The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Under a vest

I was arrested the other day.

Okay, back up, tone down, start again.

I was stopped by the police.

Better, truer, come on, elucidate.

One thing about being a white, straight, middle-class male is that you rarely get looked at with suspicion (another is that you are always in the demographic that's oppressing the other, smaller demographic - oh to be in some kind of minority). This is why, on the whole, it was rather a refreshing experience to be stopped by the police. Actually I think the guy was rather taken aback by my enthusiasm on being detained.

Picture the scene, there I am, merrily making my way through the barriers at Waterloo when a rather kindly looking policeman approaches me with an apologetic look on his face.

'Hello, sir' he says, smiling a little sheepishly.

'Hello' I smile back enthusiastically, giving him an encouraging wink.

'Could I have a look in your bag, sir?' and before I can answer 'I have to, you see, sir. I count up to five and every fifth person I have to ask.'

'To look in their bag.'

'Yes, sir.'

'What if they don't have a bag?'

'Then I don't ask them, sir.'

'Lucky them. Do you ask the next one or do you count another five?'

Pause while he looks at me. I chance another wink. 'I was rather hoping I could look in your bag, sir?'

'Yes. Good point. Well ... go ahead.'

'Sorry about this, sir. It's just every ...'

'Fifth person with a bag. Absolutely. I understand. Don't worry about it, I'm rather enjoying being called 'sir' actually.'

'Yes, sir' He scrabbles around in the bag for a moment 'Well, that all seems to be in order.'

'You've missed a bit.'

'Pardon me, sir?'

'You've missed a section. Of the bag. There's a front bit. Plenty of room for a bomb in there. There's a zip at the side.'

'I see. Um ... is there?'


'A bomb.'



'Would you like to see?'

'I suppose it couldn't hurt, sir.' I open the front bit and he has a quick look. 'There we go. Nothing of interest there, eh?'

'No, sir.'

'Unless you like Maltesers.'

'As you say, sir. Now I need to take down some details ...'

He then proceeds to note down my name, my address, my age, my height, my build ('proportionate'), my self-defined ethnicity ('really very white') and what I'm wearing. I wonder why all this is relevant and if I'm being charged with 'possession of chocolate whilst on a GI diet' but he seems happy enough with my answers. Tearing off my copy of the information he wishes me well and sends me on my way. I can't resist one final comment.

'You must meet some interesting people with this job.'

'Sometimes, sir. Sometimes.'

And then I'm gone, down the escalators, into the depths of the earth.


Anonymous Lo said...

fantastic!!! you've cheered me right up!!! *sigh* feel better now! =]!!!!!!!!!!

i wouldv'e been pretty annoyed at being stopped by the police when i was going through waterloo the other day, already had a 6hr journey on my hands and probably wouldnt of liked the policeman to go rooting through my wordly goods (which included some fantastic presents from sally)

chris, you're too good to be true surely, can you pinch yourself for me and let me know if you are actually real..

i have a poorly finger :(

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Judas said...

Great story! It's almost better than when we all persuaded most of FURY Council that I was stopped by the police for harrassing the people of Birmingham!
In reality, Gerry had taken a picture of me asking for directions.
Anyway, my point is, great story! Can't wait for the next instalment!

12:49 pm  
Anonymous All Good Gifts said...

Oh Chris, you've made my day! hee hee, excellent story! I also look forward to the next installment.

anyway.. back to my storyboard - creative writing coursework.. bliss..

(p.s. see u thursday at the partay!)

1:37 pm  
Anonymous Micky said...

Chris u made my day so much more fun. everytime i read something you have written it makes me proud to be your friend.
i feel that if i were to be stopped i would not be quite as cheerful as you were, lol.

9:47 pm  

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