Brian's Brief Encounters

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

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dear Diary

I have been inundated.

By an e-mail.

It seems that the various satellite channels full of reality Police programmes aren’t enough for everyone. Well, at least not for an apparent insomniac from Tonbridge Wells anyway. He would like nothing better than to read about the thrills and spills of modern day policing to help him get off at night.

Even in my pre-gardening days I tend not to write about specific events in a journal style. Any particular incidents I mentioned were usually very old and had some details altered to protect the guilty. Likewise, any minor involvement I’ve had in headline making stories or dealings with ‘celebs’ I steer clear of writing about. Those are saved for leaving dos, and always get better the later into the night it gets.

Of course, as any officer will know, not everything we do is in the slightest bit interesting. That goes for about ninety five percent of the incidents I deal with. Of the remainder, a lot is identifiable and/or sub judice, therefore unblogable.

However, to try and stop the tossing and turning going on in Tonbridge Wells, I decided to make a note of the events of one shift:-

The Secret Diary of Brian, Aged 54⅞.

February 30th 2006

It’s a night shift and I’ve had to take drastic measures in the pursuit of appeasing a restless Kent resident. In normal circumstances I would be lucky to get one or two calls in before ending up at a disturbance on private premises call that kept me busy for the rest of the night. Fortunately, we’re pretty flush with officers and are putting a crime car out. It’s not something I’d normally volunteer for as it means working in plain clothes. Personally, I prefer to wear uniform just in case someone decides to bleed/spit/vomit/urinate/defecate/ejaculate/all of the above on me.

In a stroke of good planning; my partner for the night is also experienced, meaning I don’t have to drive. It’s slightly risky tactic though as not driving more than doubles my chances of having to run. As a driver you soon learn the value of using the power of an internal combustion engine in a foot pursuit.

Onto the first call of the night then; it can be best summed up as alcohol, angry words, weapons and blood. A busy street and twenty upstanding members of the public there before us, none of whom had seen a thing of course. That would be too simple. The victim (loser of the fight he probably started) spent most of his time trying to refuse treatment and speaking on his mobile in a language I didn’t understand. When he finally deigned to speak to me he had completely forgotten what had just happened and didn’t want to trouble us any further. He wasn’t quite that polite about it though. After eventually persuading him to give me his details he told me, in heavily accented English, he was ‘John Smith’ of no fixed abode. Now, I’m no detective, but I suspect this might be another violent crime statistic that we aren’t going to get a tick in the detection box for.

Cured your insomnia yet? Don’t worry, there’s more.

I’ll bet you can’t wait.

(…to be continued…)

Monday, July 17, 2006

James Who?

At least they were very polite.

Although it wasn’t mentioned; I’m pretty certain the admissions in my covering letter may have tipped the scales against me. Next time I’ll tell them I like my lager shaken, not stirred and I’ll take the chance that there won’t be a skiing test at the interview.

So, the successful applicants may now be traveling the globe by submarine/private jet/hot air balloon saving it from destruction, but could they deal with a disturbance on private premises? I’m pretty sure it won’t be in the Spy School curriculum. To show that there are no hard feelings, I’ve put together a training package for them:-

Brian’s Handy Guide To Domestics (For Spies).

1. The Journey. It’s unlikely that you’ll be needing your Q-Boat or attack helicopter, any low powered diesel vehicle will do. Try not to jump any rivers on the way, it’s not big and it’s not clever. Besides, the Garage Sergeant is not going to be impressed. Trust me.

2. The Arrival. I’m in no doubt that you’re used to looking for a mansion set in several hundred acres with a mile long drive and valet parking? Just in case this isn’t the scenario you find, please remember to lock your car.

3. The Entrance. Be prepared, I’m yet to find a hat stand at a domestic.

4. The Introductions. If there isn’t a butler to announce your arrival you’ll have to do this for yourself.

5. The Participants. You may find yourself faced with a facially disfigured despot stroking a white cat while exchanging barbed comments with a supermodel in a bikini. Then again, you may not. Look for something similar.

6. The Offspring. There’s a good chance that there will be a large number of these. Having seen all twenty of your training videos I’m aware that it’s something you don’t ever come across. They’re easy to spot; just keep an eye out for people roughly the size of Nick Nack, but with shorter sideburns.

7. The Smalltalk. It’s possible this could be laced with the odd profanity and a veiled threat or two. Try not to take it personally and get the despot and supermodel separated.

8. The Investigation. Yes, it could be that the dispute is with regards to a devilishly clever plan to steal the nuclear secrets of an ally. There may be a plot to overthrow their democratically elected government in the process and it could be that there is a booby trapped explosive device involved too. As hard as it may be to believe, the quarrel could even have something to do with alcohol consumption, a lowering of moral standards and/or the lack of a live-in anger management consultant. You just never know.

9. The Solution. Not every house you’ll visit will have a trapdoor leading to a shark infested pool. Nor will testing your skills with your trusty Walther be necessary in most cases. Fortunately, Q has put some thought to this problem and has come up with an answer: Codename 124D.

