage.

No doubt my young saviour will attain a more impressive and satisfactory reward in later life. He might even become President of Ireland. After the gender re-assignment, that is…:-)