You might think this post is un-neighbourly – I DON’T CARE. You might think this post is racist – I DON’T CARE.
It all started a few weeks ago when my good friend and neighbor, Tan, went off on one of his working trips to some exotic part of the world. A week later he returned a different man.
Although he tried to blend back into Tourrettan society, he was conspicuous by his changed appearance (see picture) and strange new habits. Once a clean-shaven, bald-headed, loving father and husband, he now sports a foot long beard, wears a dirty tea-towel on his head, has traded his gleaming black Honda 4x4 for a camel and sits on the patio each night cleaning his AK47.
Being a kindly soul worried about the effect this strange new behaviour was having on his devoted family, I would wander over to his house and sit round the camp fire he’d built on the upper terrace and try and make him see sense. Unfortunately, each time I went over, his camel would spit at me. ‘Why’s it doing that’, I would ask. ‘Because you’re an infidel and a Rangers supporter’, Tan would reply and that would be that - conversation over.
I recommended that he keep a low profile but he did not help things when he approached the mayor’s office with a proposal to twin Tourrettes with Helmand Province. The dead sheep hanging from the upper balcony with their throats slit also did him no favours, with every dog in the neighbourhood heading for Tan’s house to eagerly lap up the rivers of blood which flowed towards the pool.
Poor Angie is also suffering as Tan has taken another five wives and is refusing to allow little Violet to be educated. He’s already talking about getting her married to Abdhul in Vence and she’s only 5! And poor Angie is no longer allowed to buy toilet paper as the Taliban only ever use their left hands for cleaning themselves after a ‘number two’, and as Tan was never too good on his right versus left, I refuse to shake his hand any more.
For the first two weeks after he came back from wherever he was ‘turned’, a strange noise was to be heard from his house which is a mere 20 metres away. Upon investigating the small explosions and constant hammering, I found Tan digging under the house to create a 4 bedroomed cave, complete with running water and Al Jazeera.
‘What are you doing’, I asked. ‘It’s to get away from the helicopter gunships which pass over looking for me every day’, Tan replied. ‘Tan don’t be paranoid, that’s just Gerri Halliwell and George Michael going to Monaco for their lunch’, I would say, but to no avail, the helicopters were the enemy and had to be dealt with. Unfortunately he drew more attention to himself when he went into Leclerc’s, parked his camel on the first floor and then tried to buy some SAM missiles. Failing to do so as Leclerc’s don’t even stock fireworks for Guy Fawkes night, he went off to the ladies section where he filled his trolley with all sorts of peroxide hair products and then completed his purchases with three bags of fertilizer. Ever since, a series of increasingly loud bangs can be heard crossing the divide between our houses as Tan obviously mixes his potions with varying levels of success.
I’ve also had to tell Tan that growing 2 acres of poppies is not allowed under the terms of the lease but he just sits there smoking a mixture of weeds and camel dung, chanting to himself and talking to his video camera.
So tensions are high but they will heighten considerably next month when Scotland take on Afghanistan in the international cricket competition. Will Tan Tan the Taliban Man fan the flames of international diplomacy by placing the Afghanistan flag on his roof and encouraging his camel to crap all over my drive or will he be back to normal saying, ‘another beer please Tom’?