Brian's Brief Encounters

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

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Off Message

In this multi-billion pound industry we call policing.

There are a multitude of rules we all have to follow.

Without them there would be a lot of very important people without jobs. The complex issues behind the setting of these rules are obviously way beyond me. That’s why we have important people paid to take part in ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘think-tanks’. Long gone are the days when all we did was help the good guys and nick the bad guys.

Thankfully we now have policies, messages, engagement, political correctness, consultation, partnerships, missions, visions and values. Unfortunately not everyone is as ‘on message’ with these concepts as I am. I would like to apologise in advance for the following quotes, allegedly, from an ACPO rank officer.

(Standard Disclaimer:- If you are a criminal, of a nervous disposition or easily upset by a no-nonsense approach to policing then please don’t read on.)

“We're fighting toe-to-toe with criminality. The diversity debate has led to people getting confused.”

Fortunately not all of us are confused. I know how we embrace criminality not fight it. We are very self-aware of our criminality prejudices and stereotyping. We are able to rise above it and don’t let it affect the way we do our jobs. I’ve had the training.

“Criminals are the enemy. Yes, they've got rights, and we'll deal with them properly, but if they are going to break the law, we'll bring them to justice.”

Clearly this officer has not spent two hours on the phone to CPS Direct trying, and failing, to get permission to charge someone. Nor has he considered how we are to engage with and rehabilitate the unfortunate and misunderstood scallywags.

“The enemy has many common features. You can pick them out very early on in life.”

I think we know where he stands on the ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate with this one. I’m guessing this is a reference to those youths with close set eyes, a single eyebrow or, maybe, shifty looking toddlers?

“They have a lifestyle that has a blatant disregard for the rest of us.”

Well, that’s their Human Right innit?

"Criminals are thick. You'd not pick them for your pub quiz team.”

Who would we get to answer the popular culture and daytime TV questions then?

“Report the crime and shop the criminals, we will arrest them.”

Whoa!! Apart from encouraging a rise in crime figures there is the ‘I know it was Little Jimmy who did it’ issue to be considered here. It might be blatantly obvious to everyone concerned who the guilty party is. But, without a signed confession, CCTV footage from three different angles and statements from everyone who has ever met him; it’ll never get past the eagle eyes of the CPS will it? Besides, conventional thinking has placed ‘diversion’ somewhere above ‘arrest’.

“All I know is people who are in prison aren't going to commit offences against you and me. Forgive me for being blunt about that. But it's true.”

It’s not playing by the rules though is it? There are thousands of people involved in the business of keeping people out of prison. In fact, I believe they nearly outnumber those of us trying to put them in there. We couldn’t have them all out cleaning windscreens. There just aren’t enough traffic lights.

“None of this is rocket science.”

Quite. If only it were that simple.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Sherriffs In Town

Once in a blue moon the Government comes up with an idea.

Well not the government exactly, they’re far too busy running the country for new ideas. Instead they have ‘think-tanks’ to do it for them. I’m sure this is so that no bias can be shown and has nothing at all to do with being able to later distance themselves from the slightly ‘off the wall’ suggestions that come up.

We’ve had a couple of real doozies recently. Those clever people at the Institute for Public Policy Research appear to have been taking advantage of controlled drug reclassification and have come up with Community Justice Panels. Forget courts for impartially listening to evidence and deciding on guilt and punishment. No, they’re far too ‘remote’. We obviously need something more cute and cuddly to deal with crime.

The IPPR have suggested that we have three community volunteers on a panel. They would be able to deal with between 6 and 20 cases a year. That should make a dent in the amount of cases in the Magistrates Courts then. Speaking of Magistrates, I seem to recall that they tend to come, in threes, from the community as..err.. volunteers. The new panels will get three days training and be able to pass a range of sentences. This sounds strangely familiar too.

Apparently, “Research shows that local, visible institutions that engage the public are more trusted than remote and anonymous ones.” So, the courts have an image problem then? Sounds like a job for Changing Rooms. Maybe we should paint them all Barbie Pink and get some animal print scatter cushions for the dock? Trinny and Susannah could then run their practiced eyes over the bench and get them the right mix of tracksuits, hoodies and bling to demonstrate their lack of remoteness.

