Fogland Lighthouse – Episode 16: Merry Heistmas

“Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances.” Lemony Snicket

Presented by Jack Dean & Company, a disabled-led, artist-run non-profit telling stories about how things could be.

Content warnings: strong language, mentions of violence.

Transcript:

Is e seo Fogland LiteHouse. Is mise Jack Dean.

Once long ago in the Village of Scone

The kings of auld Scotland would sit on a stone

And if they were true leaders the legend made known

That lump of old rock would let out a great groan

But that land was invaded by one to the south

And its kings and its armies were slain and cut down

And that stone was removed as a spoil of war

And way down to Westminster Abbey was hauled.

And the Stone was wedged under a grand wooden chair

And the newly crowned Monarchs of England sat there

And those Monarchs they promised to bring it back North

But the centuries passed and this promise meant naught.

Until 1950, on a mid winter evening

As Christmas drew in and all Scotland was sleeping.

Three men and one woman hit the icy grey tracks

To wake that land up and go steal the stone back…

[Verse 1].

Ian was the mastermind, he got it all moving

The chief criminal of our tale was a law student

And if there’s two things Ian wasn’t fucking with

It was Christmas and being ruled by the English Government

But this younger Grinch wasn’t trying to steal Christmas

Just use it as a cover for some risky business

But you know every caper needs a list of grifters

You son of a bitch I’m in, let this begin its a 

[Chorus 1]

Christmas Heist

It’s a Chreist. Nope that’s not it

[Verse 2]

Bill John & Bertie were the backers

Not sat in the car, but sat back home putting the cash up

What’s more they knew guys that knew guys

So if the crew’d find their way back with the stone they’d help them to hide it

Kay was the driver, bold as lady Godiva

Riding through the town with horsepower nothing could fright her

Cool, calm and and collected even when the pressure got hyper

Essential for the heisting cipher


Gavin was the muscle, not that they planned to tussle

But you’d think twice before facing him in a rumble

Plus he was training as a civil engineer

The perfect combo to help a chunk of rock disappear

Alan was the fixer, 

Only 20, Ian said he was too young to be in the picture,,

But when he brought an extra whip into the mixture

Ian said “You’re on kid let’s hit the bricks, next stop Westminster”  it’s the

Christmas Heist, 

Merry Heistmas – that’s better

For eighteen hours they drive the cars south

Taking turns at the wheel while the others pass out

No heating in either they are freezing their nads off

Ice on the roads but somehow they never crash once

When they get to London they don’t take a nap

Just a quick meal then straight to the abbey to case the asset

They make it back to the pub where Ian lays a map

On the table and begin to relay the plan

The night watchman makes three sweeps a night

If the guesses we’ve made about his patrols are right

Just before closing I’ll hide under a trolley

And when the coast is clear I’ll slide out and then promptly

Head to the door facing Poets’ Corner,

Kay thats where you and and Alan are gonnae haul up

Gavin’ll be already there on the lookout

Then I’ll jemmy open the door and get it pushed out

We roll into the Chapel of Edward the Confessor

The bar in front of the stone’ll come off with little pressure

Then we drag that big fucker down to the exit

Load it into car number 1 and get to stepping

When the one-time find out the Stone’s missing,

They’ll pull the plates on that car and catch it in an instant

But by then the Stone won’t be there no more

It’ll be in car number 2 headed for Dartmoor

We bury it there, where no-one’ll expect it

Then when the heat dies down we come to collect it, sneak it 

Over the border when the cops have relaxed

And bish bash bosh, Scotland gets its property back.

The con is on, the crew get in position

Ian rolls in with all the tools of his mission

A crowbar a hacksaw a wrench and file

A screwdriver a torch and a tin of vaseline piled

Up under his coat tailor-made by his father

He gets under the trolley, the Abbey gets darker

15 minutes later he stands up

To find the nightwatchman shining his torch right at his damn mug, its the

Christmas Heist

God Heist Us, Each and every One.

The moment he sees that light shine

Ian starts to put on the performance of a lifetime

Spins a yarn about how he got lost and locked in

Desperately stopping his crowbar from dropping

And who can say if its this act of deception

Or the christmas spirit colouring his perception

But the Nightwatchman doesn’t call the cops to arrest him

He just gently escorts our boy back to the entrance

Even checks that he’s got enough cash to get a place to stay

A sweet old man with no idea what he just gave away

The crew regroup, hear Ian’s tale of misery

decide they’ll do one more try on Christmas Eve

They snatch sleep in their cars amid the freezing weather

Wake up on the morning of 24th December

And that night while everyone’s drunk and celebrating

They pull up to pull off the mother of all break-ins

No more subtlety or planting an Inside Man

They carry out a far more direct version of the plan

Drive through the building site by the poet’s corner door

Then from outside lever it open by sheer force

The three lads move through the darkness to where the throne is

One haul of the crowbar brakes the front open

When they heave the stone out they’re over the moon

Until they realise the it’s just been broken in two

Christmas Heist

Hark the Herald Heisters Sing

Now to some their score being broken would leave them crestfallen

Put to Ian this was the best thing that could befall them

At four hundred pounds hauling it would be torment

But now they could take this thing out in instalments

He takes off his jacket hands it to Gavin

Him and Alan put the main chunk on it and start dragging

Ian takes the smaller piece in his arms

And takes it outside to where Kay should be parked

When he gets there he sees something alarming

The car’s lights are on and the engine’s already started

He puts the piece on the back seat then walks up to Kay

Says “what are you doing, we’re not ready to drive away”

