I’ve been as appalled as anyone about the continuing story about undercover police officers forming relationships with women (and even impregnating them) in order to facilitate their investigations. It’s unbelievably wrong and incredible that anyone thought such behaviour was acceptable. But even more amazing that no one in authority really seems to be getting into trouble for it. It’s the sort of behaviour you would expect in a bad rip-off of 1984, not in a supposedly free country.
But it has got me worried. I never really understood what my wife saw in me. She’s clever, funny and beautiful and could have done a whole lot better and yet for some reason she chose to be with me, and then more unbelievably stay with me when she realised how useless I am and how unappealing my hairs are. I thought she just had some kind of mental illness, which I was happy to let ride because it meant that I in turn got to live with her. But now I can’t help but wonder if she is a police office, gone into deep cover to investigate me, inform on me and ultimately gather enough evidence to have me sent away for a long time for my crimes.
It seems a lot of effort to go to over a few stolen pick n mix sweets, but over the years my Robin Hood like campaign (I steal from the service stations and give to the opposite of service stations, which is my mouth) has probably cost the pick n mix magnates tens of pounds. And worse than the lost money is the humiliation of knowing that I have never been caught and how I continue to brag about my crimes. They have enough money from selling 0p chews for 5p a pop to pay an undercover detective to befriend me, get my trust, marry me and then catch me in the act. They have to play the long game on this, because I am wily. And it hasn’t really worked out for them, because I love and respect my wife so much that I am ashamed of what I am doing - a man in his forties who makes a good living, stealing children’s sweets that he doesn’t even particularly enjoy eating- that I hide my crimes from her. I have never done it in front of her, and never admitted to her what I do and when the pillow talk inevitably gets round to attitudes towards pick n mix I just pretend that I don’t particularly like them.
I don’t respect or love you, so am happy to tell you about my crimes and in a way the pick n mix magnates should have sent you in undercover, God knows there were times when I was single that I would have been starved enough of human affection that I might even have sought solace with someone as repellent as you. But the authorities misjudged my pickiness (and my mixiness) and sent in a high-level super-attractive and intelligent agent, when any old tat off the street, bloke who works in IT would have done the job.
I love and trust my wife so it would be heartbreaking if she turns out to be like Sharon Stone in Total Recall and if the moment comes when I have no choice but to shoot her dead, I won’t enjoy it or make a witty comment about considering this a divorce, I will be really sad and probably have a breakdown, because taking a human life, even if of someone who has been lying to me for a decade, would be a terrible thing. And I would still love and respect her. She’s only doing her job.
But I think the pick n mix magnates might be cleverer than I thought and playing the super long game. What if Catie isn’t working for them at all, but their “man on the inside” is actually Phoebe, my daughter. That would be even cleverer because she would be the last person I would suspect and also at some point I am bound to induct her into the family pick n mix theft business and then she can slap on the cuffs. The cops would only have had to convince one sperm and one egg to go rogue (easier than turning a human into an immoral spy) and then sit back and wait for nature to take its course.
It’s so simple that it’s practically genius.
Or I reckon it might be my cats. Either way, luckily I am on to the spies in my midst and am going to spend the next twenty years keeping everyone in my family at arm’s length and never opening up to them to ensure that this awful fate never befalls me. You’re not fooling me Phoebe. I know you look up at me as if you’re innocent and like you can’t live without me. But I know what you’re up to. You will never catch me.
It’s like stealing candy from just behind the back of a baby.