With a voice coach added to the mix, to get the pronunciation of their “yo’s” and “whodats?” just right, we wouldn’t need the ‘new’ panels. In case these suggestions are too wacky and if the IPPR have finished munching their jumbo packs of crisps, I have a more sensible suggestion for them. I’ve called it:-

The Brian Factor©

We’ll stick to the triumvirate idea and let the interested parties address them one by one. The panel could then give their views on each person’s delivery, content and style. They’ll need to have the right mix of ‘good member’, ‘bad member’ and ‘downright rude member’ to ensure complete fairness.

The whole event would be televised and we at home could make up our minds on the guilt/innocence issue. Then, with the assistance of a premium rate short text number, we could all send our votes in. The proceeds of which could go to pay for the defendant’s legal aid.

In the case of a guilty verdict, the sentencing would be opened up to the studio audience with four options to be considered. As an example, for a burglar we could have:-

A. Community Penalty (leaving them free to continue to burgle)

B. Drug Treatment Order (see above)

C. Paltry Prison Sentence (after a couple of months, see above)

D. Chop Their Hands Off

I wonder if I could get Hazel’s backing for it?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Silly Question

The trick is not to look or sound too clever.

If you appear like you know what you’re doing then this technique doesn’t work. You need your victim to be as relaxed as possible and thinking they’re dealing with a bumbling idiot. Which is something I don’t find very difficult for some reason.

Then you have to cover the first question you’re going to get asked, before you’re asked it. In the unlikely event that you haven’t managed to spot an offence then just quote Section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. You may need to remind them that this isn’t America, even if they do ‘know their rights’.

To steal a phrase from my friends in the HR department, we now need to have an ‘icebreaker’ or two. This is where we get to hear all about how they’ve either just bought the car and are saving up for a stamp or how the naughty people in Swansea haven’t been doing their jobs properly again. Make lots of sympathetic noises, we can always come back to this one. Try not to faint if they tell you that the car is actually registered to them.

Now we’re all friends, it’s time for the one question which will tell you whether or not you’ll be getting your pen out. Without revealing the exact question I use, all I’ll say is that it’s an open one and includes the word ‘insurance’. Just look like you’re concentrating on something else and listen to the response.

If that response is in the form of a question and/or repeats all or part of your question then you already have the answer. Don’t say anything, a smile or a nod of encouragement will have them continuing. It doesn’t really matter what they say next, you’ll be needing your pen. Why? I couldn’t possibly tell you that.

You’ll just have to trust me.

Even if I’m not very clever.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Silly Driver

Believe it or not I’m a trained investigator.

This doesn’t mean that I wear a deerstalker and carry a magnifying glass everywhere I go. In fact almost all of my investigations require no props at all. The simple question and answer system seems to work pretty well for me. Mixed with a healthy cynicism of peoples’ ability to tell the truth makes me nearly infallible.

Any fresh out of the box officer has a number of lessons to learn as quickly as possible. Rule number one is that everybody lies to us. Or doesn’t tell us the whole story, or suffers from selective amnesia. A simple traffic stop gives us the opportunity to test our investigative abilities.

“Do you know why I’ve stopped you?”


Now, this could be partially true as you’re not too sure how much I’ve seen. It could have been the excessive speed, it could be the near miss you had caused by the argument you were having on the phone or maybe it was the lack of seatbelt? It’s not like you’re going to give me a list of options to get my pen out for is it?

Let’s try another common first question:-

“Do you know how fast you were going?”


Outright lie. After seeing me behind you with my blue lights on, the first thing you did was to look at your speedo. You know exactly how fast you were going; you just don’t feel like sharing it with me. Just to help you out a bit here, Police cars have speedos too.

Having failed miserably at the first hurdle, I’m afraid we’re only going to go downhill from here. You see I’ve only asked questions that I already know the answer to up to this point and they haven’t been really difficult ones either. As I haven’t reached the dizzy heights of the Traffic Department, it’s unlikely that I’m going to get my pen out for what I know thus far. Unless, that is, you fail the attitude test.

No, all I now want to know is if you have a driving licence and insurance. Believe it or not there are laws that say you need these. I know they’re only silly little petty ones. But, some of us take them seriously and don’t really want an uninsured/unlicensed driver crashing into us. Some people are also fed up with paying high insurance premiums because you don’t pay any at all. Sorry for being picky.

If you’ve ‘only just bought the car’ then you may hold your hands up to the insurance. Obviously I’m going to believe you, even though the car is full of several months’ worth of your collected stuff. Of course I’ll let you off. Right after I’ve finished reporting you.

