Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Confession About A Mole

I recently sold a mole on eBay.

I don’t say this lightly or meaning to shock you. I say this as a matter of fact and as a way of absolving myself of a terrible episode which has blighted my conscience for many months. You might say I should have told you sooner, but I feel like we’re only just getting to know each other. I thought a thing like a mole might come between us. You might have thought the Chipster a little odd. You might have decided not to come back and visit him.

The mole actually belonged to a friend of mine and it had come into my possession after he suffered a serious grazing incident on the rowing machine at the local gym. I didn’t even know I had it until I came home and took my towel from my bag that night. We’d used the towel to help stop poor Thompson’s bleeding but, when I came to put it in the wash, I noticed that a small piece of Thompson had become stuck to the towel. Gabby wasn’t at all impressed. She’s seen worse things than a slightly bloody mole. Remember that this is a woman who wanted to slaughter a goat in our flat and she would have done so if I hadn’t come home and found her trying to hang the poor creature up by its hind legs from the shower rail. I managed to get the goat out of the flat and I led it to freedom on some fields just outside Bangor. The mole was a different story. That was something I decided to keep.

I kept it because, at the time, the news was full of crazy stories about the odd things that get good prices on eBay. I was in a particularly contrary mood so I went online and advertised it as a genuine mole as removed from Liz Hurley’s inner thigh. The fact that a few hairs were still embedded into the mole only seemed to add to the item’s authenticity to the eBay crowd. By the end of the first night, the bids had shot past two hundred pounds.

The whole thing was an unreal experience, especially when, a week later, it came to packing the mole away and taking it to the post office. moles are not easy things to wrap, and I used to much bubble wrap believing, I think, I needed to hide the real contents. You might say that guilt had a lot to do with it. The Royal Mail has probably delivered very few moles in their time and I tend to think that there’s probably a good reason for that. The postage alone came to nearly ten pounds once I’d insured the mole to the value of five hundred pounds.

It was all as a amusing as hell, and, as you can tell, profitable too, until a month later when the phone rang.

‘Is this Dale?’

‘Chip Dale,’ I said.

‘My name is Reed. You might remember you sold me a mole.’

‘Ah, yes…’ I said, my heart beginning to race. ‘Liz Hurley’s mole.’

‘Or so you claimed. Listen, I’m at Bangor railway station. I’m on my way to see you.’

‘Oh, but this really isn’t that convenient.’

‘I’ll be there in five minutes,’ he said and rang off.

What could I do? I wanted to hide, or at least not answer the door, but part of me knew I’d done a bad thing and I had to make ready for the consequences. Reed arrived in less than five minutes and he carried a little package tucked under his arm.

‘So,’ I said, prevaricating a little. ‘What can I do for you?’

‘It’s about this mole,’ he said, placing the box down on the coffee table. ‘I’m an accountant, you see, Mr. Dale. And I have friends who are accountants and one of my friends is one of the best tax accountants there are. He does all the big accounts and he recently happened to be doing Liz Hurley’s tax returns. He mixes with all the stars and he’s never awestruck. That’s probably why he got around to telling her that I’d just bought one of her old moles. Well, you can imagine my friend’s surprise when she told him that she’d never had any moles removed and that she’s never had any moles at all.’

‘Liz Hurley said that,’ I asked and let out a slight whistle.

He smiled. ‘You see, my predicament, Mr. Dale? My whole collection of Miss Hurley’s moles lost their authenticity right there and then.’

‘Did you say your whole collection?’

He gestured to the box. ‘Nineteen, to be exact. Nineteen moles in mint condition.’

‘Nineteen?’ I repeated. ‘But I only sold you the one.’

‘There are many more sellers on eBay than your good self, Mr. Dale. A man who searches hard enough can find everything he wants on eBay. Cost me a small fortune but I probably now have the world’s finest collection of Liz Hurley’s moles that money can buy. But it leads me to a rather difficult question.’

I could feel the moment coming and I was thinking about where I’d left my wallet. I could see I’d soon be making a trip to the cash machine to rob it of the five hundred pounds this man had paid me for a piece of my friend Thompson.

‘I understand,’ I sighed and stood up.

‘You do?’ he said. ‘I mean, how could you? I’ve not asked you yet.’

‘Well it’s obvious isn’t it?’

‘Mr. Dale, you’re the first person I’m going ask.’

‘Ask what?’

He stood up to look me in my eyes. The moment was suddenly loaded with meaning, as though his question meant the world to him.

‘Will you act as a witness when I take this case to court?’

‘What case?’

He sighed and shook his head. ‘Miss Hurley has made a terrible allegation about the authenticity of my collection and I intend to see the matter settled in court. She must retract her statement. My collection is too valuable to allow these gross rumour to circulate. So, I ask you again, Mr. Dale. Will you stand as a witness?’

What could I say? I argued with the man for another hour, suggesting that he allow me to buy the mole back from him but all he could do was sit there and look vaguely superior. ‘That mole is the finest one in my collection,’ he said. ‘It’s the only one with one of Liz’s hairs in it!’

I wondered about confessing all and telling him about my friend Thompson and his accident with the rowing machine. In the end, I had to settle on dissuading him from expecting testimony from me. I explained that I would prove a poor witness on account of having all my life thought moles were disgusting.

‘I’d be a hostile witness, you see?’ I said and stumbled onto the one reason that finally convinced him. ‘You see, Mr. Reed, why would I want to sell one of Liz Hurley’s moles in the first place?’

He took my point, clapping me around the shoulder in a way meant to say much about the camaraderie between mole collectors. He left me that afternoon and I’ve never seen him again. I read in the newspapers that he’d tried to approach Miss Hurley at a movie premier only to be brushed aside by her security guards. The paper also reported that he had fallen into the road, where a box he was carrying had gone under the wheels of a taxi. That, I think, is what happened to part of my friend Thompson, stuck to the wheel of a London taxi cab.

There’s a moral to this story but I’m really not so sure what it is. Probably it’s something to do with being careful about what you buy off eBay. Then again, it could be about the easy money you can make if you have a friend called Thompson who has plenty of moles.

I really don’t know which. I think I’ll let you make up your own mind.


mutterings and meanderings said...

I think you are compiling Chippy's Compendium of Tall Tales.

Chippy said...

Now, would I tell you a story that wasn't 100% accurate? That happened to me, so it did! There might have been a few details I omitted or chose to embroider for the sake of the story, but it's honest to goodness real.

You do know, I wonder if my loss of hair has left me without my usual powers to enchant? That that pink stoat! It has doomed me!

rilly super said...

chippy dear boy, I think your friend might have actually owned more of Liz Hurley than Arun Nayer aquired. He should have just rung him in India as he may have felt shortchanged when upon discovering that most of his wife was in a shoebox in bangor then perhaps a swap could have been arranged

Chippy said...

Rilly, not only is that suggestion extremely funny, it's also very true.

Mad_Lass said...

That was hilarious! Perhaps you are par with my own madness...