The grandson was getting ready to leave for school. I had just finished opening up the curtains and came face to face with The Man who was holding a wastepaper basket. On top of the pile to be emptied was a lone empty cigarette packet. "Do you know where this came from?" he asked.
The wastepaper basket had come from our bedroom. Since Sam very rarely ever went there, I thought it rather strange to think he might have thrown something like that there. And anyway, he never had given any tell-tale signs of being interested in smoking -- in fact he had always been rather adamantly anti-smoking.
I suddenly remembered that the previous day -- late in the afternoon -- The Man had been helping the adopted grand-daughters from Poland with their homework. We regarded the cigarette packet and I said -- 'It comes from Spain'! They are probably smuggled into Britain by some friends of The Girls' Parents. They both smoke.
Sam came downstairs about to leave for the school bus. We showed him the 'evidence'. Never have I seen such a blank look on a child's face. It was evident that he had never seen it before. Off to school he went. The Man considered the suspicions that the packet had come from Spain. He remembered that we had just seen a program about Gibraltar on TV and that it had dealt with cigarette smuggling into Spain -- because Spanish cigarettes are so expensive -- as expensive as in Britain. So it didn't make sense that Spanish cigarettes would be smuggled into Britain.
I looked at the packet again. "You, know," I said, "I think it's in Italian -- in fact, I'm sure it's Italian -- not Spanish." At this point the penny should have dropped for one of us, but it did not ...
We decided that Italian cigarettes were cheap and could have been smuggled into Britain and could have made their way to The Girls' Parents. The man and I agreed it would be a good plan to present the guilty cigarette packet before The Girls and see how they might try to squirm their way out of ...
A penny was slowly inching it's way ... In a few days we were having friends for dinner and they would spend the night. "Did you empty a wastebasket into our wastebasket" I asked The Man.
"Only, I thought maybe you went into Andrew's room and emptied his wastebasket..."
"Nnn ... Uhhh, oh, wait! I -- no -- yes!" The penny dropped ....
Andrew was with us over Christmas, but his room wasn't used since he went home to ITALY! And, yes, Andrew smokes!