You’ll remember that only recently I almost caught someone who was rifling through my restaurant’s bins late at night. At the time I thought it must be the mole sent by Carotene Half, owner of the so called contemporary Italian restaurant, The Bologna Pony. And I had thought I had seen Ainsley Harricot running away in the moonlight.
Well, tonight the mystery was solved.
It only happened because Mad4Food TV broadcast my Biscuit Special two days ago, the episode which had of course not yet broadcast several weeks ago and yet Carotene Half had somehow found out weeks ago that I had, er, mentioned him in the programme. Then last night, one of my occasional regulars, Black Cab Trev, came to eat at the Sausage. He only eats here when he has done one of his early morning ‘special trips’ to Felixstowe to drop something off at the port. He never tells me what he drops off and I don’t ask (and nor, I suspect,does he).
Anyhow, Trev told me that he had seen my programme “on the box” and then he knocked me out with the following: “Not only that, Mr B, but then I remembered where I had seen your co-presenter before, Ainsley whatsisname. Right in the back of my taxi only a week or so ago. Strange it was, ” he continued, “Cos it was real late at night and I wondered who would want picking up round here at that time who I didn’t already know. Right outside your restaurant too. I didn’t think much more of it at the time, but then last night I clocked him again on your TV programme.”
Well, to say you could have knocked me down with a feather, Trevor, would have been absolutely true. I couldn’t quite believe it – Ainsley Harricot was the mole after all.
I made sure of it today when we had a production meeting to discuss next months’ programmes and I asked Harricot point blank if he had been at my restaurant the other night – and he didn’t even try to deny it. Just shrugged and said he’d been looking for something he could “get me” with. Waffled on about how he was still pissed off at me after I served him the dead-live rabbit in an earlier programme. But when I pushed him for more details he wouldn’t say anything. Until I said, “Why did Half put you up to it, Harricot? What were you doing for him?” At which point, Harricot quite genuinely turned pale and stuttered something about needing to leave and literally rushed out of the room.
So although I now know who the mole was, I still don’t really know why. Or what he was after. I don’t believe for a second it was based purely on getting his revenge on me after I made him look a little bit silly on TV. There were plenty of easier ways for him to try to get his own back than coming out to the Sausage late at night and looking through my bins.
I might have to confront Half himself.