Kay shoots Ian a withering glance

And speaks in a voice of inimical calm

“Ian, shut the fuck up, get in and sit down

A policeman has seen us and he’s walking here right now.”

[Trap]

The cop makes his approach

Ian covers up the the stone

Wipes the dust off his hands

This was not part of the plan

The pig is straight from central casting

Literally starts out asking

“What’s going on here then?”

Kay shoots Ian a glance then

Takes the lead like a pro

“it’s Christmas Eve you Know”

“Christmas Eve be damned,

This is not a public road.

Why’d you move when I showed?

What you doing here alone?”

Kay grabs hold of Ian’s hand

“Where else can we go?”

Now this is many years ago

Fornication was a no

So the excuse holds water

It might work even though

Just a few feet round the corner 

There’s a door that’s broke up

With two men trying to pull the rest of the stone up

Wondering what’s the hold up?

The cop pulls out a smoke

Starts thinking real slow

“Are you gonnae take us in?”

“Oh no, oh no

There’s not a copper in the city 

That would arrest you tonight

They’d have to show up in Court on Boxing Day

Who wants that kind of strife?

Ian can’t help but say the line

“It’s the perfect night for crime”

Kay looks at him like what the fuck.

The cop laughs, “Too Right,

Come along now there’s a 

car park where you young lovers will be fine”

And so he leads them outside,

Then strolls off into the night

Ian puts the chunk in the trunk 

And tells Kay to go to ground

She only gets 500 yards 

Before the chunk falls out

She shoves it back in on her own

Then hits the gas headed home

Ian heads to the other car

To load in the rest of the stone

That’s when he realises

The car keys are in his coat

And his coats still in the Abbey

And the sun’s about to show

He books it back to the building

No sign of the mandem

Did they run or get caught?

Either way he’s the last one standing

Finds his coat on the floor,

But the keys aren’t in the shit

Starts groping in the pitch black

Knowing time’s real limited

Finds the keys, runs out gets the car 

drives back throwing caution to the wind and shit

By a superhuman feat of strength

Gets the stone outside and puts it in the whip

Dawn breaks as he pulls out no-idea which way West is

All his maps are no good, and fuck asking for directions

Three days with barely any sleep, Ian’s losing his senses

Driving up and down the avenues like a chicken that’s headless

Doesn’t want to leave his boys behind but he has to get invisible

And that’s when he experiences a Christmas Fucking Miracle

On one of London’s sixty thousand streets he happens

To pull up on the same one as Gavin and Alan

So here’s a little Epilogue to our tale

Our guys decided Dartmoor was beyond the pale

So Alan and Ian headed south together,

And buried their chunk in a field near Rochester

When the cops found out the stone had un-appeared

They closed the Scottish border for the first time in four hundred years

But our folks got through with no grief

Then went back for the chunks over the next few weeks

The small piece was still Kay’s car, parked in Birmingham

She left it in a quiet street til it was returned again

The bigger piece was more challenging

When they went back to the field they found a Traveller’s camp on it

They took a risk and told them the whole story

Hoping a fellow oppressed people would help them to glory

Sure enough they let them dig it up

And never breathed a single word of it to any inquisitor

The pieces were snuck back and stuck back together

And Ian and the gang started drafting a letter

To the King offering to return the stone to his possession

As long as Scotland was where he kept it

Would you believe it, King George made no reply

And so in the middle of a cold spring night

The stone was left in the Abbey of Arbroath

Where Scotland once declared independence from the south

The crew knew it wouldn’t be long

Until Scotland Yard came and did some basic recon

All four were brought in for questioning

Expecting the next minute to face trial and sentencing

But then another miracle from heaven

The charges were dropped, they walked out of a cell and into Legend

The official reason cited was complex laws of possession

The real reason was the backlash they knew they’d be getting

The stone went back to Westminster town

And this year the King sat on it to don his crown

But I heard no groan from the Destiny Stone

And the idea that Ian planted still abounds

Back then only 0.5 percent

Of Scots thought their country should stand on its own legs 

That number was 45 last time we checked

But if we ask again I think I know what we’ll get

I ask my fellow Englishmen to swallow their pride

It’s the time of year when we should lay grievances aside

If returning stolen things is a win for friendship

Then all you’ll want for Christmas is Scottish Independence

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