“The Inspector wants to talk with you,” I said to the boss over the phone as I sat there in a French Police Station. I handed over the phone.
“This IZ Chief Inspector speaking on the pheun,” the inspector said.
Wait a minute, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the start shall we.
It all started when we arrived in Paris in search of The White Van Dog if you remember.
The smell of French bread lingered in the air and the sights of accordion players with meenky’s (collecting the cash) made me feel like I was now in France. And I was.
I was with Chang, a freelance photographer from Beijing, who had moved to the UK a few years earlier to “photograph vans.”
He seem a bit awed by my presence. I was a CNR after all, while he was still basically a trainee. I liked him though.
“Always be on your guard Chang. That is the secret of excelling in the type of job we do. You never know what to expect next.”
Unfortunately, our afternoon spent walking around the streets and parks of Paris proved to be fruitless.
“No White Van Dogs today,” I said to Chang as we made our way back to the apartment.
The phone line at the apartment went down, and my phone had ran out of battery, with my charger still back at CVI HQ.
So communication with the boss was not possible, but at least it allowed me to focus 100% on finding The White Van Dog, without any distractions.
However, The White Van Dog proved to be elusive. Maybe she sensed I had arrived, and was now in hiding.
Or perhaps it was because I wore white gloves with “CVI” on one hand and “CNR” on the other.
It was obvious to me that I stood out like a sore thumb. I needed to be smarter so I hatched a cunning plan…I would wear a disguise.
So the next morning I dressed as a French Balloon seller, complete with a assortment of balloons to make my disguise even more authentic.
My plan was to head towards the local park and just observe, under the cover of my costume.
As I was leaving the apartment I bumped into Chang and he seemed startled.
“Who are you?” He said, in shock at seeing an intruder, no doubt.
“Relax Chang, It is me, the CNR,” I said as I lifted my cap and made my face more clear from behind the balloons.
“Ahhhh!” he said, knowingly.
10 minutes later and I was walking towards the local park when I heard a familiar sound…
“You What Mate?” The voice said.
I turned around…and right there on the road was a White Ford Transit Van…with a “white van man” arguing with an inspector of the French Police.
“Have these tools been robed?” the inspector said very loudly.
The white van man snapped…anger, rage, discontent…all rolled into one.
“Return of the white van man…on tour,” I said to myself.