The Day My Landlord Accused Me of Stealing the Big TV!

“You’ve been stealing from the thieves, and you got caught” – Paul Hewson.

Life since I left my hometown in 2003 (15 Wacaday years now) hasn’t always been completely travel travel travel. In fact there were two occasions when I owned a car (2000 – 2009, and again for 7 months of 2010) and a few times when I paid regular rent to a flat (oh baby it’s a wild world). One of those times was the summer of 2008, when I worked on Wightlink Ferries as a Steward in the Bar/Restaurant on the Yarmouth to Lymington route. My sink was full of fishes, she had dirty dishes on the brain…

Jonny Blair Working on the Wightlink ferries from Lymington to Yarmouth in 2008

Working on the Wightlink ferries from Lymington to Yarmouth in 2008

As summer came to a close that year, I decided to move into a flat with 3 friends of mine (great friends I should say – Dan, Richard and Corinne) and I was busy…I had one day off work after a trip to Slovakia (to watch Northern Ireland lose 2-1) set aside in order to move my stuff into the new flat. It was basically a Red Bulldog inspired 24 hours – energy and no sleep and even we managed to watch a Cherries match live that day. I don’t know where I found such youthful energy in those halcyon days. The Cherries lost 1-0 at home to Macclesfield the day we moved and we were winless for weeks and on -17 points at the foot of Division Four. We took foam wannabe penises to Aldershot away ready for liquidation. Even Ricky Sappleton’s blastful equaliser inspired little saviourity on Dorset’s beachy coast. We were snogging a dead horse…and life was damn good.

“Damn right, it’s better than yours” – Kelis.

Back in the days when the Cherries were known as "Basement Bournemouth" we were -17 and going bust. Really really really.

Back in the days when the Cherries were known as “Basement Bournemouth” we were -17 and going bust. Really really really.

That summer I had been working multiple jobs (theatre, bar, beach and boat – I even served tea at ballroom dances) to cover my trips to Slovakia, sLOVENIia and Italy. It had been busy and I basically packed all my stuff into my car and moved house. Then there was the Big TV…oh just a television…

I shared a student flat with 6 others at the time before that, but they had all moved out early, leaving just me and my German friend Mona in the house. Mona worked in Best Break with me back in 2004 (selling cheeseburgers) and her and I shared a room to save money, time and soap. On my last day there, Mona was also flying back to Germany so we moved out together.

Mona and I – great friends back in 2008 – we roomed together.

However the landlord assumed it was just me living there and didn’t know about Mona. Mona cleared all her stuff and got ready to move out, but I had to leave the day before as I was working on the last contract day we were in the flat, so I took everything that was mine, and one item that was 1/6th mine – the TV.

“We got to install microwave ovens, custom kitchen deliveries” – Mark Knopfler.

We got to move these colour TVs

We had a BIG TV in that lounge as when I moved in, we’d often watch it and we co-owned it. The cost of that TV was around £180, and we paid around £30 each (6 of us), but as the other FIVE flatmates had moved out, the TV was left and none of them wanted it. To all intents and purposes, and without actually giving them all £30 each (redundant money now as it was a year old TV), the TV was mine. It certainly didn’t belong to the flat, or the house, or the owner. It belonged to SIX of us. But the other FIVE were not there, so I whacked it in the boot of my car and drove to my new flat in Southbourne telling my new flatmates (Dan, Corinne and Richard) that I had a TV. We already had one TV there, but this was an extra one and I put it in the living room.

“We got to move these refrigerators, we got to move these colour TVs” – Mark Knopfler (Money for Nothing).

I left my keys with the owner of the old flat, took my stuff (the flat was in Moordown/Winton area of Bournemouth) and had moved out. But then…

The owner phoned me furious that I had “STOLEN” the TV!!!

Sorry, I had taken a TV that was 1/6th mine, it was NOT HIS TV. The other flatmates showed no interest in keeping it. It was 16.666666667% mine and 0.0% his!!!

“Clarity just confuses me” – Super Furry Animals.

BUT I returned it.

On a wet night in Bournemouth town, I left that TV on the porch of the flat, accompanied by a text message to that landlord:

“I have left ‘your’ [sic] television (which is one sixth mine, and zero sixths yours) on the porch. Collect it soon, it might rain”.

And that was that…except it rained…

“Why does it always rain on me?” – Travis.

cherrybear afcb

Dan Darch and me, with Cherrybear in Happier times…


Jurassic Park!

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