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PC EE Bloggs - Diary of an on-call girl

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 

Pancake day

Not a day I would have chosen to work outside, but you take the rough with the smooth in this life. New all-weather protective kit has finally been promised, but at the rate we get equipment issued it will arrive in three months time, just as the warm weather gets going and the sunblock comes out of cold storage. So for the moment I’m just going to have to layer up with very unsexy thermal underwear.

There’s been a few flakes of snow, but not enough to leave traces for more than a minute at a time. I suppose visitors from the Northern USA and Canada would be stripping down to their shirts and complaining about how damn hot it is. Everything is relative. For me it’s relatively too bloody cold to be stuck out in for four hours at a stretch.

All in all today’s been a bit of a mixed bag. I nicked a ‘friend’ of one of our localities leading Councillors parked in a bus stop. He complained like crazy, told me I didn’t know what I was doing, yaddada yaddada, he’d have my job and all the rest of the bullshit. He even told me he’d have the CCTV evidence to prove just how wrong I was. I just told the silly idiot to follow the challenge procedure if he thought I’d done it wrong and walked away. Feedback was pretty quick in forthcoming. Said dubious item of humanity had a go at; in turn, Kerry my line Manager, Senior Manager, Head of section, then his ‘friend’ on the Council. Later that afternoon Kerry rang me on my beat mobile and we both had a damned good guffaw about him. Apparently CCTV (One of our better operators) had the whole incident on tape and it completely backed up my version of events. That ticket is solid. It will stick. Heh, heh, heh.

Later in the day I paused to watch the local dignitaries doing photo opportunities at the yearly Pancake Day race.

Afterwards I tried to sidle off to one of my regular little bolt holes for a quick warm up, only to find out that the locks had been changed. When I phoned up to ask why, new Supervisor wouldn’t say. The word on the grapevine is that one of our less well motivated officers had been hanging around in there all day and had been caught doing so. The rest of us who only use it for ten minutes or so at a time feel somewhat aggrieved. More gossip at tea break returned the information that three other handy little places were now closed to us for the same reason. Now because of one idle bastard we all have to freeze.

The one thing that put a little gloss on an otherwise dull and unpleasant day happened as I’d just successfully cleared a congested street, just in time to hear ‘blues and two’s’ heading our way. Some miserable sod made a snide remark from behind me. “Don’t see why people do your stupid job.” Just then, the Ambulance crew I’d run into last week over that chap going hypoglycaemic raced past. The co-driver paramedic saw me and gave me the thumbs up. I gave the Ambulance a wave back. A Squad car raced after the Ambulance a few seconds later. Again I got a wave of recognition from the Police. I waved back. I turned round to look my protagonist of the moment in the eyes. “That’s what keeps me going.” I remarked, and left the silly bugger speechless. Serve him right.

To celebrate, have fed the whole family with pancakes and everyone in the Sticker household is replete. Happy pancake day.

Monday, February 27, 2006

 

Life and the meaning of sex

It’s been a quiet day. I think all the weather warnings have been keeping the parking pests at home today. This gave me a little time to look up from the grindstone and have a look at my surroundings for the first time in a few days. I’m right in the middle of an open air car park, well clear of any buildings and my eyes happen to catch something fluttering in the bare winter branches of an ornamental Municipal Cherry tree. One gauzy green thong, as worn by girls who wish to be liberated from their state of celibacy. Size 10 if I’m any judge.
“Someone must be feeling a draught.” Was my first thought.
Second thought was; “Why throw it up in a tree?”
Third thought was; “Were they in celebratory mood? Perhaps someone enjoyed losing their virginity.”

Which led me on to this train of thought; why do we say that we ‘lose’ our virginity? How do you lose something which is not a physical item to be mislaid? That is the definition of ‘To lose’, surely? If you lose something, you can no longer find it, it does not mean that the item lost no longer exists, it means that the item which is ‘lost’ can no longer be located.

When you ‘lose’ your virginity it just ceases to exist as a part of the human condition. The first act of coition or sex, at which people say that they have 'lost' their virginity, generally means that in the case of the human female, the hymen, a membrane surrounding the vaginal opening, is torn or enlarged by the act of sexual penetration. Whilst the hymen is indicative of virginity, this is not always so. For further explanation, look it up yourself. As for us males, the first act of sex generally means you now know what it feels like and would like to do it again as soon as possible, please. In neither case is anything ‘lost’. If anything, you have gained a kind of kinaesthetic knowledge. Any loss is purely that of a metaphysical state of prior being. Almost a paradigm shift of thinking occurs, usually headed by the thought ‘So that was what all the fuss is about’. Nothing physical really drops off (Unless your Mum has told you all kinds of horror stories.). It definitely does not mean that your ‘virginity’ is left lying around in the street for any Tom, Dick or Harriet to pick up and recycle. Virginities do not get dumped in a landfill or transported to a gigantic ‘Lost Virginity’ warehouses where rack upon rack of discarded virginities are stored, awaiting claim by their erstwhile owners.

