Brian's Brief Encounters

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Special Delivery

“Whaddya want?”

“Oh, hello is that Customer Service?”

“Last time I checked.”

He sounded like he had been having a bad day. Best I keep it brief and to the point so he can get back to tossing fragile parcels around the office to keep his spirits up.

“I wondered if you could explain Division 6.2 of the 2005-2006 Edition Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods to me?”

“What the ****?”

I think he must be new.

“I’ve read your website list of prohibited items and this part isn’t very clear.”


“I’m trying to import some produce from another country and your standard parcel rate, at three sixty a kilo, seems very reasonable. I just need to know if it’s legal.”

“We can charge whatever we want. It’s called a monopoly.”

“Quite. Could you explain the dangerous goods instructions to me please?”

“No. Tell me what you want to send, and I’ll tell you if you can.”

He didn’t sound like the type of person who was up to speed with the ins and outs of the camelid species. I’ll have to keep it simple.

“It’s a fresh product originally from South America.”

“We don’t have the monopoly in South America.”

“It’s not coming from there. An acquaintance has done all the hard work and he has the refined product on his remote farm in Wales.”


“Yes, he says he could easily send me a kilo a day.”

“A kilo of what exactly?”

Sadly, it seemed that I had not yet reached his level of comprehension. I’ll have to try speaking in language he’d understand.

“Good s***.”

“Good s***?”

“Yeah, really good s*** from Peru via Wales.”

“And you want to post it?!”

Not the most convincing sales technique I’d ever heard.

“Yeah, I need to get it here quickly so I can mix it up in my garden.”


“Obviously I don’t want it to burst open when it gets put through my letter box; so I’d appreciate it if you could get the postie to lob it over my back fence.”

Click, buuurrrr.

Oh dear, it sounded like Division 6.2 of the 2005-2006 Edition Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods included a section on Alp-p-paca waste. I just wish I knew what it said. Maybe he had gone to look it up.

Meanwhile I’d have to tell G-G-Gareth to hold his pooh.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On Hold

Standby, I'm on the phone.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

G-Good Samaritan

“Hello, Leafy Suburb one two one two.”

“C-c-can I speak to B-Brian please?”

He sounds nervous, maybe some joker has placed my number in the ‘Adult’ section of the local paper. I put on my most manly voice.

“This is Brian, what can I do for you?”

“It’s m-m-more what I c-c-can d-do for you.”

Uh-oh, there was me thinking all of the double glazing companies were boycotting me following the unfortunate rape-alarm testing incident(s). Still unsure of the caller’s needs; I kept my chin tucked firmly into my chest.

“What would that be then?”

“I have a p-p-product you m-m-might b-be interested in.”

There was a definite Celtic lilt to the voice, combined with an overuse of consonants I guessed he was calling from somewhere west of the Severn. Not being fully au-fait with the laws passed in the new assembly, I let go of the alarm rip cord. No sense in creating an international incident; I’ll have to out-smart him instead. Adopting an unfamiliar mocking tone, I continue:

“Are you a mind reader then?”

“N-n-no y-you asked f-f-for it.”

He was being defensive, obviously he was very new. I think someone in a Welsh Job Centre had played a cruel joke.

“When did I ask for a phone-call from someone to sell me something I don’t need? My double glazing is in very good order. If that changes in the next ten minutes, I’ll call you back.”

“I’m n-n-not s-selling d-double g-g-glazing.”

“New gas supplier?”




“Internet service provider?”

“I’m n-n-not s-s-selling anything.”

Aha! A book club then was it? Two upfront best sellers of dubious quality followed by sixty monthly purchases of Jeffrey Archer novels to stave off the bailiffs. No chance matey, I’m not going to fall for that one again.

“I’m not interested. I can’t take the shame.”

“I b-breed Alp-p-pacas.”

What?! He might be new to this but, as a tryonelastefforttokeepthemugonthephone line, this was a beauty. Hand on heart I can say that I’ve never spoken to an Alp-p-paca breeder before. He had me. Damn!

“What’s an Alp-p-paca?”

“It’s a c-c-camelid.”

Silly me, of course it was.

“Oh, of course it is. What have they got to do with a book club?”

“N-n-nothing, they c-can’t read.”

I was confused.

“I’m confused.”

“They p-produce a lot of p-p-pooh; I have a s-s-surplus I thought y-y-you c-c-could use.”

Ahh, everything was becoming clear. Obviously there was an EC directive instructing welsh camelid breeders up and down the valleys to cold call unsuspecting people and offer them a chance to help reduce the Alp-p-paca pooh mountain. Either that or he was trying to get his own back for recent sporting results.

