The idea was that all these teens meet-up inside John Lewis’ store and have a massive game of manhunt amongst the elderly clientele and the 50-inch plasma tellies. I thought we could kidnap the story and make it about our bears playing manhunt around the store. It may not have been my best idea for a story but it was funny enough imagining Razzi racing through the blue-rinse brigade, hotly pursued by the rest of the bears.
So, I wrote about our “fictional” plans for the bears to be playing manhunt in-between the tellies and the usual Lewis’ wrinklies. It wasn’t my best work but I thought it was funny and even added Andreaa and her Kirkby Gang as something like a scene from a St Trinian’s film. It was quite mischievous but I knew nobody would take it too seriously.
…or so I thought!
It turns out the store manager of Lewis’s was a little nervous about the Liverpool Echo story and was searching social media and the internet to see if there was any more mention of a manhunt game within his beloved store. He found our post; except he did not think it was as funny as we did. Back in those days, we had our phone number on the blog and so he rang us. He said he was worried that our game my get out of hand and the thought of a bunch of teenagers running amok in his store scared him. I told him to get a life and that the teddy bears in the post were 12-inches-high and if he read the story more thoroughly, he would see it was fictional. Did he really think Razzi and co could run amok?
Bright and early the next morning there was a knock on the door and there stood half of Merseyside Police’s Matrix team. In case you are unfamiliar with this unit, the Matrix team provides the Police with a high-level response to gun crime, faction-based criminality, and cash-in-transit robberies. They are the first response to any major, large-scale disorder within the area and I think they are even armed!
I invited a couple of them in and apologised but they couldn’t all come in because we didn’t have enough mugs for that many cups of coffee. They explained that they were here because they had received reports concerning a large-scale riot in and around John Lewis’ store by a gang known as “The Renault Bears” who live at “Jammy Toast” and are led by the vicious gang-leader known as “The Bearkeeper” and his accomplice “Razzi Bear”.
I couldn’t hold back the merriment any longer and I invited them to come through and meet Razzi. Two police women agreed to leave their riot shields, firearms and helmets at the door and came into Jammy Toast to meet the “gang”. However, they were a little suspicious because Razzi was wearing his little hoodie at the time. He may well have looked like a hoodlum but when he explained to the Police Officers that he couldn’t even get over to Liverpool because I only give him £1 per week pocket money and the train fare was more than that, their faces dropped. They were coming to the realisation that this wasn’t quite the crime of the century they were hoping for.
I told them that the store manager had rung the day before and that I had explained to him that it was a story about teddy bears and they left muttering something about a waste of police time and resources. Hopefully they had the same conversation with Lewis’ manager.
At least it gave the neighbours something to twitch their curtains at.
Razzi, however, was really disappointed he didn’t get a ride in a big yellow Matrix van!
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