Taking all the above on board, I feel that ‘lose’ is the wrong term to use. If you lose something you tend to want it back, and very few people of my acquaintance have ever voiced such a desire about their virginity. It’s just one of those things. You can’t ‘lose’ your childhood, your mind, or your virginity. You might have had a crappy childhood and your first sex might have been pretty naff and unsatisfying; your ‘mind’ is in your head and the only way to lose that is to get killed. To ‘lose’ any of those seems no more than a literary conceit.

I’m confused. Is that weird enough for everyone?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

 

Good for them!

As a one time ‘Green’ activist, (In the days of my callow youth) I left the membership of an environmental political party because it had been infiltrated by extreme elements of the Animal Rights movement. In the intervening twenty years I have seen the environmentalist cause increasingly devalued by the antics of the extremists. Bearing this in mind I would like to extend a hearty ‘Walking the Streets’ vote of confidence in the new ‘Pro-Test’ movement. I say ‘good for them’ in their opposition to the eco-nazis.

From a personal perspective, I finally fell out of love with the Environmental movement when Greenpeace started using spin and half truths to bolster their case during the Brent Spar campaign. Sad to say, I cancelled my direct debit contribution as soon as their untruthfulness was fully exposed.

With regard to Animal experimentation, I have always viewed it as a necessary evil. We need to test new drugs and compounds to treat illness and new medical techniques. Analogue and Computer simulations are nowhere near sophisticated enough at present to test new medicines. Nor does it look like they will be for the near future, so we are stuck with testing these new substances on live animals, because only they can provide the evidence necessary for accurate (ish – because nothing is an exact science.) evaluation of new drugs and treatments.

To be honest, I don’t see why these Animal Rights lobby have so much influence but for the fact that they use tactics developed by the followers of Lenin and Trotsky to terrorise, undermine and destabilise. These tactics range from half truths, exaggerations, misrepresentation and outright falsehood coupled with intimidation and violence. Like most petty schoolyard bullies they rarely attack unless they have overwhelming numerical advantage, and cry ‘foul’ very loudly indeed when caught out or beaten up themselves. They counter dissent against their views with venom and threats. Yet their numbers are remarkably small for the amount of influence they have exerted heretofore.

There now seems to be a cogent co-ordinated counter movement; started by a 16 year old student on the Internet no less. Holding their first ever anti Animal Rights demonstration they even outnumbered the Animal Rights counter demonstration by about three to one. Even though certain sources claimed that the Animal Rights demonstrators had to be bussed in and threats against Oxford student accommodation had been made. Predictably, Death threats have already been made against the 16 year old founder of ‘Pro-Test’.

The overall truth of the matter is that the Animal Rights movement is weak, based on weak, anthropomorphic premises. Numerically it is weak but it’s voice is strong because it is willing to be ruthless, heartless and ironically more cruel than the object of its protest.

Please send all death threats to billsticker@gmail.com where they will be examined and held up to ridicule. Their poor spelling and grammar will also be a source of much innocent merriment.

Pro-Test is getting blogrolled for standing up and doing the decent thing.

See the sidebar under 'Political'

Update:

Pro-Test appear to be building a new site, so I've edited the link and will keep an eye on it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

 

What do you say? (Rant corrected)

What do you say to a house guest who swans into your living room and insists on rearranging the furniture to suit themselves to the detriment of others?

What do you say to a house guest who finds your means of entertainment so objectionable that they try to turn off your TV and unplug your Internet connection?

What do you say to a house guest who objects to you having a bacon sandwich or any other food ‘they’ don’t approve of?

What do you say to a house guest who demands that your kids can only do what they say, when they say?

What do you say to a house guest who insists upon their own way and are willing to intimidate other members of your family in order to get it?

What do you say to a house guest who insists you only talk about things they personally approve of and behaves violently when you say something they don’t like?

What do you say when said house guest is a member of your immediate family / socio-religious group?

What would you say to such people?

Update:
What stimulated my rant was this article (Many thanks to Bina Lobster for the link.). Such bad behaviour from a guest in my house / country means that they should be shown the door quickly. Nor should they ever be invited over the threshold again. In my book, whilst a host should always be mindful of the majority of their guests, conversely a guest should always remember that he / she is a guest and, within reason, respect the beliefs / customs of others. A guest should always try and behave so that they do not offend local custom, do it in the street and frighten the children and pensioners. This goes as much for Britons abroad as to new citizens at home in Britain.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

 

Normal service…

I’m feeling a bit peaky and run down (As in ‘By a truck’) at the moment. The winter lurgi has settled on my chest and I’m coughing all over the damn place like a latter day plague spreader. Funnily enough, the healthiest place for me to be is out in the fresh (ish) air where I spend most of my working time anyway. Unfortunately the knock on effect is that I get home exhausted and tend to slump into a chair and snore at the first opportunity, until a coughing fit wakes me up. Mrs Sticker leaves me alone because she knows I’m grumpy as hell when I’m feeling poorly. She just hands me the vitamin C and lets me get on with it. Even the Dog is hiding in his basket and the kids are nowhere to be seen.

Nothing much of substance has happened to me in the past day or so, so there’s no tales of erstwhile derring-do to relate. Some people have complained to me about getting a ticket, but the moment I start hacking away they fade into the background.

Thinking about it, there seems to be a strong correlation of weather to Parking Tickets. The warmer the weather, the more contraventions to be ticketed. More on this at a later date.

