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Monday, April 17, 2006

 

Target rich environment

Easter Sunday morning was quiet, and I was thinking to myself that I could have a quiet daydream around my beat and play with a novel concept to follow up the one that’s in the final (I hope) rewrite stages. No such bloody luck. From eleven o’clock onwards I found myself in the middle of a bedlam of illegal parking. No sooner would I walk up to one end of a street than three vehicles would plonk themselves on double yellows on ‘No Loading’ restrictions. Residents came out of their houses to complain at length about people blocking driveways and causing mayhem. One even ran round the corner to breathlessly demand that I ‘Did something’ about his street. Well dear reader; that is what I did.

At one point I had a line of six vehicles half blocking the gentleman’s street, three of which I had already booked. The driver of one came back, looked surprised at me, but said nothing and just took the ticket off his windscreen. His expression said it all. He didn’t care about the restriction; he was just amazed that he’d got caught. Not a thought about the annoyance to people his lack of consideration was causing (Obstructing a street so wider cars had trouble squeezing past unscathed).

For three solid hours I was stuck in the same three streets, back and forth, chasing, admonishing, booking and cursing my blisters. Managed to get back to the mess for a sandwich and nervous collapse around three, then get out on beat around four, just as the streets started to clear. Quite frankly I was knackered and RSI in my writing hand was a distinct possibility.

Apparently it was the same on all the town beats. End of shift saw most of our lot discussing the day’s bonanza. End of shift banter was riddled with quotes like; “They just don’t care, do they?”
“Like shooting fish in a barrel.”
“I don’t get it – they do know we work seven days a week don’t they?”
“Don’t care mate, they just don’t care.”
“Nineteen tickets! Nineteen sodding tickets!”
“My writers cramp has got writers cramp.”
“You working tomorrow?”
“Nah, I’m off.”
“Lucky sod.”
“All this and a bank holiday tomorrow.”
“Weren’t a lot of people supposed to be jetting off overseas for the holidays?”
“Not round here me old pal. Wish I had though.”
“You can say that again.”

Ad nauseum. Hi ho. Back to the long Spring and Summer treadmill.

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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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