Hello, this is the police. Are you on the tower?

(I dedicate this story to my English speaking friends all over the world and to my aunt Pat from Canada.)

I will never forget the night when around 11 pm the usually sleeping telephone on the window sill began ringing out of the blue. I almost dropped my cup of tea.

I said: Hello, this is St. Lambert’s Tower, Martje Saljé, towerkeeper speaking.

A male voice: Hello, this is the police. Are you on the tower?

(Well – I briefly considered telling him no, sir, I’m at Stuhlmacher’s Saloon, boozed and busy, please hold the line – but then my good education carried off.)

– Uhm, yes sir, of course I am, alive and tooting…

And in my head the thoughts began swirling. What could I possibly have done wrong?

But, as it turns out, the officer wanted me to have a look over to where a nearby bank company resides. There had been an alarm signal, and a few days before, people had been seen climbing the roof. I gave him my mobile number, ran outside, grabbing my binoculars, and yes! there was light in the upper floors and people walking about. My heartbeat went faster. Now this was exciting! Did I just watch a bankrobbery at night – as an eyewitness? Why didn’t the bad guys seem to care about being seen in this bright illumination? This photo shows the approximate quarter, but it was taken some months ago:

Police at Alter Fischmarkt

Photo: Svenja Haas, Münster

The policeman called again on my mobile.

False alarm. The staff held a meeting.

That explained the light and the people (no bad guys, I guess). But why the alarm?

Someone must have set off the alarm un-intendedly, he said… and promised to call again when suspecting a crime around Lamberti and in need of a pair of eyes from above 🙂

And then my level of adrenaline went back to normal. The rest of that night was as quiet as I had hoped for.

Later, I dreamed some crazy stuff about Prof. Boerne and Commissioner Thiel from the famous serial „Tatort“ („crime scene“) on TV, involved was an old rotary telephone, the bakery on the corner, some really bad guys trying to get away with huge Pumpernickels on bicycles turning into Pegasus and my horn sounding like Miles Davis‘ trumpet. Just don’t let Mr. Freud hear any of this. Nightynight!

 

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