I was very angry about it, I can tell you. I swore liberally and at considerable length.
Wait. Let me go back a bit.
So, last night I went to some birthday drinks for Robin, a friend of mine and a fine upstanding citizen. We met in a pub on the south bank in London. Rain was forecast all day, so I took my new umbrella. I love my new umbrella: it’s black and very stylish, and it’s got bright green trim so it looks very cool, and it’s got a push button on the handle that makes it open right out all on its own with a satisfying fwump noise. I kept it leaning against my seat all night.
Just before I left, I went to the toilet, leaving the rest of the party around the table. When I got back, and picked up my jacket, my umbrella was not there.
I asked other people if they’d seen it. I searched behind furniture and under chairs. I looked around at other tables. I asked behind the bar. Nobody could explain it. Nobody had seen it. It had gone. Clearly, some light-fingered Cockney wideboy had seen it leaning there, unobserved, and nabbed it, and was now strolling casually along the south bank with my umbrella in his filthy, criminal hands, probably whistling “Knees Up Mother Brown” as he did so.
At this point I was angry, as described earlier.
Anyway, on the train home, about 40 minutes later, Robin sent me a photo of some people at the party with my umbrella. They’d all been leaving as the pub was closing, and they’d found it leaning by the table – not the table I’d been sitting at, but another just next to it. I’d checked all the tables before I left – in fact I’d checked the whole bloody pub – and it hadn’t been there. Nobody had noticed its mysterious return. So presumably the Cockney wideboy’s misfiring conscience had got the better of him and he’d returned his ill-gotten rain apparatus.
My umbrella is now safely stored in Robin’s flat in Penge, and my anger has subsided.
I will now take questions from the floor. Thank you.