One in a million

Well the actual odds were a lot less. One in 250,000. Well actually, one in 125,000 in reality. But I was guessing it was well more than 50/50 in my favour.  You can narrow the odds if you know what you are doing. Ask any professional gambler. One that looks affluent and happy, rather than one that looks broke and dejected. To get the right answer you have to ask the right person.

I was in London for the Royal Wedding and had headed over to Hyde Park to capture the action. I hadn’t planned on going to the wedding. I’m not a royalist and so had very little interest in it apart from that it was an extra day off work.

I had been speaking to a mate a couple of days earlier who had decided to head down and photograph it. I had nothing planned for that weekend and so after mulling it over for a half an hour I decided to go as well. It’s a once in a lifetime event, barring divorces and remarriages.

We had arranged to meet somewhere in London. Modern communication devices meant we could work those arrangements out on the day. He did remind me to charge and take my phone, knowing how much of a Muppet I am with them. It’s not that I dislike mobile phones; it’s just that I have no interest in the technology whatsoever.

As my train pulled in to St Pancras I thought I’d best call him. He’d be in London earlier than I, and would have sussed out the ground. The hot spots from which to get the best shots. I dialled his number. Could not connect. I guessed he may have been on the tube, hence the lack of a connection. I got off the train and exited the station and made my way down to Green Park, one of our possible meeting locations. I tried his number again. No luck. I wandered around the park. It was getting busy. I knew that there was no chance of getting to the Mall as police were steering pedestrians to the big screens set up in the London parks. I decided to head for Hyde Park where the biggest crowd would be. The atmosphere would be better and it was another possible meeting place.

By the time I arrived, the park was filling up. I tried his number again. No answer. I pushed my way through the crowd and headed down to the front. It was estimated that the park would see 250,000 revellers. I assumed that my friends who also planned to head to Hyde Park would do the same as me. That should narrow the odds of meeting.

On reaching the front I spied the press area. Even better.  Here’s the focus. They are bound to come here. The odds had just dropped to better than even. I entered the press area. No one asked for credentials, so I offered none. Just wait here taking photos until I get bored, or someone decides to throw me out.

The wedding came and went. Apart from one protester who was hauled away by the police, for what I wasn’t sure, it was peaceful. The pubic singing, cheering and ogling Pippa Middleton’s bottom. A lot was made of her arse at the time. But it has since gone quiet. Perhaps the movie deals and lingerie adverts fell through. I wondered what the rest of Pippa would have made of it. One body part wandering off to pursue a career on its own, leaving the rest of the body at home to contemplate what could have been.  Always standing, never sitting.

As the crowds started to disperse I tried the phone again. By this time I was getting paranoid. The phone was working fine the night before. Why can’t I make calls now? Was MI6 blocking my transmissions? Are they still after me?

I’m not paranoid. I just know they are out to get me. A few years previously I received a random package through the post. I say I, but a friend who shared the same house took delivery as I was at work at the time. The postman handed it over to him, giving him an evil stare.

The package was A4. A plain brown envelope. However the paper was scrawled in black ink with swastikas, quotes from notable Nazis and racist comments.

When I got home from work it was handed to me in disgust. What had I been up to now? I threw it on the table not knowing if it would explode. I eventually plucked up the courage and gingerly took it outside and opened it at arm’s length.

Inside were various pamphlets, a questionnaire which had been completed, but the answers erased so it could be used again (at least these Nazis recycled), and a letter.

I have no idea who it was from. Who had I been talking to? Why me? I resolved to never get in to drunken conversations with strangers again. Not even to goad them about their ridiculous beliefs. For some reason this lot/person must have taken me seriously. Weren’t they clever enough to realise that I almost always talk complete crap?

I wondered if my lack of communications on this prestigious day was something due to that letter, which must be on file somewhere deep within the bowls of MI6.

I eventually caught up with my friends outside some tube station, I can’t remember which. They had just been to the anarchists Royal Wedding. Which they informed me was attended by about 30 anarchists (definition?)  and about 100 press. I guessed anarchy wasn’t going happen today, or any time soon, so we resolved to do the best thing we could in this situation. Go to the pub. Over lunch my friend fixed my phone. I must have sat on it and pressed some random button by mistake.


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