Loopholes, Shmoopholes

insurance-loophole

A loss adjuster turns up to assess the damage.
He attempts to ask Proton a few questions, but as listening is not her strong point she begins to harangue him with demands for a nice apartment to move into and wants to know how much of her house will be replenished at their expense.

Suddenly, mid questioning, there is a load crash from upstairs. It sounds as if it came from Quarks room, both Electron and Charm leap to their feet and run to investigate. It must be obvious to the adjuster that they are fearful of something as they return to inform him and Proton that it was just a piece of timber wedging the window shut that had fallen to the floor.

After some 90 minutes the insurance man is nearing the end of his questions and no doubt his tether. He has noticed that the kitchen window is also secured by some makeshift pieces of timber. There is just one thing he does not quite understand;
“I’m still not sure who is actually living here?”

All the while, Proton has gone out of her way to avoid saying that Quark was resident, she kept implying that he was temporary and that Strangeness had his own Flat.
“ Quark has been living here for 2 years!” Electron clarifies as Proton glares at him.

Satisfied, the adjuster begins to inspect the living room. He is sure that he is dealing with a fire , this guy is good, but is unsure of the cause.
He returns to the kitchen and begins to discuss other claims he has dealt with. He concentrates on cases where actions have deliberately caused a fire and states how even if this is the case, the insured person is still entitled to HALF payment of their claim.
He then states that he will call in a forensic expert to ascertain what has happened and that her claim will be settled as soon as possible after that.
Just as he is leaving he turns to say;
“I expect Quark to attend when the forensic expert calls.”

loophole

Ominous.

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Afterburn

22 April -the clearance of the house continues.

The house is securedburnt-house-2 against Quark, windows are boarded up, doors barricaded, there is no way that Quark will be getting back into this house. At 4pm the doorbell rings and Charm goes to open the door.
In walks Quark!

Despite saying that he had somewhere to stay he claims to have been walking the streets since leaving the house, but no pity is forthcoming. He is chaperoned around the house as he attempts to collect a few items only to find that those items have been dumped. This angers him but it is not as if he had not been warned.He leaves empty rucksacked.

23 – 25 April – Proton & Electron are in the shed with Charm. She can no longer sleep in the house as she has developed a smoke induced cough.
Throughout the weekend Charm contacts various acquaintances of Quark to see if they can put him up. Eventually Gluon steps up to the plate and agrees that she will put a roof over his head temporarily.
In the course of her quest Charm has discovered just how bad things have gotten with Quark:
He has ostracised all of those close to him, even hardened drug users and junkies find his misuse too much to handle. Added to which he seems to have crossed or ripped off some very dangerous people. His drug taking is seen as out of control. The general consensus seems to be that Quark needs to be sectioned for his own good.. But how?

Meson, awaking from his drug induced slumber in some New York shithole is informed of his sons behavior and even he believes this to be a good idea, but in the meantime states that he will start to extradite a passport for Quark. Thus enabling him to travel to the United States and thence to Mexico to visit a shaman where he can get to know more about hallucinogens. Great idea. NOT!

qmex

Meanwhile there are more pressing things to attend to; Insurance claims, temporary accommodation, building work…….

 

THE DAY ARRIVES

21 April 2016

burning

BrrrNNNggg BBrrrNNggg BBrrnnnGGGG BrrrrNGGGGGG.

Urghhh …. 8 am, what the…….  Electron drags himself out of the bed to answer the phone.
It is Charm:

“There has been an incident”
“What’s happened, Whats happened?” shouts Proton hobbling from the bed.
“ We have had a fire!”
“Is everyone OK” asks Electron.
“ Yes we are all okay but you will need to get around here”
“ The lounge is destroyed”
“Wheres Quark?” Proton instructs Electron to ask.
“ Gone upstairs to his room”

Electron is hastily dispatched to the house.
The lounge is indeed destroyed.Electron cannot help but look at the ceiling, his ceiling only recently reinstated at great expense. The sofa is almost burnt in half, The wall and radiator behind are black and peeling. The TV set has begun to melt. The floorboards beneath the sofa are like remnant cinders from an open fire. The bay window is shattered. The Victorian door is smashed through where the firemen needed to gain access.

A smell of rancid smoke fills the house.

So what happened?
AntiQuark narrates the course of events:
Luckily I didn’t get much sleep. The bloody phone was ringing all night long, I finally got up at must have been 4 am and ripped the phone line out of the wall and returned to bed. I then smelt smoke about an hour later and got up to investigate. Then the alarms all went off. Quark was coming from the kitchen with the fire extinguisher but the idiot had shut the door behind him. It was deadlocked. I could see the orange glow within the room but Quark was of the opinion that there was no need to call the emergency services. Resisting the urge to batter him I pushed him out of the way and got my mobile out. Fortunately the fire brigade were very quick, they said another 5 minutes and the first floor would have gone up in flames.

Anyway we have got things to do, he is still leaving today.

They busy themselves clearing the house. AntiQuark makes eleven journeys to the local dump. Electron changes the lock on the front door.
All the while Quark is in his room upstairs, when last seen by Charm he was busy snorting 3 different coloured lines of chemicals off a piece of card.

And then he is gone. Left of his own accord….for now.

Charm, AntiQuark and Electron all stand in the hallway. Along with the smoke, there is something unspoken hanging in the air.