Do not read this bit if you are in favour of a British Republic.

There’s been a fair bit in the British media about Prince Charles and his pirated journal. Guess who published parts of it? Without payment as usual one surmises. Mister Windsor got the hump over private correspondence being chucked into the public domain without so much as a bye, leave or thankyou and is suing. Good for him. Wish him well and hope the publication concerned gets hammered for serious breach of copyright.

As one who believes everyone with a cognisant voice should be allowed free reign; I say, rock on HRH. I’m with Boris Johnson on this one. As for publicising his views from his private journal; if Prince Charles had wanted to publicise his views this widely he’d have started a blog, wouldn’t he?

Update:
In response to an e-mail request from Robin Koerner an interesting link to Watching America. Am also reposting the link to Michael Yon's blog from the front line in Iraq as it seems to have got lost in the HTML.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

 

Just another day at the office

Senior Manager arrives just as I’ve walked out of the mess room door to go on patrol. I’m about five minutes early out on the beat, three of the other guys aren’t so fortunate. The rest of us got out early and scattered. Anything’s better than a ‘pep’ talk from someone you know doesn’t care for anything but your beat statistics.

This morning sees me cursing and swearing under my breath at the school run drivers, as I try to get them to behave like grown ups. This proved to be a frantic fifteen minutes. However; I was composed enough about it to quote Walter Scott when a passing member of the public said. “Don’t you get fed up with those idiots?”
“I look at it this way sir; better one crowded hour of glorious life than an age without a name.”
“Very philosophical.”
“The job does tend to make you that way.” He left with a bemused look on his face. I have that effect on people sometimes.

About an hour later I turn a corner to see an RTA and traffic backing up, so I pitch in and help out by persuading car drivers backed up in a small queue to turn around and direct them down another street. PC49 has turned up, as has an Ambulance and a couple of squad cars, and treats me to his usual piss take. “He’s on double yellows – going to nick him?” He says, indicating the crashed vehicle.
“Nah.” I rejoinder. “You guys can do him for obstruction.” Its what passes for humour in our circles.

Just before lunch I am waylaid by a blue rinse in a Mercedes who begins to pepper me with questions about the why’s and wherefores of the parking restrictions and why we Enforcement Officers patrol late at night and isn’t it a Government fund raiser? Feeling particularly evil, I pass over Parking Office’s direct line on one of their visitors cards. She can waste an hour of their time.

After lunch the weather turns wetter. It rains, it hails. It even tries to snow. I get soaked. I meet up with one of my oppo’s and we lurk at the top of a stairwell in one of the Council’s multi storey car parks, watching the shower pass over. Officially we are patrolling the car park; unofficially we are drying out. Radio traffic dwindles to nothing as all round town our shift mates find their own bolt holes. There’s a Management meeting this afternoon and our Controller is there so we aren’t going to be messed around in this weather.

The showers pass for long enough to be pitched back into the middle of the school run insanity. There guys don’t just break the highway code, they shatter it. Illegal U-turns in heavy traffic, stopping on school zig zags (Which is still a criminal offence), parked half way up the footway forcing barely supervised seven year olds into the road. All I can say is thank God for afternoon tea break.
Rain and sleet again as I head out on patrol. Another place to shelter and I’m ‘ghosting’ several streets which have nothing on them at this time of day. Still, Management says patrol at this time, so I am there in spirit if not in body. If I get pneumonia in this weather, I’ll just end up on half pay and they won’t get any streets patrolled at all. It’s saving them money really – honestly.

At last it’s home time. A pocket full of booked sinners and very weary feet. At least I’m on a shorter beat tomorrow. Someone else can have the longest beat. The singer may change, but the song remains the same.

Monday, February 20, 2006

 

I hate to keep harping on about this but…

I’ve just been watching TV for a change. The world of politics seems upside down at the moment. Peter Oborne on Channel 4’s Dispatches ‘Spinning Terror’ commented on the recent raft of Anti-Terror legislation and the way it has been presented to the British public. It made for disturbing viewing. It makes me wonder how much of the ‘War on Terror’ is utter nonsense. Okay, there is a degree of threat, but the Prime Ministers office may be overselling how big that threat really is specifically to us. For over thirty years the UK mainland lived with the threat of Irish Republican (IRA) terror attacks, and still might have to again, if the odd rumour coming from Northern Ireland has any truth in it.

No UK Government during that time saw fit to suspend Habeas Corpus; or enact legislation where a UK Government could in theory suspend Parliamentary Democracy. Government and the Police didn’t need those powers then, so why do they need them now?

Now I’m not underplaying the Suicide bombings in London on the 7th of July 2005, but the political hoo-hah is actually harming the effectiveness of the real war against the terrorists. Government is claiming ever more punitive powers on the back or every scare story that hits the headlines. Tony Blair seems not to have a clue, apart from maintaining his own position.

This Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill for example, I’ve just finished reading it for the third time. It appears to me a very poor piece of legislation, which if enacted, would give the Government of the day virtual dictatorial powers re passing legislation. No more fussing with those old fuddy duddies in the Lords or on the opposition benches. I’ve already e-mailed my MP – Who hasn’t yet replied about this issue, but has at least acknowledged receiving my e-mail. Even Labour voters are getting concerned.