If you don’t try this one, new officers are very likely to ask a “Do you have….” question. That’s not going to get us very far is it? You’ve already demonstrated your propensity to tell your version of the truth and you’re hardly going to start telling my version now are you?

I’ll need to ask really clever questions.

You’re clearly going to be a tough nut to crack.

(…hang on while I think of some…)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Silly Girl

I’m sure you are normally a very pleasant person.

I’m sure you don’t normally act in this manner.

I know you’re past the stage of calling out to me to show you my truncheon.

I can see you haven’t yet reached the collapsed in a dishevelled, vomit stained heap phase.

No, you’re at that dangerous state of inebriation where all your listening and reasoning skills have been suitably dulled.

I understand you didn’t plan this end to your night, with your loved one busy protecting your honour in Small Corner custom while you shriek at him. I apologise for the quaint old Police tradition of having to arrest him for doing this. I know he ‘didn’t do nuffink’, but I don’t really have the time to explain the finer points of English grammar to you right now.

Trying to pull me off him isn’t really going to work is it? Neither is screaming all those rude words at me. Now you know why we have short hair. There was no call for scratching my neck; you’ll be needing a visit to your nail technician now and I’ll have some explaining to do to Mrs Brian.

What I now need to get across is that I don’t want to arrest you. I really don’t. You aren’t making it easy for me though, are you? I need you to back off, but you’re too busy insulting me to hear. If you’d been a bloke we wouldn’t be having this problem. A simple technique would have you either backing away or falling on your arse. Unfortunately, you’re built differently and I really don’t need the certain complaint.

Grabbing your wrists was the only thing I could do. Why did you then have to try and bite me and knee me in the groin? Mrs Brian is very understanding, but you nearly got me a month in the spare room. That’s why I arrested you.

By the way, “Yes I ******* can”, just in case that wasn’t clear from what happened next. I know I didn’t handcuff you, that’s because they don’t come in pissed bint size. Trust me, I didn’t want to stand there bobbing and weaving waiting for the van.

I’m not sure if you greet every new person you meet in the same fashion, but, I don’t think the Custody Sergeant was very smitten with you. I’m sure he’d feel differently if he got to know you better. Besides, you weren’t really looking your best were you? I’m just glad that your mother couldn’t see you. Or hear you. I’m certain she would have grounded you.

It was clear you still hadn’t regained your listening abilities and there was no further point trying to speak to you. Just one last formality before you were shown to your bed for the night. You didn’t get any better at first impressions did you? They were wearing them because they didn’t really want to have to touch you and I happen to know both of their boyfriends. So no, they’re not.

How did I know you were going to be claustrophobic? Strange you didn’t mention it during your monologue in the back of the van. I’ll make a note of it.

No, you can’t have a fag.

No, not even now that you’re crying.

Night, night.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Silly Boy

On the list of stupid things you’ve done in your life.

I’m guessing that that night would have to feature somewhere in the top ten.

You looked like you’d been having a good time with your two friends. I wasn’t being a party pooper when I asked you to keep the noise down as we got out of our car to go and deal with a routine call. If you had a problem you should have mentioned it then.

What you shouldn’t have done was to walk over to the fully marked Police vehicle and relieve yourself on the bonnet. Not when I was watching you from twenty feet away; even if you and your friends did find it hilarious. I’m sorry this was your last laugh of the night.

When I shouted at you to stop, you should have. This would have prevented you from urinating down the front of your trousers when I pulled you away. What happened next wasn’t my fault either.

I knew you had sized me up when I spoke to you. Yes, I’m twice your age and nowhere near as fit as you. But, you forgot or didn’t realise a few things when you took that swing at me. Like:-

I was expecting it.

You were drunk.

I wasn’t.

You were still holding your can.

Leg sweeps are very effective.

You need both hands to break your fall properly.

I’m good at leg sweeps.

So, after showering yourself in beer and bloodying your nose on the way to the ground you’re not having such a good night. The laughter you heard was no longer coming from your mates; my partner sends his apologies. The handcuffs and caution were mere formalities. No need to worry too much, nothing up to this point was enough to get you more than a fine. Even the weapon I found in your pocket wasn’t going to be too much of a problem. Just a few less beer tokens for a while.

Unfortunately, one of the other items I found in your pocket gave me cause for concern for your future well-being. Two minutes earlier you had been having a drink with your friends, now you were in a whole world of hurt. Although not my fault, I couldn’t help but look at you with pity. It wasn’t a grin, honest.

