A time to fuck up, a time to bollox
In the course of the last eight days, I’ve spent two lying low, three being questioned by police and three being questioned by Viking lunatics.
To bring you up to speed…
Juan was late. There’s a Manx saying, “Traa Dy Liooar” which roughly translates as “time enough” or “mañana”. Juan is a past master at applying this to the most important of situations.
All he had to do was wait outside in the car, then come in, guns blazing, at the right moment.
But no – he had to sit up on Douglas Head admiring the view, having a spliff, eating a McDonalds.
So, when Mr Mogilevich showed up, I greeted him like a long-lost brother, got another kiss in return and made him a cup of coffee.
We sat down, and he presented me with his suitcase. I opened it slowly.
I didn’t expect roubles, for a start. That was going to be a problem.
But I smiled and complimented him on his fine business suit and began to discuss the weather, the Manx Grand Prix and anything else I could think of to hold his attention while I waited for Juan.
Nothing. Twenty minutes later, Mogilevich had gone and I was in possession of millions of worthless Russian roubles. Belonging, as I now know, to the Russian mafia.
That felt like trouble, somehow.
As I left the office through the back door, there was a man in a long brown hooded robe. Godred.
So I had a discussion about the horrors of crime when Vikings aren’t involved, the terrible financial misfortunes of secret societies, and the powerfully driving mysteries of suitcase contents.
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to put my life in danger by refusing to share my windfall and so divided a portion out for Godfred.
This, in turn, led to heated discussions about roubles and their worth on the world markets. A closer inspection of one bundle led to a further discussion of the possible penalties for passing forged roubles.
Now, I know I can on occasion be unlucky. I’ve lost enough in the casino to know that. But a bungled con against the Russian Mafia that leaves me the proud possessor of bundles of forged roubles with the expectation I’ll slice off some for the Manx mob, then hand back the cash plus interest to the Russians? And still save a pub in the process?
As if that weren’t enough, the police found the bike before we’d had a chance to change the plates. Fortunately everybody kept quiet and there’s no way the coppers could have pressed charges. I thought for one moment they were going to fit us up for something. Three days in a cell over a plate on a bike I didn’t own?
That’s as close as I want things to get. Time for a plan B. And Christ knows what we’ll do about Mogilevic.