"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

Todd, oh Todd.

I was away briefly last week and came back to a house that had been lived in by, well, two blokes, the Twat and Todd. I emptied the overflowing letter box and found a bill and a letter addressed to me from the police. This intrigued me as I can’t remember having a brush with the Law for quite some time – if ever. But the letter wasn’t about me, but Todd.

I called him downstairs and asked him why I had to go to the police station.

“Sit down, Mama,” said Todd, as he sat down himself looking rather shifty.
“It’s OK, Todd, I’ll stand.”
“Well, I bought this scooter from a friend called Bryan. He was selling it for €70 but I only had €35 so he let me buy it.”
“A scooter? Your dad will go ape-shit.”
“No, Mama, it doesn’t go fast enough so Bryan told me that I didn’t need a license – ”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Anyway, I was riding it and Thomas was on the back – I was wearing a helmet, he wasn’t and was rather drunk and the police stopped me.”
“Why?”
“Well, I was putting the light on and they took me in and told me that the scooter had been stolen.”
“Stolen? You bought a stolen scooter? Have you any idea what your dad is going to say?”
“Ummmm, I’ll have to pay a fine – ”
“Where is this bloody scooter?”
“At the police station.”
“Fine, best place for it. I won’t tell your dad – that’s up to you. You drink, go clubbing and so I consider you adult-enough to face the consequences. Welcome to the Real World, Todd.”

Todd looked at me warily as if he wanted to ask “is that it?” but to be quite honest, he’s 16 and 16 year-old boys do things like that and he’ll just have to learn the hard way. He’s terrified of having to pay a fine though – he’s rather fond of his pocket money.

And so that’s where I was yesterday, sitting in the new police station trying to keep my eyes off the policeman’s handcuffs which would make a beautiful addition to my bedroom and talking about Todd’s idiotic behaviour. The worst part is the fact that Todd had bought a stolen scooter, and this will go down on his ‘criminal register’. The stupid part of it all is that Todd has to go to court to find out what his fine will be, and that won’t be for a long time if it’s anything like my own experience.

Fortunately, the policeman and I agreed that Community Service is the best punishment as, he said, in most cases, the parents pay the fine. Although I would never pay the fine for Todd, I really believe that Community Service would teach him a better lesson than a quickly paid-off fine.

But thanks to a certain volcano, Todd didn’t have to tell his father who was stuck in Costa Rica, and is now at school for the week, and this weekend Todd comes back home to me. The boy owes me Big Time – I thought I was fairly relaxed about it all.

Too bad the lawn really needs mowing, Todd.

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