The more I look at the situation, the more I am inclined to quote the Scottish Play, slightly out of context:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Tales told by idiots? To idiots? We will see.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

 

Boo, hiss, shame!

The news is bad folks. We parking enforcers were looking forward to the sweeping new powers to be devolved to us from Government. Now we are told that we will no longer be manning the anti avian missiles that were to be stationed around the country. Typical!

Now the government have elected to fall back on their previous advice from Lloyds of London to all those wishing to remain safe from the virulent HN51 influenza strain; “Don’t kiss chickens.”

However, this advice should not be extended to any members of the Animal rights movement as we know that they are such ‘good’ people that no flu virus would dare infect them. Well fuck a duck! – but if that’s what jangles your chains - don’t let me stop you.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

 

Thanks.....

To all you folks who left comments about Wednesdays post saying I did the right thing. A number of you picked up on what I said about stepping outside my remit. I’d just like to clarify why these things were well outside my duties and why I might get into trouble. The events in the post really took place, but I (As usual) changed a few details so that I can’t be readily identified from those events and places.

  • We are not supposed to even touch a vehicle (Unless to issue a PCN) in case we are accused of damaging it and the Council gets sued. If the Council gets sued, we get a disciplinary. If we get seen doing it we get a disciplinary. If we or any other party gets injured doing such a thing, the Council does not want to get sued.
  • We are not supposed to touch any person (Even to check if they are alive or dead) in case we get accused of assault and the Council gets sued. Mainly because we have had no Council approved first aid training and are not likely to get any. (For my own part I have had such training in another life, long before circumstance poured me into this role.) Our only official ‘First Aider’ is based at the office and works 9 to 5, so if one of us takes a knock outside of that time – it’s not their responsibility. We are told not to ‘get involved’ because in case of injury to any other party, and the Council doesn’t want to get sued.
  • Entering a vehicle owned by a member of the public which is not insured for Council officers use is not allowed because they (And consequently you) are not insured for ‘Any other vehicle’. You have a thump or scuff their paintwork and the Council could get sued for the damage, even if your personal insurance covers you personally for any third party damage.

All of the above can be construed as ‘Gross Misconduct’ if the Council gets sued, which would allow my employers to summarily dismiss me. Whether they would or not is another matter, as people dying on Council owned property is bad for their image, as is sacking the person who ‘stepped into the breach’, so ironically I probably saved the Council a lawsuit from putative grieving relatives. Not that I’m going to hold my breath for any recognition. (Nor am I going to own up to it either – just in case.) Having read the above; would you?

Incidentally; yes we do have a Union, but sometimes we can be heard wondering aloud if they are worth the membership fees. However, you can understand where this is coming from, if she wasn’t being ironic.

On a lighter note;

'How to clean your toilet' and 'How to give a cat a pill'

Oh yes and a big public ‘Thank you’ to Muttawa – The Religious Policeman for a serious plug in an interview on the blog Cerebral Waste. If any of you thought that all Saudi’s were all highly devout and low on humour – read his blog. It’s a real eye opener. Alternately funnier and more profound than I could ever be.

Hot off the press!

Parking Enforcers to be drafted in to help fight the spread of HN51 Avian flu.

See Manic Mary, our own pocket rocket, in training with new ‘kit’ to deal with those pesky flocks of illegal migrant birds. Tough on Avian flu, tough on the causes of Avian flu. Yay!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

 

I think.....

I may have helped save a life yesterday. Don’t know really, you’d have to ask the paramedics if the guy was in any real danger. However, did what I could and hoped for the best.

I’m checking a car park; usual drill, permits and display ticket checks when I come across a car with the driver still inside. He looked at first glance as if he was asleep; head slumped against the door pillar, looking rather pale. To be honest, if he hadn’t been so badly parked, slewed across two bays, I would have just walked on by.

Normally, when we come to a vehicle parked like that, the rules say ‘Issue a ticket’ for the offence of taking up two parking bays and ignore the driver, but something about his appearance tweaked at my memory. On second glance his eyes were half open and the gaze a little fixed, staring at the dashboard, pupils constricted. To start with I waved my hand through his line of sight to get his attention. Nothing happening. Next I tried talking to him. “Excuse me sir.” No response. “Hello!” Nada. I can see he’s still breathing, but he looks very odd. Not just having a nap. What do I do? I know who’s on CCTV this shift and they’ll only piss me about if I try to get them to call it in. Sod it. Took out my mobile phone and made a 999 call.

I got put through to the Ambulance dispatchers desk and told them what I’d found. “Got an unconscious male seated in a vehicle.” Rattled off the car park location. “Unresponsive. I think it’s not just someone having a kip.”
This is when I stepped over a very thin line and did something my Managers would have gone apeshit at me for. Having had no luck with waving and shouting, I reached into the car through the half open drivers window. This is such a big no-no that it might have meant a disciplinary notice if I was seen. Put my hand to the guys forehead. He’s sweaty and clammy to the touch. Carotid pulse, there it is, slow and steady; at least he’s not having a heart attack (I think). There’s a particular smell about him too that rings loud alarm bells in my head.

