This happened a few years ago.. and it’s true.
We were all gathered on Christmas Eve at my mother and step-father’s house in the middle of nowhere. Things were going swimmingly, as is always the case if family gatherings are lubed with neat whisky.
It was about 8.30pm and we were all settling in for a family board game drinkathon when suddenly my step-father said “Oh my god, I’ve forgotten to pick up the turkey”. We all wheeled round to look at my mother. At this stage of proceedings, this was make-or-break. Luckily however she was five vodkas in and just looked vague.
My step-father rang the butcher’s in the vain hope the guy was still open. Nope. Not open.
“Ring his home, he might live nearby” someone suggested. Good idea. We rang directory enquiries only to discover that our butcher was, mysteriously, not listed.
By now my step-father was really beginning to panic. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without a turkey”, he said. Actually I’m a vegetarian so I didn’t really care whether we got the turkey or not but I could see that not having a turkey might blight things for everyone else.
“There’s only one solution”, I said, “ring the police.”
“Why? They haven’t got any turkeys” said my mother. “No,” I said, “But they can find out the butcher’s number and ring him on our behalf.”
Brilliant. It was clearly an emergency and that’s what the police are for. I rang Hailsham nick and explained all to the desk sergeant. He said it was the most exciting thing that had happened to him all night and promised to track down the butcher for us.
Five minutes later, the butcher called. He had left the turkey with the newsagent next door. My step-father raced off to collect the bird and we rang the sergeant back to tell him the happy news. Christmas saved. Phew.