10. The Escape. Try not to run out screaming in frustration. It makes us all look bad.

Now you can go back to your base and write this all up in quadruplicate, or just cut and paste from the last report.

Remember guys, the pen is mightier than the PPK.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Brief Resumé

Before I’d be let loose with my licence to kill.

I suspect that they might do some basic checks on me.

Like whether or not I have any form for leaving material marked ‘Top Secret’ in a pub, on a train, in a ditch or on the back seat of a taxi. I should be pretty safe with this one. The closest I’ve ever got to ‘Top Secret’ information was having a source on the canteen staff who always gave me the nod when chicken tikka masala was to be on the menu for the following day.

So, I thought it best to tone down my CV a tad. I have to admit removing the part about me teaching Kofi Annan everything he knows about diplomacy was a blow; but it’s probably for the best as I’m guessing they might ask him if he remembers me. He’s getting on now and I can’t rely on his memory. Similarly, even though it stung quite a lot, my first in Colonicology from Our Souls College, Oxted had to go too.

Adding these deletions to the others I wasn’t left with a lot to work with:-

A C.S.E. grade two (I wuz robbed) in needlework from a top inner-city comprehensive. Admittedly it was only top of the league for truancy, but I was one of their ‘high achievers’. This could explain why I wasn’t there to get my tap on the shoulder from the visitor from Vauxhall. I’m pretty sure I had an emergency poker game that day.

A six month stint as a Cub Scout. I’d have to be careful with this one, considering how it ended. Tent pegs at dawn, blood, tears and a court martial would be an accurate summary. Mother still can’t bear to talk about it.

A very hard paper-round.

I’m sure that even the most optimistic of people would be slightly daunted at applying for the job of stopping evil megalomaniacs from invading countries with these attributes. Although, I was hoping that the recruitment advisors would add sufficient weight to my proficiency with a tent peg. Imagine what I could do with a rocket launching tiepin?

With the advice to tailor a CV to the job for which one is applying; I did have one ace to play: The time I arrested ‘Osama’. This would be sure to impress even though it wasn’t quite enough to get Gorgeous to cough up the $50 million reward.

I have to confess that ‘Osama’ was driving to a party having had a few too many in the pub beforehand. My honed detective skills were instrumental in discovering that he was in fact Gary, a faux-cockney plasterer from Kent despite his insistence otherwise. His passengers, a tipsy Tinky Winky and a portly Spiderman, were left at a bus stop while ‘Osama’ accompanied us to the Small Corner version of Camp X-Ray.

I went into great detail on this, just in case they hadn’t read the intelligence report I submitted.

Besides, I had a lot of space to fill.

(…to be continued…)

Friday, July 07, 2006

At Your Service Ma'am

Yes, yes I know.

It’s not strictly true anymore.

Somewhere along the line we seem to have painted ourselves into a bit of a grey area; albeit a grey area that was slowly turning more black and white as the days passed. Now we’re back in the corner with a thick fog obscuring the route out. Just who are we supposed to be protecting and from who or what? Oh, that’s right, I remember now. We’re protecting everyone from everyone else. That’s simple enough then; now all I need to know is who’s at the top of the pecking order today?

Traditionally, we work for the reigning monarch; they even get a free thirty minutes of my time every now and then. These days we don’t get too many demands from that direction. I don’t know if anyone has broken the news to Junior yet but, by the time he’s had Changing Rooms in to jazz up the wind farm in the back garden of SW1A 1AA it won’t be his peace we’ll be struggling to keep.

As a dyed in the wool patriot this realisation disillusioned me somewhat. After all, I only joined so that I could do my bit to make the Throbbing Metropolis a nicer place for our pensioners; aiming to keep their bedrooms Chav-free and to prevent naked paragliders from landing on their roofs. Maybe I could concentrate on helping just one out with a career change then?

I narrowed down my options. I don’t know one end of a pumice stone from the other, so a footman post wasn’t for me. My bitch turns her nose up at my cooking and opts for the tin every time, Mrs Brian has pointed out on numerous occasions that moving things around doesn’t match the dictionary definition of “cleaning” and I’ve long accepted that I don’t have the requisite gravitas to be a butler. I mean, how many butlers do you know who own a whoopee cushion? State dinners would never be the same again.

I considered offering my knoll building services too. In my book, every land owner should have at least one knoll from which to ambush their neighbour; you never know when you might need it. However, it’s a long way to Calais from Victoria and I didn’t think that even the most powerful Super Soaker would reach that far.

Feeling certain that the right opportunity would turn up soon, even if I had to widen my net a touch, I kept one eye on the recruitment section of the Leafy Suburb Tribune and the other on constant watch for nude aviators. You never know when they might strike.

My patience was finally rewarded with this advert. If ever a job were tailor made for me this was it. It looked like it came with a pretty natty company runabout too. I’d make sure to ask about the dual fuel version at the interview to keep Junior happy. I was certain he would want me to keep my carbon emissions to an absolute minimum while travelling the globe saving it from destruction.

Now all that needed doing was to update my CV.

And to practice my eyebrow arching.

(…to be continued…)

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