Managed to get the drivers side window down fully while giving a running commentary to dispatch. Driver moves slightly. “Can you hear me sir?” His lips move but he makes no sense. He tries to answer but drifts off to sleep again. Bugger!

Dispatch confirms Ambulance en route. Another problem. This is a multi storey and they won’t be able to get into the car park because there’s only just over a two metre height clearance. I put a call out for assistance to any of the other guys. Damn! No one within close walking distance responds. I’ll have to leave him. I do the best I can to ensure he doesn’t come to harm and go out to wave the ambulance down. All the time I’m trying not to panic and make the correct decisions.

Around five minutes later I’m at street level waving the welcome sight of an Ambulance into a space I’ve commandeered, much to the fist shaking anger of a couple of motorists who wanted to park there.

“Okay chaps. He’s up on the fourth floor.” I lead the kit-laden Paramedics up the stinking stairwell and over to the guys car. One of the Paramedics runs a few questions past me and I let them do their job while I call the guys car in as an exempt vehicle. To make sure, I mark up an empty PCN envelope and stick it on his windscreen. The Paramedics look askance at this.
“Just so no one else books him.” I tell them. “There’s no ticket in it.”
“We’re not stopping you getting your quota are we?” One of them (I think) teases.
“We don’t get quota’s. We get measured on how much we patrol.” Although senior Management have hinted darkly that we ‘should’ be getting ‘over one and a half penalty charge notices (Parking tickets) an hour.’ Right, like that’s going to happen.

“Oh, right.” He asks me about what the patient has said and / or done and I answer as best I can, keeping it short and factual. They’ve hooked him up to a few monitors and checked his blood sugar. I think the reading was 3.1 or something very low like that. The Paramedics give him an injection of, I think it was glucose solution, and the change was almost instantaneous. After a few seconds the patients head came up, his eyes focussed and in less than a couple of minutes he’s merrily chatting away with them while I fade into the background and wander off to check the other floors.

When I return ten minutes later, I find one of the guys in green wheeling a stretcher up the ramps. I lend a hand as it rattles and bounces over the rough concrete floors. A couple of cars back up behind us on the ramps, their drivers looking daggers at us. Well, we’re in their way aren’t we? Especially that bloody Parking Warden!

As we return to the fourth floor the patient is still a little out of it, but aware enough to notice things. The moment we approach with the stretcher he complains “You’ve booked my bloody car you bastard!”
“No I haven’t.” I tell him as the Paramedics do their stuff.
“What the hell’s that then!” He’s seen the PCN envelope on his window. “You’d book your own Mother, you bastard!”
“It’s empty sir.”
“What?”
“It’s empty.” I repeat. “There’s no ticket in it. It’s just there to stop anyone else booking your car.” The Paramedics share a smirk behind his back; patient has the good grace to look embarrassed as they ease him on to the stretcher. They obviously think he was so bad that it justifies taking him in to Accident and Emergency. “Oh.”
“That’s okay sir, I’m used to it.” His embarrassed silence is eloquence personified.

At this point I step over another line in the sand. “Tell you what sir. Lend me your keys for a moment and I’ll park it up properly for you. It’s a bit skewed and it’ll save any misunderstandings later.” He nods, a little mollified and hands over his car keys. I straighten his car up, making sure it’s neatly parked, lock it up and hand him his keys as the Paramedics load him into the Ambulance. By this time, he’s on his mobile to whoever, giving instructions as to where to pick up his car. Patient nods his thanks. It’s all I’ll get.

Just as they are about to move off, I ask the Paramedic Driving “Hypo?” Meaning ‘hypoglycaemic’.
“Yes. His blood sugar was close to the basement. Looks like you found him just before he went into a coma.”
“So that’s why you’re taking him in?” I ask.
“Best to be on the safe side. He’s in no condition to drive.” Replies the Paramedic.
“Okay mate. See you around.” I step back and watch the Ambulance pull away before resuming my patrol. Total time elapsed; Thirty five minutes. I write the incident up in my pocket note book just so I have a record. Just in case Management ask; “What the hell were you doing in that car park for more than twenty minutes?”


Just as I round the corner I run into ‘Braveheart’ coming the other way. “Hello Bill. Heard you on the Radio. What happened?”
“Guy in the car park, comatose. Had to call an ambulance.” I respond. I really don’t like this guy; if anyone reminds me of ‘Blakey’ from ‘On the Buses’ it’s him.
“Quiet day.” For him, maybe.
“Where’ve you been?” I ask casually, thinking; where were you when I needed help - you idle sod?
“Just round the corner.” Yeah, right. Having a crafty smoke no doubt.
“Busy?” I ask. Like hell you were.
“Nah.” Thought as much.
“Yeah well, got to get on.” I don’t want to be seen with this skiving sod.
“Ta-ra.” He moves on, as do I.

Around another corner and halfway down the street I see a Porsche sat cheeky as you please on ‘loading restricted’ double yellows. He’s still there just under ten minutes later sporting one of my carefully crafted Parking Tickets as a sexy new windscreen accessory. Just as I’m walking away the driver arrives and snarls insults at my retreating back. Hi ho. Business as usual.

