Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Six Numbers Or Bust

No pin and blindfold for this one.

This was serious.

Loved ones’ birthdays, shoe sizes and my IQ.

Marked with my lucky bookies pen should do it.

Getting to the machine was going to prove tricky. They’d be sure to be watching. Maybe they already were. I had been posted with ‘New’ Bloke.

Bored with your previous career in IT? Yeah right.

Looking for excitement? Oh please.

Wanted to help people? Nark.

I can see you looking at me shiftily as I do my vehicle inspection. Yes, it is normal to use a hand-held metal detector. One too many questions. You might as well have ‘Secret Policeman’ written on your body-cam infested Kevlar vest.

Head lining and headrests both send the detector into a beeping frenzy. ‘New’ Bloke was just an amateurish diversion. An obvious ploy to lull me. I was playing with the big boys now.

With the game well and truly afoot. I would need all of my wits close to hand. I’d need to recall those John Le Carré novels. Those conspiracy-theory blockbusters. Those Michael Moore books.

Suspicions confirmed it was time to put my plan into its penultimate stage. While ‘New’ Bloke looked on nervously I started the anti-surveillance techniques I’d learned from many a Friday night at the Odeon. A random circuitous route, ignoring the speed limits and accelerating through amber lights. Staring hard in my mirrors.

With only a succession of unlicensed mini-cabs sticking to my bumper, I felt safe.

It was a bright, windless day. Another bonus. No chance the helicopter would be able to fly in these conditions. I could head for the nearest lottery terminal at normal pace. Already planning the modern chic décor for my mock Tudor mansion.

Something was wrong though. ‘New’ Bloke was looking smug, almost relieved as we arrive at our destination. I searched my memory and remembered Gene and Will from a couple of summers ago. I still had my phone in my pocket. If the big boys were my opponents, then NASA were sure to be on the case.

Throwing it out the window was an option. What if Camelot decided to ring though? I couldn’t really afford to miss that call. Besides, if they had the right software, NASA could probably track me using the GPS unit in the car’s boot. Damn. John Le Carré kept that one quiet.

Crestfallen, I make my choices and hand over a pound of my dinner money. Now I just need something to take my mind off my problems for the next few hours. Something familiar. Something routine. The radio asks a familiar question.

“Any unit free to deal with a disturbance in private premises?”

That’ll do nicely.

Several routine hours pass.

Having left ‘New’ Bloke re-introducing a regular to his ensuite accommodation, I’d managed to get through most of the booklet. Lost in thought about the hidden meaning of the empty cat basket I’d spotted. The ringing phone brings me back to reality. It’s truth or dare time.

“Can I speak to Brian please?”

Like he doesn’t know it’s me. I’ll keep it brief until my legal representative advises me to be more non-committal. Just in case Julian’s balls bring joy into someone else’s life on Saturday night.

“I’m from ess see dee seven five…”

This bracket omission must be a code so they can recognise each other. Maybe they have a handshake too. I should have got a Lucky Dip.

“… Central Robbery Unit”

What? The Sweeney? Why didn’t he just say so?

It’s lucky my conscience is clear.

I might have panicked otherwise.


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