At least you started sobering up when I explained. Regrettably, it was too late to apologise to me. Nor did begging the Custody Sergeant do you much good. You’d gone too far. It was time for you to sit in your cell while I made a phone call.

I just told him the truth, and then answered his questions about some legal formalities. He didn’t sound very happy with you. He asked me about your demeanour now. I explained you were…err…. a tad nervous. He had an evil laugh.

“We’ll be there in two hours.”

I went to your cell to give you the good news. You were sleeping like a baby and it didn’t seem right to wake you to let you know.

That the Red-Caps were coming.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Modern Solution

It seems that just about everyone has had a go at trying to solve the problem.

All the professionals have had their input and even with the best efforts of our Positive Arrest policy makers, a quarter of the violent crime in the Metropolis is domestic related. Maybe it’s time I had a go? I know I’m not the best qualified to do this. Without a degree in something very relevant and a large government budget I don’t expect you to pay any attention to me. But, I reckon I can completely eliminate the problem with a simple 3 step programme.

If you have felt the need to call us to play referee in your life because you haven’t grown up sufficiently to sort your problems out for yourselves and without the need for crossed words, then you may want to follow this simple plan:-

Brian’s Guide To Domestic Bliss©

Step 1:- Seek Employment.

Being ‘on the sick’ doesn’t count, nor does Community Service. I appreciate that this may come as a bit of a shock. Having spent a lifetime living off my taxes it can be a difficult transition to make. If you are both gainfully employed then the time you spend together will be minimised. So much so that you are unlikely to want us to pop round and ruin your precious moments together. Until you have a real job, you’ll have to live with your mum in your old room complete with football posters and lingerie catalogues.

Step 2:- Stop Drinking.

It is very rare for me to turn up to practice what the policy makers are preaching and finding that both parties are sober. In fact, more often than not, both have been on the partner beating juice. By all means you can drink, but you aren’t permitted to be under the influence when in the presence of your loved one. Try herbal tea instead, it can be very relaxing.

Step 3:- Engage In A Same-Sex Relationship.

Now, I understand that this might not have been the first thought on your mind once you’ve got a job and are relatively sober. But, bear with me, this is the crucial bit. People have made a lot of money out of telling us that men and women are from different planets. They meant you when they were saying this. It’s clear you have a bit of problem with the opposite sex, so it only follows that you should consider a same-sex relationship. Right?

I’m aware that there are issues surrounding the under-reporting of same-sex domestics, and that when we do get called they are ‘real’ ones. Little spats and arguments over the TV remote tend not to warrant a call to us. We only get involved when sharp implements have been used by both sides.

Of the many, many hundreds of domestics I’ve been to, a grand total of three have been between partners of the same sex. All of them were drunk and bleeding profusely.

If only they had called sooner.

We could have solved things over a cup of Camomile.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Modern Toys

Occasionally we find the odd person who actually wants our help.

Then the creaking machine that is the Criminal Justice System groans into life. While it’s being carefully fettled by us filling it with enough paper to start a start a new rain forest, you may be slightly concerned that your soon to be ex is going to pay a visit. No problem, we have a wonderful bit of kit for this eventuality. Subject to a risk assessment of course.

A very nice engineer will visit your house and install a panic alarm. After they record a message and test it they will instruct you on how to use it. Please listen to this bit. There are two simple rules to follow:-

Rule Number One. Never turn the power to it off, as this automatically sets it off. The very nice engineer’s voice cuts across all of our radio traffic and we rush round to your house to save you.

So when you go away on holiday for two weeks and turn your electricity off we get to hear it every day until we break in and dismantle it. You get to pay for a new door.

Or, if your new beau pops round for a bit of romancing and he unplugs it so he can turn the stereo on to help set the mood, please keep one ear open for us pounding on your door. Otherwise we’ll kick it in and have your suitor in handcuffs long before the end of the bonus tracks. Not the happiest start to a new relationship. You get to pay for a new door too.

Rule Number Two. It’s called a ‘panic’ alarm. This means you use it in an emergency. I’m well aware that this is a difficult concept for some people. Let me try and help:-

Saying “I was just checking it worked” is not an emergency. Yes, we did swear at you when we left.

Nor is pressing it because your dysfunctional child, who has more behavioural problems than Ritalin can handle, has been expelled from yet another school. I don’t know any of the school governors and it’s not him I’ll be ‘having a word with’.

