Where do I know that guy from? A Dan Lester Mystery

At about half eleven there was a loud knocking on the front door, rousing me suddenly from a dream about Claire Danes. I jumped out of bed, pulled on some trousers and ran downstairs. Opening the door revealed a guy in a DHL uniform, holding a large parcel.

“Package for you,” he said holding it out to me, and as I took it, it occurred to me that the guy looked strangely familiar. He was around forty, a few inches taller than me, with a shaven head and a face that suggested something other than intelligence. Where do I know this guy from? I thought, and I could tell from his expression that he was thinking the same thing about me. I thanked him and shut the door.

Later, after I had opened the parcel, which had contained some comics I’d ordered online, I tried casting my mind back to Friday night, to see if I could work out why the guy seemed familiar. I’d been in the pub all night with some friends, and after it closed we’d gone for a walk in the area. After wandering around drunkenly for about twenty minutes we had found a skip with a large armchair in it. Someone went up for a closer look, and discovered that the chair had small metal wheels attached to it. We pulled it out of the skip, and took each turns sitting in it while two others pushed it round as fast as we could. Eventually the wheels snapped off, and we wandered around for a while before eventually heading home.

I smiled at the memory of whizzing around in a drunk-propelled armchair, then realised with annoyance that I still had no idea where I knew that guy from. Then another memory surfaced. Immediately after leaving the pub, before our perambulations, we had gone to the 24 hour petrol station across the road to get snacks. There was a guy lying on the pavement in front of the petrol station. We weren’t sure if he was injured or not, so a couple of us went over to see if he was alright. We managed to get him up onto his feet, and discovered that he wasn’t hurt, just so drunk that he was incapable of speech. He responded to our offer to call a taxi with incomprehensible gurgling, and when we gave up and set off on our walk, he started following us, and it took us ten minutes to ditch him, which we did by ducking down a small side-street, then waiting for him to go past. That was the DHL delivery guy. That’s where I knew him from!

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