“Why would I want your surplus of Alp-p-paca pooh?”

“F-f-for your k-k-kinoll.”

With all of the recent distractions I had completely forgotten about my plea for help. Why hadn’t he just said so?

“What did you say your name was again?”


G-G-Gareth and I d-discussed d-d-details.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


With shared access issues to consider.

Not to mention the space problem; exacerbated by the recent neighbourly erections of barbed and electrified fences. Together with a recent, top-secret government decision; I have a fruitless morning of telephone conversations. The very nice people at 118 insisted on continually putting me straight through to either a locksmith or plumber for some reason.

The search engine at must have been having an off day too. In response to my request of “rip a fox to shreds and feed on its entrails” I was directed to their office equipment listings. To save readers from wasting their time; I can confirm that none of them sell a shredder recommended for fox eradication. Even, somewhat surprisingly, the confidential destruction experts at Reisswolf baulked at my query. I couldn‘t get through to James, Trinny or Susannah to complain either.

Several plummy voices also confirmed that none of my local hunts were willing to provide a herd of Shetland ponies and a couple of Yorkshire terriers to flush him towards my super-soaker. Which is a shame; I thought they would have been pleased with an offer of work. ‘Brother X’ at the Leafy Suburb branch of animal liberationalists wasn’t a great deal of help. In fact, he was very coarse.

In desperation I call a familiar number.

“Hello, Leafy Suburb Enviro-Crime Unit. Kay speaking; how can I help you?”

I decide to keep it friendly, there’s no point being antagonistic just because the lazygoodfornothingcow refused to help with my previous problem.

“Hello Kay”

“Oh God”

She wasn’t going to make it easy then.

“I have a problem.”

“Yes, I know.”

What? Maybe I had misjudged the Enviro-Crime Unit. Had they been carrying out their own surveillance? They could have given me the nod; I hardly got a wink of sleep.

“Oh, you’ll know I need an exterminator then?”

“A what!?”

Aha! Sleeping on the job were we?

“Well the law says I can’t use poison or shoot them in an urban area; I can’t chase them on horseback and I can’t get a big enough shredder. I’ve tried encouraging my bitch to savage one of them, but she seems reluctant.”


“The law says I can trap them though.”

“It does?!?”

Clearly Kay wasn’t up to speed with the current legal situation.

“Yes it does. I need to know what to do with him afterwards though. Do I put him in the boot of my car then drive to a forest and dump him, or do you have a better suggestion?”

“Err…I think I need to put you through to someone else.”

At last, some action.

Ten minutes later.

“Hello, you’ve reached the Leafy Suburb Conflict Resolution Team. We’re not in the office at present. If you’d like to leave a message after the tone we’ll get back to you.”

Great; I hate answer-phones.


“Err….hello, my name is Brian…..I don’t know how much you’ve been told? I’m trying to build a knoll in my garden so I can ambush my neighbour and it’s not going very smoothly…. Last night I was on stag and spotted an interloper that I need to get rid of first. I would be grateful if you could send me the details of an exterminator…”

Beep Beep.

“...who specialises in...”

Click, buuurrrr.

Damn! Still, at least they got the gist.

That fox won’t know what’s hit it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dog Wish 2

While Andy’s hero checked his Traser for the umpteenth time;

I must have drifted off.

Playtime over then is it? Oh well….

Zzzz zzzz zzzz

Zzzz zzzz zzzz

What was that? OI! WAKE UP!!


Oh, false alarm. It was just a bit of wind.

“Was that you?”

You’re a fine one to talk. Besides, it’s your fault for giving me that dodgy treat earlier. You know salt doesn’t agree with me.

Zzzz zzzz zzzz

Zzzz zzzz zzzz

What was that? Something moved. There’s something out there near the bins. It’s gotta be that stupid cat from next door. OI!! OI!!

“What now? You spotted them?”

Come on, get the door open. I need to teach a cat some manners. This is my manor. COME ON!!

“I can’t see anything. Are you sure?”

Get a move on…..Oh, hang on a sec…. That aint no cat….. In fact, just forget I said anything.

“What’s that by the bins?”

It’s nothing. Like I said: Sorry for waking you up and all that. If you could just go back to sleep I’ll get on with licking my bits and we can forget this ever happened.

“That looks like a fox.”

Fox? Did someone say fox? If I wasn’t so busy bits licking I might have been able to do something about it for you. As it is, I think we should ignore him.

