“What’s not to love” thought Reggie Spangler, walking through his living room. “More blue sky than you could drink in a lifetime, lovely warm weather and the wife away for a fortnight’s holiday with her charming sister,”
His heart swelled in a feeling of celebration, but to be fair to our joyous hero’s heart found some reason to swell on most mornings and so, as usual, he threw open the doors to the garden and stepped out onto his freshly clipped grass singing, as he always did, “I’m so lucky, lucky luckiiii,. I’M SO LUCKYYYYY NOWA”
As he sucked his breath in to begin the second line a single shot rang out and Reggie fell without further comment to the ground. He was dead: no longer with us, Doing the mystic shuffle, or however you want to phrase it, but the cause of death was not in doubt. Across the fence stood Dan Growler, his next door neighbour, with a gun in one hand and a mobile phone to his ear. When his call was answered he said, “I’ve shot a man and I’m glad to say he is dead” and then he gave his address.
After a short delay, involving the not to be rushed consumption of bacon sandwiches and coffee, a couple of police constables turned up to find Dan at his front gate and the gun tactfully lying on the wall away from him and with the barrel facing towards the house.
Needless to say he was arrested, tried, sentenced and found himself inside Parkhurst jail facing a sentence of fifteen years. Grumpy his entire life, he was glad to be in a community rich in complainers and those who declared themselves innocent on a daily basis ,regardless of the evidence. He discovered himself to be among kindred spirits and when they asked why he was inside, he told them.
“Every morning. Every bloody morning, my neighbour would stride out into his garden singing “I’m so lucky” and it just drove me mad. I mean every bloody morning, “I’m so lucky blah blah blah” until one day I just stood up, got my gun out and shot the little bugger right between the eyes.”
For the first time in about thirty eight years he smiled. “Oh the silence was bloody heaven. I mean you could almost drink it, and now that little toad will never chant again.” Heads around him nodded. “Know what you mean Dan.” said the man beside him before turning to the other inmates at the breakfast table saying, ” Do you remember what it was like when old Nobby Savage fell down, dead as a Dodo?” and again, heads around the table nodded in agreement.
“It doesn’t get any better does it?” He turned back to Dan and filled him on the dead wardens failings in luscious detail, to even more nodding and agreement from this brotherhood of inmates. Dan looked around at him at this sea of faces, revelling in life’s lucky breaks, and almost without warning, a feeling of oneness and joy filled him. At last he was with a bunch of geezers who spoke his language, were on his wave-length and understood the meaning of life, and he had fifteen bloody marvellous years to enjoy their company.
Before he could stop himself, his mouth opened and he found he was beginning to sing that song lodged deep in his subconscious. For the first time in his life he gained a glimpse inside the head of his recently departed neighbour. “I’m so lucky, lucky” he began, and then managed to clamp his jaw shut. “Bloody hell,” he thought. He felt brilliant. If Reggie was there, what would he do ? “Life eh. Mysterious or what !”