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Chester Chronicles: Art attack
  1. C O’Mahony
  1. Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust, Chester CH2 1UL, UK; secretary.dromahonycoch.nhs.uk

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    “Whoa! Where’s my pictures gone?” I stare dumfounded at dusty blank areas on the wall of the corridor into the Sexual Health Clinic—somebody’s nicked my pictures. I remembered painfully carrying them one by one from the car park from the boot of my own car with great difficulty. They were at least 4′0″×4′0″ heavy pine frames, and now some scurrilous scally has made off with them. It was now 7.30 on a Tuesday evening and none of the other staff who had left earlier had noticed anything missing. I told Security, who simply said to phone the police in the morning and report it as an incident. This wasn’t good enough. I wanted justice. The next morning, I took the extreme liberty of abusing the hospital email system by sending an email to all Countess of Chester Hospital staff. This has often been done in the past by people saying “car lights left on,” etc, etc, so I felt justified under these extenuating circumstances in sending out the following email:

    “Some low life made off with two large 4′0″×4′0″ pictures from the corridor of Genito-Urinary Medicine yesterday evening at about 6–6.30 pm. Surely, somebody must have seen something. I hope the individual concerned develops an incurable STD—any info to Security or Dr O’Mahony.”

    Within minutes I was emailed back with perfect information regarding the description of the individual and the timing of the theft, allowing a specific check of security cameras to locate the event! See, I knew those Morse videos were educational.

    The Cheshire Constabulary also duly arrived and I proudly expounded on the investigative acumen of Detective Inspector C O’Mahony who was now within an ace of recovery of the goods and catching the culprit. However, the officer was appalled when reading my email to come across the injudicious wish of an incurable STD. Not since my last appraisal have I been so thoroughly ridiculed and chastised, as he pointed out to me that any documentation in a case must be supplied to the defence also, and they would have taken me to the cleaners over such an ill advised comment. Imagine the local newspaper (the real “Chester Chronicle”) with a headline from court “Leading Hospital Consultant Threatens Incurable STD on Innocent…”

    Luckily, the police didn’t have to take the matter further, as the Hospital Security Staff interviewed a patient who led them to where the pictures had been stashed for later collection and disposal. Suffice it to say, my pictures are back, my rashness is reprimanded, and the case is closed.

    Incidentally, a third picture was also found in the stash and no one has the faintest idea where it’s from. It’s a weird, ugly picture, and looks to be by some guy called Edward or Edvard? Munch and there are some Belgian Museum markings on the frame. If no one claims it soon, we’ll just have to chuck it out, as I couldn’t possibly contemplate putting it up in the clinic. Any takers?


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