It’s all a bit coincidental, opines Electron.

Mmmmmm, the other two concur.

Burning Bridges

taxi

Arriving at work Electron is informed that a Mr Strangename has asked to be called back. He does not know Mr Strangename so ignores his request. He calls again and reluctantly Electron accepts the call. It is AntiQuark,  a close friend of Charm and Quark, who says they need to talk later to finalise THE PLAN.
They meet in the park and Electron is informed of behavior that had been thus far unbeknown to him:

  • Quark has been borrowing money from AntiQuark but never paid any back.
  • Various packages have been arriving at AntiQuark’s and other addresses around town. All for Quark although the names on the packages were never his name, sometimes anagrams of his name, sometimes not, sometimes male, sometimes female. AntiQuark believes that these packages contain legal highs or other chemicals .It seems that Quark has plans of manufacturing his own drugs. A notebook discovered in Proton’s lounge confirms this; website addresses and lists of various pharmaceuticals together with prices, £80 here, £250 there,  £950 on 1st April alone. April fool ? Where is he getting such sums of money?
    The notebook also contains a list of his books together with prices, presumably for sale but this does not correspond with his outlay.
    His free money handout amounts to less than £100 a week and they all know what he spends that on.
  • Quark has been taken to hospital on several occasions having been found unconscious in the street (park) he is then returned to Proton’s house. He treats Ambulances as Taxis.
  • He has been having many junkie “friends” around to the house.
  • He seems to be dealing. Hence the smiley face sign in his mothers lounge window, a known code to those in the know, that the drugs are available, the sign is taken down when they are not.
  • At least one person has overdosed in his mothers kitchen – the junkie was dragged outside and recovered – no ambulance was called, either for him or Quark.

All of this  happened when Strangeness was still sharing the house with Quark but he did not think to inform his mother lest it upset her. But in the end it all got too much even for him and that is why he fled to his grans.

secret-meeting

It is agreed that THE PLAN must be carried out on 21 April, a few days hence,and that it would be best to keep this information from Proton. She is of the belief that Quark has until 1st July but they cannot wait that long. The house is going downhill fast and god knows what it will be like after another 2 months.


The days pass and Charm continues to tidy the house whilst Quark continues to take whatever he can get his hands on in the way of chemicals. She is now assisted by AntiQuark who has made it clear to Quark that anything he has not packed come 21st April will be taken to the dump. Quark does not seem bothered, remaining in his room consuming chemicals.


Eviction Eve arrives. Quarks rucksack is in the hall awaiting his departure. Charm and AntiQuark are in the large bedroom on the first floor ready for the final push on the morrow. Quark has locked himself in the lounge having been belligerent to everyone and no doubt feeling persecuted. He has made no attempt to tidy up or pack despite saying that he has arranged storage for his belongings (mostly broken electrical equipment or things discovered in skips during his night time raids. He has continued to do this in the past few weeks despite his imminent eviction). One more evening to go………

A Very British Ninja

Charm contacts Strangeness and finds that he has for once ventured out of his grandmothers house to go into town for the evening. He is at a nice bohemian bar and deep in conversation with a new found friend. Male or female is not disclosed but he sounds happy. However it is still early, they are all aware of what usually happens when Strangeness goes out for the evening.
The next day Grandmother calls to inform everyone that Strangeness did not get home until 4am. He was in a bad way having been beaten up again.
Strangeness has a superiority complex which means that he ultimately treats everyone with disdain, when drunk this tips over into anger and the slightest suggestion of confrontation can result in violence. He starts to think that people are looking at him in a “funny way”, not really surprising for a 40 year old goth with the diction of an 18th century gentleman.
The problem is that Strangeness is interested in martial arts and the ancient Chinese philosophy of warfare. When things kick off he is so busy posturing in preparedness for his oriental style fight, that his opponent(s) adopt the British style.
They kick the shit out of him.

brit-ninja

Strangeness has lost his spectacles, has two black eyes and has either bruised or fractured his coccyx. His grandmother advised him to go to A & E but as a nihilist this is one of the many organisations that he does not believe in. Lawyers, banks, doctors, employment…..the list goes on.
The days pass with Strangeness hobbling around his grandmothers house using her crutches. He is over 6 feet tall whereas she is under 5 feet tall. Despite a public school education he is unable to work out how to adjust the height of the crutches so walks around with limited eyesight groaning bent double leaning on the two tiny sticks. It must look hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

The Plan

Amazingly Charm has taken notice of Electron’s outburst and has begun setting a plan into action.
Quark has been given notice to quit.He is to get out of the house by the 1st July deadline set by Electron. Charm has promised to help him get his own accommodation if that is what he wants. But now it appears that Quarks plans have changed, he doesn’t want a flat, he wants to go and live in Mexico.
He no longer has a passport.

Charm leaves her grans house to come and stay in Proton’s house for the duration to help Quark tidy up and pack in readiness for his departure. Ever afraid of hard work, Strangeness remains behind.

After a few days away, Charm is angry to find that Strangeness has commandeered her bed in her grandmothers house.
“Yes “ says Proton “and you are using my bed in my house”.
“And you are in my bed” Electron points out to Proton.
Like a warped version of Goldilocks and the three bears, Quarks behavior has ousted each and everyone of them into different beds.
For the first time in months they all laugh.

3-bears