On Meeting fellow blogger and author of Perverting the Course of Justice, Police Inspector Gadget
Like all texts and emails from Inspector Gadget, it told me all I needed to know without the waste of a single key stroke. “Will be in the Dog and Duck from 2pm”. Gadget and I have been reading each other’s blogs for a couple of years now and bat the odd email about. His emails, like text messages are direct, but never curt. But after this length of time there is no doubt in my mind that he is a guy who says what he thinks and leads from the front.
So after a bit of a tussle with my sat-nav, I found the Dog and Duck, a chocolate box pretty pub deep in the heart of Ruralshire and whilst the pub’s location might have been a mystery to my sat-nav, it obviously wasn’t to the rest of Ruralshire. There were any number of families in the beer garden who might be Gadget, Debbie and the kids; the simple fact was, I didn’t have a clue who I was looking for. The obvious solution would have been to ring him, except there was no mobile network. My heart sank a little. I really didn’t fancy walking into the pub looking for “a man I met on the Internet”, and “err, no, I don’t know what he looks like, but I would recognise his dog, Kibblechops”. In the end it wasn’t coppers nouse that rescued me from my predicament, nor was it Kibblechops (as somewhat unhelpfully he was asleep under the table). No, it was Debbie’s feminine intuition that saved the day for it was she who spotted me.
I had a mental list of questions as long as my arm about what it’s like living a life with the Police Inspector’s Blog (and if you found your way here via Gadgets blog. I’d be curious to know what you would ask him, should you find yourself down the pub with him on a late summer’s afternoon). Reading the blog and the book
you could be forgiven for expecting to meet Gadget the angry man (goodness knows, there’s plenty to be angry about), but I knew from the emails there was far more to him than that. For a start there’s Gadget the family man, a justifiably proud dad, for the young Gadgets, Vera, Dave and Chuck, really are kids to be proud of (and amongst their many talents, they are experts at catching wasps in empty beer glasses) and I can tell you that Vera is very pretty. She has Debbie’s eyes; any boyfriends she brings home are going to need to scrub up nicely to meet with her dad’s approval.
Gadget has mentioned before that Kibblechops is besotted with Debbie. He’s right, that dog never takes his eyes off Debbie for a moment. If she is out of the room, he has one ear cocked, listening for her laughter and when she returns he ripples with delight. I suspect that even when he is asleep he is dreaming of her.
When we were eventually outnumbered by wasps we retired to the Gadget home for ‘tea and biscuits’ (is there a metaphor for modern policing in that line?) With Dave and Chuck volunteering to show me the way, I was very glad of their guidance as the meandering route would have left my sat-nav speechless. En- route Dave told me what it’s like being the teenage son of a police inspector and sharing your home with an awful lot of T-shirts.
All too soon and after a lot of laughter and a myriad of topics discussed including our mutual blog reading list, our worries about Jokers creaky joints and looking forward to reading Tom Reynolds new book, it was time for me to be back on the road again. So when I managed to get out of deepest Ruralshire and the sat-nav went from a barking sergeant major, Left, Right, Left, Right, LEFT into a moody adolescent sulk and I had time to think about the afternoon, I realised that whilst I had gained answers to a lot of my questions, I’d come away with a whole load more. Not only that, I hadn’t asked one of the most important questions on my original list; would Gadget and Debbie want Vera Dave and Chuck, to join the police when they grow up?