You know the feeling, there’s something on the end of your nose and your hands are just too full to do anything? That’s how I felt today. Busy as hell chasing round the streets and car parks in pursuit of the General Dyslexic who, in their turn, were busy creating traffic havoc by parking half on footways, half on the road. I thought my printer was going to pack in at one point. I almost ran out of space in my pocket note book. You’d think people would have got the message by now, but oh no, here we go again and another idiot gets a £60 fine.
Just as it was getting dark we had a snow shower and yours truly did the sensible thing and ducked into a vacant doorway. Right in front of where I stood, a bozo parks his car in the Taxi Rank, saunters off with girlfriend in tow down the other end of the street. I booked his vehicle from the relative dryness of the doorway, only venturing forth to stick the ticket on the windscreen and take photographs for evidence to ironic applause from two annoyed Taxi Drivers whose rank it was.
Bozo and girlfriend return five minutes later to find parking ticket on windscreen. The snow shower over, yours truly is having a chat with one of the Taxi Drivers about other trouble spots. Bozo storms over, places himself no more than six inches in front of my face screaming “What da fook is that!” angrily indicating parking ticket on windscreen. “You fookin’ put that there?!” I find this highly provocative, privately thinking I would delight in head butting bozo as his screwed up red face is precisely in the right place for maximum impact from my forehead. This is very tempting but I must not do this to an obviously fully paid up member of the general dyslexic, instead I keep my mouth shut, look at the parking ticket, pause for effect, before looking him straight back in the eyes and saying “Yes sir.”
Bozo. “Take that fookin thing off my car!”
Me. “I’m not allowed to do that, sir.” With a pause before I reluctantly said ‘sir’. My hand wanders down to my radio and keys the ‘transmit’ button, as this guy is too wound up for me to play verbal games with. He’s also grandstanding for his girlfriend, which is another contra indicator. This guy wants a punch up and I can’t oblige without losing my job.
Bozo. “Take that fookin ticket back!”
Me. “I can’t do that sir.” Damn, he’s left me no room to manoeuvre and I can’t back down as he’ll take it as a sign of weakness and I’ll end up picking my teeth out of the gutter. Lets offer him an exit strategy. “Tell you what I can do though..” I continue. This does not work. Bozo’s reasoning faculties have shut down and will not be opening this side of next Christmas.
Girlfriend. “Leave it Dwayne.” Oh my God it is called Dwayne. I’m trying to keep a straight face. If he calls her Tracey I will lose it completely and burst out laughing.
Bozo (To girlfriend) “Shut up!”
Girlfriend. (Plaintively) “Dwayne!”
Bozo. “You take that ticket back, or..” Here comes the threat. No real Police or CSO’s when you need them. Out of the corner of my eye I can see CCTV’s main camera lock on to my position from across the road. Time to out bid Bozo. He’s right in close now, I can’t focus on his eyes he’s that close.
Me. “Or what, sir?” Deadpan delivery, not smiling. I look past him and gaze directly at CCTV camera and nod once, very deliberately. Classic. Bozo turns to see the CCTV camera pointing at us move very deliberately up and down as if nodding in reply. All of a sudden Bozo is back in his car fumbling with the keys. I step back into doorway, shaking a bit as he quickly drives off. “You get that?” I say to CCTV over the radio.
CCTV “Close call 515. I thought he was going to take a pop at you.” Comes the reply. “Did I do the right thing with the camera?”
Me. “Spot on my old son. He had me worried for a moment there. Where’s all the back up?”
CCTV. “All over the place. None available close enough.”
Manager comes on the air. “You okay 515?” She'd obviously been monitoring the frequency. Bless her.
Me. “Just about. Glad I haven’t got a heart condition.”
Manager. “Come on home and fill in an incident report form. I’ll request the tape from CCTV. Did you get his number?”
Me. “I’d just booked him on a Taxi rank. It’s all in my hand held and note book. His first name’s Dwayne.”
Me. “Straight up.” She breaks contact to crap herself laughing.Please note for my Transatlantic viewers, “Dwayne” is almost a generic name for exceptionally stupid and inbred post adolescent males around my part of the sceptred isle of England "Tracey" it's female counterpart.
I get to spend end of shift in warm rest room, filling out incident report form and drinking tea. I've issued enough tickets for one day. Must remember not to push my look quite so hard.