Classic Confession: Rodent Revenge

Twenty years ago, when Simon was a whippersnapper presenter on BBC Radio 1, he received thousands of letters from listeners confessing their darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, begging for his forgiveness. Every day, Father Mayo read out a confession - and then he'd decide whether to grant forgiveness or not.

Read a classic Confession below, then Send Simon Your Confession


Dear Simon,

In 1981, when I was nineteen, I lived and worked in London, and got myself engaged to Ralph, who was an overseas buyer of sports equipment for a well-known chain of leisure outlets. In addition to being tall, bronzed with a beautiful body and a black belt in karate - a real macho man - he could also provide me with frequent trips abroad when he had to go buying. So I had many weekends in Paris, the odd week in Spain and Italy, and even three weeks in Sydney, Australia.

Then came the big trip. He was picked to go to America for five months, travelling around, buying gear. I was all set to jack in my job and go with him, but he talked me out of this, pointing out that I would lose my chance of promotion, ruin my career - and, he emphasized, he saw my career as being as important as his - and besides, he would be too busy to spend much time with me. Being a little green, I agreed with him, and stayed behind in London.

Then a mutual friend, who had driven Ralph to the airport, told me that Ralph had taken A.N. Other to the States with him.

I was mildly annoyed, all the more so because I couldn't wreak the kind of revenge I wanted to. His house was locked up for the duration, heavily alarmed, and I didn't have a key, so no going round and calling the weather in New York and leaving the phone off the hook, or leaving the taps running.

Then I recalled that Mr Macho Ralph had one phobia - and I mean phobia - which reduced him to a quivering wreck. I went to the pet shop, brought two breeding pairs of mice, dropped them through his letter box, and left them to get on with it. I sneaked round each night after dark to drop food through the door for the wee beasties.

Ralph, in the end, was away for seven months, during which time I got his 'Sorry, I've met someone else' letter.

Finally, the day came when he came home. The same mutual friend who had driven him to the airport, collected him. Ralph got to his house, de-activated the elaborate alarm system (which wasn't working anyway, because the mice had chewed the wiring), opened the door, and stepped inside, with his arm round his new lady.

When he saw the evidence of the mice, he freaked. He was so terrified, he wet himself. His new girlfriend was not impressed. Ralph had to call in Rentokil to get rid of the mice, but even then, he couldn't bear to stay in the house because eh knew the mice had been there, and he was forced to put the house on the market. It took ages to sell, as the neighbours - who had never like Ralph - made sure potential buyers knew all about the rodent infestation. In the end, he had to drop the asking price by £2,500 to get the place sold.

After all these years, I have got to admit that I feel guilty …. About the fate of the mice, who were after all the innocent victims in all of this, and who met such an untimely end. Do you think I can be forgiven?

Yours, penitently,


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