“Where did I put the key?”

Whoa, easy tiger. Haven’t you forgotten something? I’ve carried out a dynamic risk assessment and I know I’m twice his size. He won’t be alone though, and that they all have really sharp teeth. Have you seen what they can do to a sheep? I think we should withdraw to the RVP, somewhere upstairs under your bed works for me; while we wait for the local wildlife officer, a hostage negotiator and Teapot One.

“Go get him!”

Hey, HEY!! Enough of the pushing already! Do I look like a foxhound?

“Where’d he go?”

Eh? He’s done a bunk, yeehaw! WHO’S YOUR DADDY? WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

“Shush, you’ll wake the neighbours.”


This gardening is truly a complicated business. I can see why Andy’s hero never tackles so much as a geranium without an Eastern European gun and a cheap leather jacket to hand.

This has got to be worth something.

What I need is an expert.

How about a bit of rubber lovin’ for the heroine then boss?

And a new dog.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Dog Wish 1

Nothing. Not a sausage.

I scoured the rolling media channels, in vain, for news of a Super-tanker running aground in the Leafy Suburb lido to explain the delay. Leaving me with the conclusion that Kay wasn’t taking her job too seriously. Either that or she was chained to her desk compiling important government statistics. Time to take matters into my own hands. No more Mr Nice Guy.

I hatch a plan and gather the essential kit together:-

One (1) bucket of cold water conveniently sited for ardour dampening.
One (1) very bright torch to assist with aim.
One (1) sun lounger positioned inside the patio doors.
One (1) Andy McNab novel for motivation.
One (1) fearless guard dog for general fearlessness and keen hearing.
One (1) rubber ball for motivation.

With Mrs Brian safely tucked up in bed out of harms way. I settle down on ‘stag’ (cheers Andy).

Hmmm…. What’s he up to now? He’s got my ball so it must be a new game he’s thought up.

Damn! Forgot the briefing.


Wahey!! Rubber ball time!

“Right, tonight’s intention is to catch some hardened environmentalists in the act.”

Look boss, I’ve told you before; I’m a dog which means I understand words of one syllable. The rest might just as well be Greek. Just get on with it and dish out the goodies.

“You’re well aware of the information that has got us to this stage. I’m willing to forgive you if you get this bit right.”

No ball yet? Maybe if I look really cute.

“I want you to report any sightings and then we’ll rush them. You’ll be in the lead. Do your really scary look. I’ll deliver the good news (cheers again Andy) and then you cover my tactical withdrawal. Okay?”

Perhaps if I just chased my tail for a bit? He always laughs at that.

“You’ll be pleased to hear we won’t be doing any writing for this but, it is a potentially risky operation. So, I need you to cover me. Can I rely on you?”

Whoa…! Dizzy now. I need a lie down. He obviously isn’t giving the ball up that easily. If I play dead I could at least get a tummy rub out of this.

“Make sure you listen out for my commands and we’ll be alright.”

Well, I’ve tried everything and you’re obviously not paying attention. So I’m going to lick my bits until you come to your senses.

“I’ve considered their human rights and we should be safe as we’re protecting our morals.”

Yeah, yeah; whatever. Can’t you see I’m not interested?

“Any questions?”

Listen up pal: If you get any closer I’m gonna lick your face.

With the team pumped up and ready for action.

I settle down to learn some more from the master.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Granddad Brian (RIP) was keen gardener.

He liked nothing better than to work up a sweat pottering in his vegetable patch.

Sadly, the current weather isn’t set for mopping ones brow while leaning contently on a pitchfork. Not to be deterred, I wrap up well and venture outside with my bitch for a site survey. To be honest I did try this from inside first, but the American garden design software I purchased kept crashing every time I tried to site my knoll. Still, if Granddad Brian managed without electronic aids I felt sure I had the genes for it too.

As I attempt to get a vision of knoll-like splendiforousness while avoiding the stingy things and spiky watchamacallits, I can’t help but notice my bitch seems distracted. She’s snuffling, and it’s ruining my concentration. When I investigate, all thoughts of genetic hand-me-downs are quickly discarded. After placing a bucket over the discovery, I move out into the quiet lane beyond my property border where my suspicions are confirmed. Oh dear.

What I need is an expert.

“Hello, Leafy Suburb Enviro-Crime Unit. Kay speaking; how can I help you?”

While I’m all for equal opportunities and the like, there are occasions when a man to man conversation is preferable. This was one of those occasions. Not wishing to offend the very pleasant and very young sounding Kay, I try a subtle tactic to try and save her from any embarrassment.