Nor is it an emergency when the Environmental Health Officer won’t come out at 2am to solve your bedbug problem. Exactly what did you think we were going to do?

Having an argument with your son over which TV programme to watch doesn’t qualify either. I appreciate that the last episode was a cliff-hanger, but maybe you could have watched it on one of the other three televisions? Failing that, there’s always the weekend omnibus.

However, needing help with the poltergeist in your house is a borderline case. I’ll confess now that it was me who stacked all your shoes up on the coffee table while my partner kept you busy. I hope the exorcist we summoned solved the problem for you?

It’s amazing what they teach in Sergeant School.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Modern Women

Of course, men aren’t the only sex to have evolved.

Long gone are the days where it was acceptable for a man to beat a desired mate over the head with a blunt instrument and drag her off by the hair. That just wouldn’t happen in the 21st Century.

Not that I’ve tried it myself, but I think this sort of behaviour would be frowned upon in the modern day discotheque. There would be smouldering bras all over Small Corner and I might wind up in a spot of bother. Now that women have rights and things.

Like any general rules, or laws as we like to refer to them these days, there are exceptions. One word, heard across the land by many a Police Officer, is all it takes to explain a woman’s willingness to be treated in a Neanderthal manner by their chosen companion.

We hear it when your neighbours have called us again and we find you a bloody mess and screaming at your drunken, aggressive bully of a partner.

We hear it when we try and drag him off to a much more suitable bed for the night. Somewhere where we think he might not be in a position to disturb your neighbours, nor to use you as a punchbag.

We hear it when we explain our Positive Arrest policy.

We hear it when the ambulance crew/hospital staff are doing their best to patch you up.

We hear it when we try to get the details of this latest episode in front of your small children who’ve just witnessed Mummy getting hit again.

We hear it when we attempt to take a fuller statement that we can use to finally put your companion in an all male holiday camp for a few months.

We hear it when you tell us that we ‘won’t do nuffink’ and how we’re wasting your valuable time.

We hear it when we offer to refer you to outside agencies and give you advice and support to get an injunction to stop him from coming near you again.

We hear it when we tell you about the court date and you let us know how nice he’s been and how you don’t think you’ll bother.

We hear it when the court has summonsed you to give evidence against the man who assaulted you and will be doing it again sometime soon.

We hear it after you’ve given evidence that bears no resemblance to any facts or statement you’ve given to us.

We hear it when you support his spurious complaint against us for being too rough when we dragged him off on that night when you had the ‘misunderstanding’.

We hear it all over again when your neighbours have called us after the honeymoon period has finished and he’s had a drink.


Well, that’s alright then.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Modern Men

If you are a subscriber to Darwin’s thoughts.

You’ll know just how far we’ve progressed from a mere amoeba via various ape-like life forms into the 21st century beings we now are. Full of social airs and graces that put the rest of the mammal world to shame. Well, most of us seem to have got that far. For others, it’s still a journey they’re yet to discover.

I meet many people stuck in limbo somewhere shy of full brain development. If I had gone to university and studied a social science of some description I’m sure I could correctly label many of those I have the pleasure to make the acquaintance of. Having spent many years at the Small Corner Polytechnic studying domesticology I’m afraid I’m not that bright and have to make up my own words. Like:-

A Notsinkinginoranus.

This is the male who is no longer with their mate as they were rejected for being unsuitable. They will often resort to mind befuddling liquids and convince themselves that their chosen one has made an error of judgement. By leaving their own cave in the early hours of the morning and trying to kick the door in of their ex, they believe this will show how serious they are about rekindling the flames of passion.

Police cells across the country are full of these on any given night. A hardened Notsinkinginoranus can get themselves arrested at least once a week, normally on a weekend. In fact, they’re so common I am considering submitting the term to the Oxford Dictionary editors.

A Onelastshagasauras.

Another common species. This is where there is an existing intimate relationship where everything has been sweetness and light. Unfortunately, there is a slight discrepancy in the terms of the trysting and things need to come to a conclusion. Only one party is aware that this is about to happen. The thing is, a phone call/letter/email/text message are all just too cold and impersonal. No, the unknowing partner needs to be told face to face. During the post-coital ‘You were wonderful’ conversation is just so much more civilised.

