NB(swearing and indications of abuse)
Jim strolled into the drawing room. It smelled of furniture polish, perfume and after shave. He stood before the ornate fireplace, his hands held loosely behind his back. His eyes skimmed the mostly bowed heads and solemn faces. The huge gold-framed mirror behind him reflected the multi-faceted chandelier. In the centre of the room stood an oval mahogany table and six chairs everyone had avoided. Instead, they crowded on the three sofas and four armchairs scattered about the drawing room.
Jim took an in-breath and began.
I’m sure everyone here is aware of my granddad Harry Grimes’ death in Thailand two days ago. He was in some small remote village where he had a heart-attack and then someone stole all his belongs. Luckily, the police traced him to a local hotel and then they were able to inform me of his death.
Some remote village? Heart attack? More like spending too much time in a house of ill repute.
Low moans and grunts reverberated around the oak panelled room.
Harry was an amazing character. We all loved him. I’m sure all of you in this room loved him and will miss him as much as I do.
Jim gazed at the bowed heads. One woman wiped her nose on a paper tissue. A man covered his mouth as he gave out a gentle cough.
He was an arsehole. Everybody loathed him, including me.
He helped many people. Always with a smile on his face, asking what he could do for them.
So long as there was money in it.
When we had that terrible snowstorm two winters ago, Harry went to nearly every house in the village and cleared their snow for them. He didn’t ask them if they wanted it cleared. He did it anyway. He was selfless.
He went back later and asked for money from each of them.
He always looked after the elderly and the most vulnerable in the village first. Always.
Yea, the vulnerable so they didn’t know he was frisking them and the elderly ‘cause they had tonnes of dosh and he knew it.
He really was a kindly soul throughout his life, and I am sure he is greatly appreciated now that he is in Heaven.
More like he’s gone straight to hell.
Harry kept some livestock, as you all know. He knew a great deal about animals, sheep, cattle, dogs. He also rescued animals and got them back on their feet and found them new homes. I have one of Harry’s dogs myself. It was extremely thin when I first got it off Harry, but it is fine now, and Harry helped me look after it. Told me what to feed it and stuff like that. He was very good to me regarding the stray dog.
I’ve seen him ill-treat those animals. Cows he left un-milked until he got some poor neighbourhood kid to do the job and work for nothing. Animals left in filthy conditions. He didn’t care about the creatures at all, he just wanted to look good in the neighbourhood. Good old Harry, the dog and cat rescuer.
Harry loved sport.
Not the kind of sport you’ve got in mind.
He enjoyed chasing balls around the football pitch. Harry would be the first to admit he was not that good at football, but he enjoyed a run around at weekends with the boys in the field.
If you think chasing boys is a sport, then yes, Harry really enjoyed that. He’d pretend to chase the football and have a fumble, I mean tumble, with one of the lads. And he’d give the lads the run-around in the showers afterwards. My brother’s friend Jack told me all about it that night we had our first kiss behind the rhododendrons out the back. It was Dave’s party and I really fancied Jack, and he fancied me back then. He told me all about Granddad Grimes and what he used to get up to on and off the football field.
Harry was very good with his hands, too.
Too right. Handy Harry, the girls at the club, called him. A hand on your backside or a hand around your waist that slowly crept up and up.
I’m sure there isn’t one person here who has not been on the receiving end of Harry’s generosity and his handiwork. I know he often came to our house to mend a cupboard or shelf or re-do a bit of wiring. He was a carpenter by trade and, as far as I know, he did his apprenticeship. A brilliant man when it comes to wood.
Would you come round the back with me for a minute? Would you like to come and see the stray dogs I’ve got in at the moment? Would you like to see the litter of kittens that Maisie, the stray cat, just had? Yep, he was very good with ‘would’.
Harry was a gentleman through and through.
Harry was no gentleman he was a lousy deceiving git.
Now that Harry has left us, we are short of an accountant at the club. Harry did the job well for what must have been twenty years. It was a voluntary position, as you all know. Now we need a new accountant or at least a stand in until we can get things sorted out further. I’m hoping somebody here at this extraordinary meeting will volunteer the job. I have someone in mind, but first I want to put it out to all of you to give everyone a fair chance at the job. So, hands up if you feel like volunteering.
Fidgeting and feet shuffling noises resounded around the room. No-one raised their hand.
I want to know exactly how the scumbag forged our signatures and syphoned all that money from the club without anyone finding out. You don’t get to own a holiday home in Florida and another one in Spain with the kind of pension Handy Harry got each month. I knew he was up to something, and he knew I knew.
Mary raised her hand.
I’ll do it.
Thank you, Mary. I was hoping you would. I know you have a maths degree and some accountancy knowledge. If you hadn’t put your hand up, then I was going to ask you to volunteer, anyway. I’ll give you the keys to the safe and filing cabinet before you leave today.
Now, if there are no questions, then you’ll find tea and sandwiches in the kitchen. I hope we can all stay for a while and reminisce about my wonderful Grandad Harry Grimes.
I can’t wait to get my hands on those accounts and find out EXACTLY how Harry syphoned off all that money…..