“Hello Kay. Could you put me through to your Enviro-Crime Investigation Department please?”

“We don’t have one of those. Perhaps if you told me the problem I could assist?”

Fiddlesticks! She was a tough cookie. There was not going to be an easy way around this. In times like these I find it good practice to be professional; eschewing slang as it can be potentially misleading.

“My bitch has found a prophylactic hidden in my knoll site.”

“A prophylactic?”

Poor girl, I can almost hear her blushing.

“Yes, a used one.”


Clearly Kay was a skilled interrogator and destined for promotion.

“Yes, the knot in it has preserved some vital evidence too.”

“Let me get this straight: Your bitch has found a knotted, used prophylactic in your nole site?”

I told you she was sharp.

“Yes, I’ve done my best to cover it up; but it’ll need removing as soon as possible.”

“Oh… errm… How did it get there?”

“Well, I’ve done some rooting round in my back alley and I think it came from there.”

“Your back alley?”

She didn’t sound too impressed with my amateurish investigation. Best I explain:

“There are some fresh tracks outside my garage door. I’m a heavy sleeper so I can’t be certain; but I think they were left by the culprits.”

“Fresh tracks?”

“Yes, they’re too big to cover up. In case they wash away, would you like me to take some photos for you?”

“NO!! Sorry. I meant that won’t be necessary.”

Oh good, the Enviro-Crime Unit obviously had its own CSIs.

“Can I ask why you have called us about your…err… problem?”

Well I never, there was a definite tone of sarcasm now. Maybe Kay wasn’t quite ready for promotion yet.

“I would have thought that were obvious. I have a dogging issue here that needs stamping out before any D-List celebrities try to squeeze their big four by fours up my narrow lane.”

There, that told her. I’m sure Granddad Brian would have been proud of this direct approach.

Click, buuuurrrrrr.

Aha! Kay had clearly been galvanised into action and I headed back to the garden to await the arrival of the Enviro-Crime Rapid Response Unit. I wondered if they had a charter time as I had a site survey to complete.


It seemed I had underestimated my bitch’s latex fetish. I should have put a brick on the bucket.

As I retrieved the tattered remains:

My bitch smacked her chops.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

PC Sharon Edwards

A reader of these pages has brought to my attention that an officer
well known across the northern half of the metropolis has recently
passed away after a long illness. P.C. Sharon Edwards will be
fondly remembered and missed by many officers and staff alike.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Looking Back In....

When I was younger; I can remember visiting the funfair.

One of the attractions that kept me busy for at least five minutes was the “Hall of Mirrors”.

Standing in front of a series of cleverly curved and shiny surfaces always produced some pointing and laughing. My youthful ignorance is the only reason I can explain why I laughed when I pointed at myself looking very fat, painfully thin, tiny then giant-like in quick succession. There’s not a chance I would find this amusing now.

You see, I run the risk of “causing offence” and being “unfairly harmful” should I do it now that I’m all grown up. For this reason I now need to offer my unreserved apologies for the above paragraph to the following:-

The morbidly obese.


The Seven Dwarves.

Robert Wadlow.

As some may have noticed, most of my posts warranted self-censorship and apologies in the event they caused offence to those listed. You can never be too careful it seems. To be honest, I’m still a bit nervous about leaving the “Land Sharks” post on; just in case a Mark I logs on and sneaks a peek. They can be very vindictive you know.

I have not been told that I cannot write a blog, nor have I been told that I cannot blog about policing. What I have been told, in essence, is that I should use common sense. This is what I thought I was doing; but it seems my version of common sense is not the same as the official line on the subject. For this reason I will no longer blog about policing (except where unavoidable). I thank all of you who have shown your support both in the comments and via email. If you are reading this believing it to be a blog about policing, can I take this opportunity to re-direct you to this unbiased and full of common sense online reading matter. It’s a thumping good read too.

So as not to jeopardise my crime-fighting role, which I very much enjoy, I will remain on blogging gardening leave until my level of common sense matches the official policy. To put it more succinctly and misquote someone with far more common sense than me:-

"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved The Throbbing Metropolis."

From now on this site will only feature posts on gardening and other similar subjects I know absolutely nothing about. I have a knoll to build and I think the world should be able to track its progress. If you haven’t all deserted me to read a far superior site at the link above that is.

Still, unlike some, at least I’ll be able to look at myself in a normal mirror and laugh out loud.

If that’s okay with everybody?

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