Martin Shuttlecock sort of knew something was amiss when a few weeks ago, he found his gazebo lying on its side in his back yard. The gazebo had been standing for years without incident, but suddenly was atip and askew and there were no winds really to speak of to have put it in such a condition.
Then, one day when his missus told him they were all out of mushy peas to have with their cod, he decided to raid his ample supply down in the fallout shelter instead of braving the cold air and popping round to the grocer. No sooner had he unlatched the door to the shelter than he heard what appeared to be some kind of shuffling down below. He thought it might be rats. Grabbing for the snow shovel, Martin stepped into the dark and flipped on the light switch.
What he saw astounded him. He spotted no less than 20 maybe 30 of the raggedest, taggedest human beings he ever saw, every one of them with scarves about their heads. And one of them had an opened tin of mushy peas in his hand.
Shuttlecock immediately closed the door, latched it back up and called the police, all the while hearing voices on the other side of the door in a language he couldn't quite make out. Not wanting to sound an alarm to his wife, he told her they were out of mushy peas down below as well and he'd have to go to the grocer after all. When he didn't leave straight away, however, she too felt something was amiss since Shuttlecock loved his mushy peas and ordinarily would have already been to the store and back with them.
Just when he decided he better let the missus know what was going on, the police came round and Shuttlecock led them to the fallout shelter. He unlatched the door and turned on the light but the damndest thing, it was empty. The two officers who arrived and Shuttlecock and the missus all ventured into the shelter but couldn't find a sign of any other humans down there. It was then that the police told Shuttlecock this was the last time they were going to allow him to file false claims and waste their time. They left, but not before telling him to lay off the Stella.
Poor Shuttlecock was sure of what he'd seen so after the police left, he decided to go back down into the fallout shelter to have a look around. Sure enough, it was still empty, save for a tambourine and a brightly colored scarf the missus swears isn't hers. The gypsies haven't been seen since.