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Saturday, February 12, 2005

 

More bloody drunks

It’s 8pm, I’m out on the street doing evening patrol. I turn a corner to see a gift from the Gods, a line of no less than eight cars sitting cheeky as you please on double yellows with double yellow marks on the kerb indicating ‘no loading at any time’ restrictions.

For the uninitiated this means even the disabled with blue badges can’t park there, and Traffic Wardens can issue ‘immediate’ tickets. If no drivers are present, we don’t have to wait to see if loading or unloading is taking place. We don’t have to watch the vehicles for five minutes. Nada.

I took just under a quarter of an hour to book all eight cars and slap tickets on before giving a location check to CCTV. I’ve just turned the corner on my way back to the van when when three kids arrived, more than slightly the worse for wear and looking for fun. By kids I mean under twenty one, and by fun I mean trouble for yours truly. This is one of the hazards of working weekend evenings.

All you can do is ignore them and get on with what you are doing. Normally they are only trying the game called ‘Looking big in front of my mates’. The best way to deal with them is not to play. The prize for playing their game is a grab bag of either a visit to casualty or being had up on an assault charge so I elect to invoke ‘Bill Sticker’s rules’.

Drunks opening challenge. “You just book them cars?”
My response. Deadpan. “Yes.”
Drunks disbelief. “You really just book them cars?”
My respnse. Again delivered deadpan. “Yes.” Positive monosyllabic answers are one of the ‘cheat codes’ in this particular game.
Drunk. “You can’t do that.” They’re obviously trying to provoke me – dickwits.
Me. “Why not?” This is the kicker, at this point their bravado is demolished because to answer this question, they have to think. If they were real bad guys I wouldn’t have an earthly, but they’re just three pillocks on the piss. These three neanderthalers in front of me begin to look worried as long unused brain cells start to twitch. Their bemused silence means they’ve been out manoeuvred and I deliver the closing “Goodnight guys.” Before heading off to the next trouble spot.

Tonight I’m on night patrol in the van with Phil, an ex squaddie who wishes he hadn’t left the Army. I see the look on his face as I open the van door. He’s obviously disappointed that I didn’t start a barney so he could join in or call for assistance and get the sirens wailing. He thinks I’m soft. I don’t give a monkeys.

Conversation in van:
Me. “Time for tea I think.”
Phil. “How many?”
Me. “Ten tickets; Eight in Short Street.” He nods in approval.
Phil. “What did those three want?”
Me. “They wanted to play silly buggers – I didn’t”
Phil. “Ah.” I am now restored in his estimations. Brains beat booze every time. We go back to the rest room for tea and biscuits.

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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