Sometimes something unexpected happens. Have you noticed that? I was walking down the Uxbridge Road in Shepherd's Bush the other day when there was a bit of a kerfuffle.
I know kerfuffles are quite frequent on the Uxbridge Road but this one was a bit different from your usual kerfuffle. (There you go - I've managed to get the word kerfuffle into a sentence twice - now, how often do you see that? )
Anyway, across the road I saw a group of people outside a fast food outlet that shall remain nameless. There was an animated crowd staring through the window, as if watching a show. I was fascinated.
What was it? Were XFC now putting on cinema shows in their shops to draw victims in to munch on their bubonic burgers? As I got closer, I could see that yes, there was indeed some sort of show going on inside. In fact it looked like a comedy because some of the crowd, now growing rapidly, were laughing out loud. And they were laughing at the sight of three figures who, almost like something out of a grainy Keystone Cops movie, were running around frantically inside.
What could possibly be occurring here, one thought to oneself. Well, as you would expect of a Gazette columnist, I courageously summoned up all my powers of journalistic investigation and moved in closer.
And so the truth of the situation gradually dawned as I saw what they were chasing. A rat. A big rat, with a long greasy tail.
Yes, I'll repeat that as you sit down to finish off your burger, a RAT. And I'm pretty sure it was the same one I saw casually trotting through my back garden as I was sitting out having lunch the other day. (I never forget a face)
Now I hope the RSPCA are reading this because rat chasing, as you may know, is now illegal in Shepherds Bush. We live in supposedly enlightened times and chasing rats round shops is now deemed cruel.
Now, far be it for me to suggest that the purpose of the chase was to catch the rat and cook it. Let's just let the image serve as a powerful metaphor for the morally bankrupt times we live in where public health is now at the mercy of hapless immigrants in silly hats chasing rats round kitchens.
There is an upside, however, to this tragic story of the misplaced rat.
I have booked the three Albanians (and the rat) for a spot at my club. The tickets are going fast.
And so are the pigeons above the bedding shop. (They're at it constantly) Do you want fries with that?