THE  big guy, ever a magnet for trouble, steps in dog dirt. At the front door Squinter carefully removes his trainers and puts them in a plastic shopping bag, intending to return the next day and scrape off the mess when it’s dry (or at least drier).

Leaving for work on Tuesday morning, the shoes are there, but when Squinter returns to the house three hours later the size five Nikes are gone; in the letterbox is a glossy leaflet from a recycling company asking for unwanted clothes.

Given that the front step of Squinter’s house has long been a repository for wet and dirty shoes, and given that never once has a pair been taken, it’s a reasonable assumption that the shoes are now in a large warehouse awaiting shipment to distant shores. Chances are that’s sixty-odd quid that Squinter will have to spend again, for when he phoned the 08 number on the leaflet (who knows how much that call cost?) he had a frustrating and utterly unproductive conversation with a gentleman of uncertain nationality who spoke English with little confidence and less clarity.

But, as the man says, we live in hope and perhaps this story will have a happy, ah,

footnote. Watch this space.