This tactic is fraught with danger, something the Onelastshagasauras rarely considers. They are often left in need of some potentially embarrassing medical attention, and are normally the ones who call us. In bygone days this would give us the opportunity to point out their faux-pas and leave them in the caring hands of the healthcare system. Unfortunately, the Positive Arrest team have a say now and the spurned, very recent ex gets to come with us. Still, at least we get to take photos of their injuries. For evidence purposes obviously.

A Mymatesnotgettinganyocos.

This is a rare breed. To my knowledge there have only been a few sightings of these in Small Corner. They are the ones in a loving relationship. So loving, she doesn’t mind you spending all night in the pub having deep and meaningful conversations with your friends. It’s during one of these tête-à-têtes that you discover your best friend has been unable to find a similar loved one for some time and is in desperate need to mate.

Being the kind and caring person that you are, you hatch a plan to end his plight. That’s what friends are for after all. So at some point after closing time you install your friend on your sofa with a can of refreshment and pop upstairs to wake your soul-mate and put your idea to her. It’s lucky your neighbours were in and able to call us, it looked very painful.

I’d take that as a “No, Thank-you” if I were you.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mr & Mrs Nicholas

It was a traditional scene.

A bit of a nip in the air and a brightly decorated tree surrounded by a number of wrapped goodies is enough to get anyone excited. I’m sure that was how the Nicholas children had gone to bed a few hours earlier. I was also pretty sure that their tree and presents had been in their 8th floor living room then. Instead of all over the car park outside their tower block as they now were.

Mrs Nicholas was all for tradition too. After a day of preparing the food for the inevitable family gathering the following lunchtime, milk and mince pies out for Santa and putting two over-excited children to bed she had been busy cleaning when Mr Nicholas had returned to the bosom of his family.

Having spent all day partaking in a Small Corner custom himself, he was now ready to mix his liquid diet with some solids. The mince pies and milk just weren’t going to cut it. It’s just as well his lazy wife had made up a tray of sausage rolls and another of hors d’oeurves, seeing as how she hadn’t bothered to cook him any supper. After a hard year of Job-seeking it was the least he deserved.

Who does she think she is? Not for me?! I paid for it! Just like all those effing presents and the effing tree!

Had he not been so tired and emotional, Mr Nicholas may have remembered that the presents were still owned by the catalogue company for the next year and his wife’s part-time job paid for most of the rest. Mrs Nicholas wasn’t as tired and emotional and had pointed this out.

Time for another Small Corner tradition then, being the season of goodwill he didn’t clench his fist. That’d teach her to talk back to him. If he wasn’t allowed to celebrate then no-one else was, time to make a point. No sense having all that clutter in the living room, if he couldn’t have a midnight snack.

Having passed the bloody nosed Mrs Nicholas at the door it was time to play Santa. The Positive Arrest crew were about to get one of many seasonal presents. I hoped they reciprocated with at least a card next year.

Laden with a tray of cheese and pineapple in one hand and some much needed alcoholic refreshment in the other, scrooge was heading for the balcony door. Unfortunately for him, this meant he now had to pass me.

I thought I was reasonably polite in requesting he stopped what he was doing. However, the feeling wasn’t mutual.

“**** *** it’s mine and I’ll do what I ******* want with it.” Mr Nicholas helpfully pointed out as he was trying to barge me out of the way.

I have no idea how painful it is to land on top of a couple of dozen cocktail sticks on the way to the floor. You’d have to ask Mr Nicholas. By the way he squealed, I wouldn’t recommend trying it.

Merry Christmas ******-*******.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Master & Mrs Baker

The screaming from within was somehow reassuring.

Not a bloodcurdling ‘I might have to run in and save someone’ scream. That could mean that our presence was actually required in a Policey-type role. As it wasn’t the 29th of February with a full moon out, I wasn’t expecting to hear one of these.

No, this was a ‘We can’t manage to sort out a minor dispute and are in need of someone sober with an IQ higher than their age to play referee’ type screaming. Made all the easier for everyone to hear by the front door being left open. Maybe this had been done in an attempt to fumigate the house. It wasn’t working. There’s nothing like the aroma of eau de chat pee on a sultry evening.

Resorting to my oft practiced breathing through my mouth technique we ambled over the sticky hall carpet towards the source of the noise. The retching noises from behind confirmed that today’s able assistant had missed that particular training school lesson.