Monday, February 13, 2006

 

If you voted for these New Labour clowns…....

Hang your head in shame. The Tories may have been scandal ridden and fragmented, but at least they didn’t want to manage every aspect of your life. I predict that the ID cards bill will end up being railroaded through the Lords by the Parliament act.

Maybe the only way to get around these ID cards is a campaign off mass civil (And possibly uncivil) disobedience. It killed the poll tax, which I personally didn’t mind paying. So why not ID cards?

On the other hand, the scheme is so seriously flawed that it will end up in huge backlogs, errors, hacks and ID theft, so why am I even bothering to get uptight about it? It’s doomed from its very inception, like all these top down ‘one size fits all’ schemes. I’m just not going to play ball. Any Bank or building society that insists on seeing mine will be refused my business. How about that Banks? If enough of us say ‘No’ it’ll (If you’ll pardon the pun) bankrupt the buggers. I’ll go private for healthcare and inform anyone I deal with that they can expect to be sued to bankruptcy if any of my details are passed on to the National Identity Agency (Or any connected body). Any shop that wants to see it will find a heap of unpaid for shopping sitting on the checkout and possibly all over the Manager; and that’s only if I can’t make it out of this country by the end of 2008. Hey, maybe I’ll try to get into Canada or the USA seeking political asylum because the British system wants to ‘criminalise’ me.

Never mind. Costs will spiral out of control. ID theft will be rampant. Terrorism won’t be affected one jot. Then opponents of the bill will be able to take a few scalps. To quote a very old Scottish friend of mine. “It’ll all end in tears – No’ be mine.”

To register your disapproval and join the fight - Register here.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

Conspiracy to end British democracy?

Now I may only be a Parking Enforcement Officer employed by a Local Authority, but there are two items which need everyone’s attention, and which threaten to sneak in ‘under the wire’, effectively castrating democracy in the UK. Even to me, the timing of this whole business with first the Danish cartoons and now the footage of some allegedly British Soldiers giving some alleged Iraqis a good kicking seems all too convenient. Both are sopping up a lot of media coverage and are ‘Convenient for burying bad news’.

The first item of bad news is the "Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill", (Read it here) which is a sneaky little bit of legislation which, if passed, would empower a ‘Minister of the Crown’ to pass legislation without recourse to Parliament or the House of Lords. This means that the Lords could not stop another piece of poorly thought through, badly drafted legislation from going straight onto the statute books. Say the ID cards bill, hey, what about that? Maybe legislation which would effectively muzzle the last of free speech in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland? Perhaps voicing concerns over any of the Governments policies might effectively become a criminal offence? Who knows what the clones of Westminster have up their sleeves? Effectively this would mean rule by diktat and bye-bye democracy. Read ‘Spy blog’ for a more informed view.

The second piece of legislation that I would like to draw peoples attention to is the attempt to cancel 2007 local council elections. Mind you, there seem to be two voices issuing from the Government on this one. Listen to David Milliband and apparently he says it’s all nonsense, but read a communiqué from John Prescotts office and it’s virtually a done deal.

Lobby your MP. Now. Get his / her e-mail address and pester them to death to kill these bills. I have already been pestering mine. Pass it on.

Regards

Bill Sticker

Saturday, February 11, 2006

 

Sarcasm?

Wandering along this afternoon, passing through a street without a restriction I was accosted thus: “You do know there’s no restriction here today?”
My response: “Yes sir, just cutting through to another street.” Say I breezily.
His response: “Don’t you be sarcastic to me young man!”
My response: Confusion. Huh? I’m sure I wasn’t being sarcastic, just minding my own business. Besides, sarcasm is a big no-no on duty. “Beg your pardon sir? You asked me a question; I answered you. I can assure you I was not being sarcastic.”
His response: “Yes you were, you were using a sarcastic tone of voice.”
My response: “I’m sorry you think so sir, but I am only passing through from one part of my beat to the other.” You sad fucking git.

Well for fucks sake, I’ve just met one of the top contenders for dickhead of the year. I fluffed my way out of the conversation and moved on, having satisfied the poltroon that I was not being sarcastic. As I went out of earshot I think I called him a “sad old cunt” under my breath. In future, if I catch him in contravention, he’ll get one on the windscreen faster than he can break wind.

When I want to be sarcastic, I will be sarcastic and the object of my sarcasm will be in no possible doubt that he is being sarked at. No doubt whatsoever.

It’s a sad fact that those of us who don a uniform to do the will of our masters will always be at the irrational behest of those whose restrictions we enforce. Yes, they are your restrictions. The residents have demanded that we deal with their parking problems, and the restrictions we enforce are how we do it. The Double and single Yellow lines, the limited waiting are all there because members of the public have at some stage whined and whinged about congestion and parking by non residents. Without their complaints, our job would not exist. Quod Erat Demonstrandem.

No doubt there will be a letter to the paper about the imagined ‘offence’, but I’ve called it in and my supervisor has told me not to worry about it. Rant over.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

 

Suicide Bombers, a modest proposal


Potential Suicide bombers should be shown these links. This is what really happens to suicide bombers. No paradise, no virgins, no heaven, just your head and a few other bits spattered all over the landscape.

