Early yesterday evening- almost exactly 24 hours ago, as it happens- my mobile phone rang. It was a flustered-sounding Simon who, in going through the usual close down procedure at the shop, had dropped the safe key ('I heard it ping as it hit the floor') and now couldn't find it. After initially wondering if he'd called me to see if I knew where it was (!) I told him that no, I don't have a spare but Paul the guv'nor has- so a worse case scenario would be that he would have to come to the shop tomorrow to open the safe and sack the pair of us for comical incompetence. Safe in the knowledge (no pun intended) that he hadn't bought down the entire Pro Music International empire Simon sounded a bit happier, although by far the most important word in this sentence is 'bit'...
This morning I arrived at the shop to find a still flustered-looking Simon still looking for the key. 'I've been here all night' he lied- unconvincingly, 'though it has to be said, rather amusingly. I looked for the key. He looked for the key. I looked again. He looked again. No key. But it must be here somewhere. It's not. Bugger. Only one thing for it then- call Paul the guv'nor, who re-arranges his day and sets out (with Max the carpenter, an oft-seen figure in the shop as there's ongoing building work out in the garden area) in our general direction bringing with him the spare safe key and thankfully leaving our P45's at home. Simon looks slightly less flustered and goes home (he wasn't due to be in the shop at all today) and, with £20 worth of change obtained from the bank a few doors down from us (it was all the money I had on me!) I opened up and ran the shop out of a cash box under the counter until the cavalry arrived.
The day turns out to be a fairly busy one, and by mid-afternoon the peculiarities of the morning are almost forgotten- until a lady comes in sometime around 4 o'clock clutching what looks like a piece of waste paper. 'Is this something to do with you?' she asks- well, it's got my handwriting on it, it's a piece of masking tape with the word 'Fender' scrawled on it in marker pen (we often mark up cases and gig bags that come with guitars in this way so we that know which one goes with which.) I turn it over, it's got one of those little bank bags stuck to it (you know the ones, they'd given me one earlier when I'd got some change from them.) There's something in the bag, it's just sticking out of the top... it can't be... no, it can't be... but it is. It's the safe key. No, really, it is.
So- how did that happen then?
A splendidly surreal moment... which reminds me- Max the carpenter told me about this excellent YouTube clip-
-which I have a funny feeling is from a comedy show but which seemed to fit today's atmosphere perfectly...