While his mother was away the neighbour's boy had a little problem with the wood-burning stove.
He was just leaving the house to drive his girlfriend - who is delightful - to the station, when he heard a noise like a Eurofighter cranking up for take-off at Saba. Looking up, he noticed that a turbojet on full afterburner appeared to have become embedded in the top of the chimney, casting an eerie glow into the night sky. Unlocking the house he entered the kitchen. Unopened mail, snackpots, decorative garlic plaits and smaller items of furniture were being sucked across the room into the stove door, which now resembled the mouth of a volcano on curry night. The cat had its front legs wrapped round the marble sculpture of two penguins that his mum did on a residential week in Tuscany. He quickly phoned the Fire Brigade, while his delightful girlfriend sat down with her laptop and began some coursework.
The Social Secretary and K happened to be driving nearby when they caught a glimpse of flashing blue lights, and stopped off to see the fun...the fun being firemen in rubber boots. (What is it with women and firemen? Why not women and town planners? What have firemen got that town planners haven't? Do firemen use Article 4 Directions and Section 106 Agreements? Do they have Rotring Rapidographs in all sizes from 0.1 to 0.8 and several seductive shades of black and burgundy? Can they quote the Use Classes Order or operate a Planimeter? Have they got felt tips? I don't think so).
When they arrived the neighbour's son was in the yard, adjusting his story. His girlfriend (who is delightful) was sitting in the car doing some course work on her laptop. Several of the firemen were 'well fit'. And they won't need to get their chimney swept this year, so there's always a silver lining (assuming it hasn't burned through).
(Incidentally the neighbour's boy's mum now knows about the cat poo on carpet tile frisbee incident, which someone accidentally let slip the other day. The passage of time and a bottle of South African shiraz softened the blow, and she forgave him).