Most of the examples are Palestinian, such as this, this, this, Iraqi and Sri Lankan.

So you think it’s worth blowing yourself up for is it? Funny how the heads stay intact. I recall a Doctor talking about methods of execution, beheading in particular, how it wasn’t instantaneous and the victims were probably still aware up to two minutes later. I wonder if as the life fades from the suicide bombers mind they suddenly realise it’s all been a big mistake and they’ve been conned. Poor bastards.

Incidentally. Suicide bombing is apparently popular in China of all places, although the reasons for doing so are usually personal rather than political.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

 

Don’t drink and ……..park?

One from last years archive now the Parking Enforcer involved has gone and ‘Got a proper job’ (Lucky bastard).

Eddy (Not, obviously his real name.) was out on the streets trolling along when a car bounces up the kerb about fifty yards ahead of him. The driver literally falls out of the front seat and staggers across to the public toilets.

Being a bit taken aback, Eddy wandered up to the car which has come to a halt on double yellows and put in a call to CCTV, just in case he was ill and needed medical assistance. Then he spots a bottle of Vodka lying in the front footwell of the passenger side. A quick sniff at the alcohol fumes wafting from inside the car made him pause and back away twenty yards just before the driver lurches out of the toilets.

Now Eddy was no fool (Probably why he’s gone on to better things) and logs a call to CCTV re suspected drink driving. Just as he’s doing so, the driver sees him and screeches something incoherent at him. It was probably ‘fuck off’ or something like that, but Eddy wasn’t sure. He gave him another incoherent mouthful and slumped back into the drivers seat, restarted the car and lurched off the pavement.

A few minutes later I’m walking back to base and catch the “All Officers” call to avoid a certain car if it happens onto our beat and let CCTV know where it’s going. Just as Eddy goes off the air, sure enough, the car swings into view and so do two Panda’s in pursuit. Twenty seconds later the offending driver is pulled over, looking very guilty indeed. Coppers give me a nod as I walk past. Driver spits abuse in my direction, which I think is comical; it wasn’t even me that called the Police. Coppers manhandle him into the back of the rear Panda with stern imprecations to “Blow properly please sir.”

I put a call out over the air that suspected drink driver has been apprehended and walk on. Serve the bleeder right for driving a car in that condition. Anyone who drinks and drives needs a good kick up the arse. Preferably before they kill some blameless mothers son.

As for the abuse? Well, come the morning after I don’t think he’d even remember what he’d said, or to whom. We are just things in Uniform I suppose. Just a nameless, numberless target.
 

Rambling ruminations…Glad I don’t own a gun any more

First day off after a too-long stretch of rather boring night patrols (Don’t ask). I’m currently feeling tired and run down (As in by a truck). This time of year it seems that all the baseball capped malefactors are tucked up in their little state subsidised havens with pizza and beer. All we’ve done is go round and round in circles like the famous but now extinct Oozlum bird doing very little.

From our point of view, the streets have been very quiet indeed. The day shift have been complaining that it’s getting tougher to make ‘the averages’ as our superiors call our performance targets. See a car on a restriction? Look at it and it moves off. Either way, the job gets done, but our superiors don’t look at it this way. If you can’t measure it without setting foot on the streets – it doesn’t exist.

On another tack, the talk in the mess room has been of outrage at seeing the violent sentiments being voiced by a vicious alien religious faction who have no more place in a civilised society than catshit on your duvet. If you have cats this may well happen, but it doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Such occurrences in real life generally result in toe propelled exit of offending moggy stage right at high speed from nearest portal; open or not.

So should it be with the protestors. I understand that the Police aren’t interested in catching the minnows out on the streets while the controlling influences go untouched, but the rest of the populace (Including me) feels seriously threatened by these outbursts. This is the worldview that asks; How come seemingly trivial ‘offences’ like calling a Police Horse ‘Gay’ get the full weight of the judicial system laid against them whilst the hate demonstrators weren’t touched? Even if one of them was a convicted drug dealer who has since been returned to prison. Had it been the BNP or some other ‘subversive’ group, like the Countryside Alliance wholesale arrests could have been expected. Pray tell, why is this?

When you look at the timeline of this cartoon business it seems like the whole row is a stage managed farce. Someone out there wants a stand up proxy fight with the western nations on their own turf. This is their little holy war. Religion has precious little to do with it. Appearing religious does. Wonder where the money is really being fed from?

What really puzzles me is that many of the people who are ‘offended’ came over here to escape repression and build a better life for themselves. Why drag all the old baggage behind you that kept you down in the ‘old country’? This is Britain, and we are supposed to have (Although this has never really been true) a tradition of free speech. This means the right to give offence and be offended without responding with violence? Why come here for the new economic opportunities if you don’t like the culture?

For the moment, I am glad I no longer own a gun, as the current paranoia might tempt me to carry it with me and do something really dumb.

Friday, February 03, 2006

 

We know what you’re up to

Car park late at night, Mag-lite in hand, I’m busy checking permits and tickets. There’s a big 4x4 with darkened side windows up at the far end where the overhead lighting has failed. Nothing new there. Getting the lights changed is a major job that takes place once every year. Until then, the murky end of the car park will remain just that, murky.

