It’s not often that you find a big name, like Tom Jones, thrust back into your life – not least, into your car. But it was not long after writing about his unusual appearance in Shrewsbury that I found myself, quite literally, stuffing Tom Jones into the boot of my Nissan Micra. Let me explain.

I was sent by my employer to the offices of the Town Council to collect some banners that we had produced for a marketing campaign, and was met with the confused looks that you might expect from an overstaffed, under performing local governing body.

“I’m sorry, we have no record of a collection for today,” said the receptionist.

“But I called ahead,” I said. “I recognise your voice.”
“Right,” she said. “But there’s nothing on the system.”
“Yes, because I’m here. I’m standing here,” I said. “You told me to come down.”
“Right,” she said again, looking no less confused. “Bear with me a second.”
After some delay she returned from what appeared to be nothing more than ‘thinking time’ and suggested that the banners I was looking for might be those rolled and stacked against the wall.

I looked at them and after a similar, perhaps spiteful delay, agreed to take them. It was only when I got to the car and began stuffing them into my boot that I realised, from reading what was visible on the rolled up banners, that the letter ‘J’ didn’t appear anywhere on our marketing campaign. Concerned that these were indeed the wrong banners, I unrolled one onto the pavement and sure enough, it read: “‘Tom Jones’ here!” You could see how the Council had attempted to avoid confusion by sticking black tape inverted commas around the words ‘Tom Jones.’

Even so, I considered taking them home and fixing them to the outside of my apartment building in the hope that, one day, perhaps on his way home to Wales, the singer might stop, confused by the sign, and feel obliged to perform. Though, in Shrewsbury, an adaptation of an 18th century novel is more likely to knock on your door.

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