Reverse Pyromania

CCTV images have provided a clue to a mystery that has been plaguing householders across the country. As the weather improves, many of us will be dragging dusty barbeques from sheds or rescuing them from beneath storm-lashed tarpaulins in order to enjoy an al fresco burger or an informal sausage in the privacy of our back gardens. But a number of backyard gourmets have reported that their culinary efforts have been interrupted by the sudden arrival of teams of brawny men armed with buckets, who extinguish their cooking flames before rapidly disappearing without so much as a word of explanation.

At first it was believed that these people were some sort of reverse-pyromaniacs, or possibly health and safety officials who were being just a shade too keen. However, examinations of recent security camera footage have revealed that the culprits are actually out-of-work firemen keeping their hands in. This revelation also goes some way to explaining several sightings last autumn of people 'rescuing conkers from trees' - presumably coming to their aid in the absence of an adequate supply of stricken cats.

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