When you’re checking car parks you get into a rhythm that speeds the job along. Most people have their permits and tickets on the opposite side to the tax disc, so that is what your light goes to first. Swing, flick, and blink check permit / ticket. One car every two seconds and double check if you’re not sure. Nice and easy does it, no need to rush; usually the only sound is your footsteps on the concrete and the odd bit of street noise filtering up the ramps. Some nights it’s so quiet you can almost hear your heart beating.

From ten feet away my Mag-lite beam hits the bottom left of the 4x4’s windscreen, no permit there, up then across and then down to the tax disc. Hey, that’s odd, where’s the seat headrests? Normally you can see those, even through darkened glass. No matter, no pay and display in the windscreen, now let’s check the side – hang on a minute? Movement. I definitely saw movement. Probably someone has left their dog in the car. Something pale and rounded definitely bobbed into view for half a second. Silly animal will start barking in a minute as I get closer. Just as I arrive at the front of the vehicle, a woman’s face pops up, eyes wide and cheeks bulging. Is she swallowing something? From within the vehicle there is a flurry of clothing being hurriedly rearranged. Yes, there’s a man in there as well, they’ve got the seats fully reclined and there’s no prizes for guessing what they were doing either.

Seats are brought upright and man opens door. My, now didn’t he do his zip up in a hurry, his shirt’s sticking out of his flies. “Er, just looking for some change, it er, went down between the er, ahem seat, yeah, between the seats.”
“Pay and display machine is over there.” Say I, trying hard to keep my face straight and almost succeeding.
“How much is it?” Asks the woman, who has forgotten to wipe around her mouth, her dress is pushed sideways showing her bra and her skirt is stuck halfway into her knickers as she steps out of the car.

Giving both parties a look so old fashioned it was rapidly fossilising, I told them the late night car park price. I’m sure I didn’t smirk. I think. Man scurries over to pay and display machine, shirt tail sticking out over the back of his trousers. Woman hides herself behind the car door as she tries to straighten her clothing, staring at me with a kind of fascinated, pleading grin. Diplomatically, I decline to make further comment and move on to other nadirs. I make it to the next level before almost collapsing into uncontrollable hyterics.

Five minutes later I see man leaving car park in 4x4 followed by woman in a little green Volkswagen. I wonder if they heard me laughing?

Perhaps they’ll choose somewhere else for their messy little tryst next time. I just hope for the woman’s sake she remembered to stick her dress in the washing machine before anyone noticed anything untoward.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

 

Insults and Jibes

In my job, we put up with abusive and insulting comments shouted from moving vehicles or from the other side of the street (Very rarely close to – How very odd), and I often fall back on this axiom; An insult is like poison – if you don’t drink it, it cannot harm you. Of course it abrades the spirit, but I fall back on the love of my family and friends who help me rise above it all (Mostly; although it would be nice not to have to put up with it at all.). There is even a little competitive storytelling in the mess room as to who has been called what by whom on a particular shift. The most hilarious offerings are chortled about by all of us.

On the subject of ‘insults’ there’s a big storm in a teacup between Denmark and Saudi Arabia because some Danish cartoonist published a cartoon allegedly depicting the Prophet Muhammad (Hang on. If Islam forbids the making of images – how does anyone know it’s him?)with a bomb in his turban (amongst other cartoons). Apparently parts of the Islamic world are in uproar, death threats have been made, marches planned, diplomats recalled and boycotts of Danish companies proposed.

To the ‘offended’ parties I say this; chaps, might I draw your attention to the above axiom. The one about an insult being likened to poison? Same principle applies. If your religion is correct, then all us apostate non-Muslims will burn in hell when we die anyway – so, job done. Why all the fuss? Are you so weak of faith in your God that the slightest criticism has you running for the bomb or the bullet to ‘avenge’ a slight? By taking the ‘insult’ to heart, are you not poisoning yourselves in the eyes of the world?

For my part, I put up with a whole lot worse every day and am not even allowed to respond in kind. Parking Enforcers are routinely vilified, threatened, mocked and assaulted; yet this (Mostly) only steels our resolve to carry on. Are the followers of the great religion of Islam less resolute than we? Don’t be silly. Incidentally, the offending cartoons can be seen at the Brussels Journal. Make up your own minds.

To conclude; I’m glad that the “Religious Hatred Bill” has been sufficiently watered down, but not happy it was thought necessary in the first place.

On a more pleasant note: Welcome to the Sidebar

I’ve been meandering through my webstats and have added to my UK law enforcement blog collection and a few others who link here. Read and enjoy.

Law Enforcement
De-Tec-tive
Defective Constable - Scotland
Blog of the blogs
M2XS – Police Dispatcher
Special Special

Personal
Best Wishes
Doctor Crawley
Self Preservation Society
Shade of an Olive tree
Um.. Awkward pauses
Waffle mania

Down Under
The meter reader of Oz

General
The Portal Forum
Oh yes, and a big welcome back! To Call centre Confidential.

Anyone else want to link? – Let me know. No reasonable request (Or cash offer) refused.

Update: Still want an RFID equipped ID card? Read here first, because the Dutch version has already been cracked. Sometimes you can feel soo smug.
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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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