Volume 34 Number 1 Article 5
"Do You Believe in Fairies?"
There I was, Sunday night in the rain, driving frantically through the night to get home and sleep enough to be of any use in the classroom in the morning. I'd left the pub late because after a good weekend caving there was a lot to talk about to the assembled crew of motley cavers at the Marton Arms and much news of passage, prospect and theory.
I sped through Long Preston and turned down the undulating road to Gisburn when a UFO appeared in my mirror, an eerie blue flashing light. "Shit!!" No, I was all right, I hadn't been speeding and I hoped I was going to be breathalised 'cause I hadn't had a drink either, one Coke and a coffee with all the bits, great! I slid off the road like a croc easing itself onto the bank and waited with window down.
"Good evening Sir." I didn't think they still said that sort of thing.
"Hi! What seems to be the problem." I'd slipped into a cheap novel by mistake and someone else's words had just popped into my mouth, yuk!
"You seem to have a light off at the back." "Damn!" I thought, I'd spent an hour at home only last week trying to get the contacts to work on that one. I stepped out of the car and went around the back to look at the offending light. Sure enough there it was, gone.
"Not to worry, I've got a spare", I hoped. Great, I started hunting in the piles of dirty gear for my light.
"Can you tell me where you've been, Sir" Very polite. "I've been caving," I said producing my lamp still attached to the helmet and covered in Easegill slime. I started rooting for the toolbox which seemed to satisfy him a little.
"By the way." This was it! He's going to say "Have you been drinking Sir?" I waited but that wasn't it. Was I never going to get checked when I was sober.
"Your number plate at the front's broken off." "What? No!!" I tried to sound as if I thought this was a really capital offence, but really let's face it at 12.30 at night on a lonely road in the Dales it's about the last thing you'd really lose any sleep over. "Some bastard must have reversed into it in the car park," I tried to sound indignant. "I'll get a new one first thing." Oh Yeah!
That seemed to satisfy him, he wished me a safe journey and set off to single-handedly defeat the British Crime Wave, leaving me grovelling around in the boot with smelly gear.
I got home at 2:00 in the morning and had a dreadful day with the charming little angels taking full advantage of my dulled sense to run me ragged all day, phew!
I found the broken off bit off license plate at the farm the following weekend but though I'd intended to araldite it back together again, I left it on the wall until the following weekend. This time I picked it up and put it in the car to take home. I don't know the price of license plates but I was sure araldite was cheaper.
Later that week I had a day off, enforced through lack of sleep due to a rather lengthy tooth extraction, and a night of gargling blood. In the morning, well early afternoon I went out and got the remnant of the plate and a screwdriver. I walked around the front of the car and bent down to take of the remaining bit. It wasn't there! Instead, there was a full license plate, with all the letters and numbers in the correct order, the order that I can't remember.
Maybe that had been a UFO and having seen me a fortnight later without a plate he'd replicated one, it was Xmas time maybe, NO!! That's too far-fetched. Ah Well! It must have been the fairies of Bull Pot, if there's Witches why not Fairies???