The parlour cum bedroom cum dining room contained Mrs Baker, with more than enough facial hair to provide a covering for all four of her chins, Master Baker and at least twelve cats. Our appearance seemed to shock them into silence. Sadly it didn’t last long.

“Who the **** called you?”

Unwilling to answer her probing question with ‘Half the street’ as this would mean using my mouth for something other than breathing and therefore increasing the possibility of inhaling the stench through my nose, I beckoned for Master Baker to follow me back outside. I paused just long enough to give my able assistant a pitying glance.

“I didn’t do nuffing.”

Even without the double negative, the instant denial and the inability to look me in the eye confirmed that I had the guilty party. Now all I needed was a crime to make the Positive Arrest policy makers dance with joy.

This wasn’t long coming. In what must have been the fastest investigation in living memory, able assistant almost ran outside with some good news. We had an allegation of criminal damage. Wow! A real offence. This could mean promotion. Sadly, my dreams of being able to wear a cheap suit and garish tie to work were short lived.

“He ripped a loaf of bread to bits.”

The whole sorry tale came out then. Mrs Baker had sent her thirty-eight year old son on an errand with a portion of her hard-earned state benefits. A lifetime spent living under the same roof hadn’t been long enough for Master Baker to realise that mother was on a fibre avoidance diet. Granary bread just wasn’t allowed in the house. After being berated for this oversight, the youngster had destroyed the offending loaf in a fit of pique.

Unable to see how I was going to sneak this one past the custody Sergeant, it was time to consider the alternatives. Having confirmed that the offender still had some of his pocket money left he was despatched on his second errand of the day.

Able assistant seemed pleased at this course of action. I don’t know why. Someone had to go back in and get the rest of the details required for the crime report. Having pointed this out to him, I made my way back to our car.

I hoped he didn’t throw up.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Mr & Ms Smith

“That address sounds familiar.”

I did some checking and Skippy was right. This would be the fourth consecutive night this particular ‘private’ disturbance had occurred. With nothing better to do and the promise of a 3am cultured debate, we took the call.

We couldn’t stop right outside the house. That space was taken by a middle aged man sitting in a family saloon with the engine running to keep the chill out. Still, I could do with the extra ten feet of exercise to get to the very quiet house. The door was flung open.

“I want him nicked.” No need to check the address then.

Ms Smith seemed very overdressed for the time of the night. The smell of alcohol as I passed her on my way to ‘him’ suggested that maybe she hadn’t got dressed up to the nines just for us. Leaving her to scream at Skippy I found a sleepy Mr Smith sat on the sofa amidst a quilt and pillows. Unless I could recall any offences under the Baggy Boxer Shorts or Hairy Knees Acts, I’d be struggling to appease the Positive Arrest policy makers on first appearances.

To the Muzak of screeching and four letter words coming from the hallway I started the in-depth questioning required to fill in the appropriate boxes on the appropriate forms.

“What’s going on?”

Resignedly, Mr Smith began to recount his tale of woe. He and the screecher were separated and she had moved across the Metropolis with their two small children. Having recently got a ‘job in a pub’ Ms Smith was in need of a babysitter and Mr Smith was more than happy to volunteer; travelling over every evening after he’d finished work. Hoping that his willingness may help to end the separation.

Unfortunately, Ms Smith was of the opinion that his services were not required when she got home and he was to leave upon her arrival. The lack of public transport at that time of night ‘wasn’t her problem’.

Unit X had solved the problem on the first night by inviting Mr Smith to walk the streets until the stations opened.

Unit Y had found Mr Smith sniffly and somewhat reluctant to repeat this on night two. He’d been arrested and had slept in a cell until the stations opened.

Unit Z had copied Unit Y. It’d be high fives all round in the Positive Arrest policy office this week.

Now it was our turn. While Mr Smith searched for his socks I heard Skippy call for a van amidst an increased volume of screeching and profanities. As I wandered out to say that it wouldn’t be necessary to wake the van driver up, I noticed that Skippy had obviously gone for Plan B. I had a feeling that Mr Family Saloon was going to be somewhat deflated by this new twist. Still, it was a plan so cunning that it subsequently prevented any further 3am relationship counselling sessions.

“You can’t ******* arrest me!” Emphasising the words with gesticulations that were proving difficult while wearing handcuffs.

“What about me kids?”

“I’m sure the babysitter won’t mind staying on a bit.” I obligingly interjected.

I checked; he didn’t.

All ramblings Copyright(c) 2005/2006 by Brian. Ask First.