Away from London, where their fellow officers use foreign nationals for live-fire target practice and invite everyone in the back-up squads to impromptu house parties, the police here still look for every opportunity to spring into action as best they can.
Brain pans may not be filled full of lead or dwellings invaded with uncontrolled force, but the morning still managed to kick off with the local plod issuing residents with police notices that declared their vehicles had been left in a position which causes inconvenience to other road users.
With proper parking spaces at a premium, such a rude awakening would have the neighbours suspiciously eyeing each other up, trying to figure who had ratted them out. It was already obvious from the night before who the snitch jacket belonged to. Maybe the fire engine whooping it’s siren in staccato bursts as it tried to inch its way between the parked cars last night had something to do with it.
Later, when two oiks on bicycles a size to small for them (curving their spine and giving them the posture of someone whose back has given out dry-humping a rhinoceros) ride the wrong way down the high street’s one-way system, slaloming from pavement to pavement, a police car happens to swing by.
Instead of wresting them to the ground and giving them the hiding of their life – which is what even borderline chav scum deserve on a regular basis – the officers rein in any seething violent impulses and simply get both lads off their bikes and give them a jolly good talking to. (Which is something of a disappointment given that they could just as easily pop into M&S for a towel and a bag of oranges).
Ten minutes later and the ticking off is still continuing. Whereas a member of the public complaining of their behaviour would get a gobby reply, the callow youths are cowed by the real face of authority. Ten minutes sitting, heads bowed, on a bench appears to have been more than enough time for their peers to idle along and spectate.
If the reprimand had been swift and brutal they would have come away with war stories to greatly embellish from the offset. Instead the sly grins and whispers gives their contemporaries something to dine out on.
Two streets on, a white-haired old man on a cherry-red mobility scooter came hurtling around the corner. The St. George’s flag, flying from the felxible pole mounted on the back, snapped in the breeze as he mounted the pavement and tore between the non-plussed-looking pedestrians. (It was pension day after all). Keeping the accelerator pressed to the floor, the unwitting driver steered his way toward the police officers.
Watching him tear past, I wondered whether it would be worth backing up and watching how this little confrontation would play out.
Considering that it was unlikely that he would be knocked off the scooter and stamped on either, getting back for the times2 Su Dokus won out. Disappointed at the imminent lack of any seriously violent spectacle I went home.
(Puzzle no.829, rated "Fiendish"? Pah!)