Local man and pork pie hat promoter extraordinaire Martin Shuttlecock, a dashingly handsome 27 year old love magnet, of Brokedown Mansions, Portsmouth was a broken man this morning.
It isn't, after all, every day that a man finds a dead gazebo in his back garden. Apparently, it was Shuttlecock's long suffering wife, Anne, who initially drew his attention to the tragedy as they were approaching their modest home in the E-baymobile a couple of days ago. In the dark.
Anne remarked that something was tragically wrong on the approach to the family home because three legs of the family gazebo were hanging over the back garden fence and protruding out into the street outside.
It had been an incredibly wet and windy day.
Upon pulling the vehicle up in the communal parking area, Shuttlecock and Anne proceeded to investigate. With Shuttlecock, as usual, moaning his head off because he'd had a hard day at work, that his feet were killing him, and that the last thing on earth he wanted to be doing at that point in time was to be having a wrestling match with an errant gazebo.
Anne however was insistent - something had to be done immediately lest the errant gazebo presented an elf n safety hazard. So Anne and a grumpy Shuttlecock eventually managed to grapple the gazebo back over the fence.
Tragically, it wasn't until the following morning that Shuttlecock realised the appalling extent of the gazebo's injuries.
"It was dead," Shuttlecock croaked, choking back tears of emotion. "I didn't realise it was that serious like. But when I come to look at it, it was all twisted out of shape and its legs were sticking up in the air. The cat just sat there staring at it. I'm choked. It's still there yet - it's a two man job shifting it, and the wife's at work now. We can't do it in the dark because we've only got a wind-up torch and it just doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to floodlighting. That's about the sixth gazebo we've had that's died on us. It's been the same every year recently - we buy a gazebo and it gets battered to death by the wind. It's a bloody tragedy really. It's no way for a once proud gazebo to end up - on its back with its legs in the air. I mean - where's the dignity in that? The wife suggested that we could prevent the gazebo slaughter by taking them down and storing them in the shed before the bad weather kicks in. But usually I just can't be arsed."
More as we get it.