Sunday, June 12, 2011

Geriatric Sex Games

God. I'm. Bored!

I need to get a job, but I also need to find something to occupy my time during these 'summer' months. I know how sad this is going to sound, but I seem to be slightly lost without football to fall back on. That's some achievement as I'd virtually given up on the game by the mid 1990s. It was Euro 96 that rekindled my interest and I've been suffering for 15 years...

I could go dancing naked on the lawn, but the temperature on the patio is 11 degrees which is fucking ridiculous as we're 9 days away from midsummer. But if I did that I'd slip over, do my back in and probably impale my large stomach on some rose bushes, catch septicaemia (if you can catch it) and end up on a hospital ward full of eccentric old bastards who do nothing but complain about the food and having to piss in jars. The alternative to this would be to go for a bike ride, but I gave the bike away last week. I could have sex, but there are laws against dragging people off the street and forcing yourself on them and I'm sure 73 year old Ernie wouldn't be happy, as he's the most attractive person I've seen walk past the house in the last hour... So, what better than to be sitting in my office listening to cheesy early '00s electro pop and contemplating my navel - which appears to have got bigger since my girth has expanded.

Obviously, having had a week with lots of oddities in it, a day of rain and boredom was always going to be an anticlimax. After all, my life can't be one long surreal moment all the time. Can it?

Considering I've spent a large percentage of my life under the influence of drugs, you would have thought that talking surreal bollocks would come easy. But no, it's something that comes along normally when I least expect or want it and like last night in the pub, a great one-liner or statement will be lost to the slow drift of adult memories. I sometimes wonder what people would have made of conversations I've had with various friends over the years; the ones that have started quite harmlessly and have descended into a world that only exists in between my ears...

Have any of you ever been to Wollaston? It was once in Birmingham, but the locals thought it was really boring so they banished the entire district to Northamptonshire, where it has thrived and has a cul-de-sac called Bell End. Doc Martens used to be made there; it has a water tower, another street called The Gap and another called Hookham's Path. I once couldn't find it, but that was back in the 1980s, and it was where I received the most startlingly stupid driving offence ever. I was driving home after another 30 hour plus deadline in London. It had been a long one and we didn't get a lot of sleep and we didn't get much chance to kick back and have a spliff; so as I was leaving at around 3:00am, my then boss gave me a big bag of grass; some of the stash which he'd been given to pay for comic mart advertising. I say 'gave me', but I had to pay for it, but I also weighed it out, so I made bloody sure I got a bonus.

I could do the trip from Finchley to Wellingborough in about 55 minutes - average - at that time in the morning and it was only because of places like Wollaston that stopped me from doing the 64 mile trip in less than 50 minutes (I did it once in 47 minutes, door to door, but I'd averaged 130 on the M1 and 90 on the A roads. I should have known better). This particular morning, it was clear, dry and mild; it was the middle of October and I'd seen about a dozen vehicles, all told, since junction 10 of the M1. I wasn't caning it, because I was coming into Wollaston, which is actually by-passed but I'd been stopped and warned by a solitary policeman a year earlier about driving like a bastard in the fog, so I was aware that the Old Bill had a presence there at ridiculous times of the day. I got to the roundabout and there was a milk float in front of me. There was also a 300 yard stretch of road leading up to the hill going out of the town. It's a blind summit, but at 4.10:am and pitch dark you can see oncoming headlights across country for miles.

I didn't see the red Mondeo parked on the road to the municipal tip, but it saw me. I overtook the milk float as it was going up the hill. It was going less than 20mph and I overtook it in about 3 seconds - nothing was coming from the other direction and I didn't pass one oncoming vehicle between there and Wellingborough until the red Mondeo reappeared with its hidden lights flashing. I really had no idea why he'd pulled me; you see I'd seen it follow me up the hill in Wollaston and had that 'feeling' it was a plain clothed police car, so I'd stuck rigidly to the speed limit. I'd not been drinking; I hadn't even had a smoke and I was still young and full of spunk.

I was really pissed off. It was 4.30 in the morning; I was knackered; I wanted my bed and 20 hours sleep and there were two coppers in the Mondeo and as I threw my car door open to ask what the hell I'd been pulled over for I remembered I had about an ounce of grass in my top pocket and my shoulders' slumped. Whatever I had or hadn't done, I was fucked.

The memory that sticks in my mind the most was being asked if 'I was known to them' and the degree of disbelief both coppers expressed at the concept that I was coming home from work. I couldn't resist asking why they'd pulled me - did I have a light out? I certainly wasn't speeding. I was asked to get into the back of their car and I sank even lower. I really wanted to have a go, especially when I discovered they'd pulled me for 'dangerous driving' and 'overtaking on a solid white line.' I had done neither; I'd started to overtake the milk float with 200 yards of broken lines left and there was nothing dangerous about the manoeuvre. But I couldn't really argue this with them. It was 4.30am and they were bored and there was two of them which meant that they could charge me and I had no legs to stand on. Argue with them and risk being arrested or searched and then a stupid driving offence would become a possession or even intent to supply charge. Also, they weren't lying; it was 4.30, I had been up for 36 hours. Wanting to get home and not be stuck behind a milk float for the four miles from Wollaston to Wellingborough was no an excuse, even if overtaking opportunities disappeared at the brow of that particular hill.

I sat there and listened to these two jumped up little Hitlers justifying why they'd pulled me; give me a lecture on the dangers of overtaking on hills and generally have them be condescending to me. I got 6 points on my license and a £150 fine - which, it has to be said, was paid for by my boss at the time because he felt I wouldn't have been going home at that time of the morning if it hadn't of been for him - so fair play to him. I considered going back to the scene and taking photos, mounting a case of my own and taking it to court and fighting it all the way. I knew, even then, that this kind of tenacious defence often resulted in the CPS just walking away; if someone has a case they'd rather walk away than be beaten and look like they're pandering to stupid policemen. But, it happened at a time (1996 - see the link?) when I was having massive agoraphobic episodes and I wasn't actually that bothered about the penalty points, just the fine and that had been handled for me.

Even now, whenever I'm out that way and especially over the last few years when I've actively worked with Wellingborough police, I've wanted to see the two traffic cops and (half) jovially call them a couple of cunts. I can't remember their names, but I'll never forget what they looked like. They probably got moved on to another force, or perhaps someone with more balls than me decided to fight one of their ludicrous allegations and they got shafted out of the force and into something more suited to their talents - sheep shagging or some MP's arse wiper...

I find it scary that 1996 seems so much like yesterday and is nearly a third of my life away. But it also amazes me that some of the teenagers who came into my shop in 1989 are now in their 40s...

1 comment:

  1. A few years back, when I was living in Minnesota, we were driving home very late -- it must have been about 3am -- and the roads were absolutely clear, aside from us and one other car behind us.

    We stopped at a junction, waiting to turn right. Again, the road was empty, but we weren't supposed to turn until we had the light -- the road rules in America are Byzantine and complex and vary from state to state; we could have made the turn if we were in Wisconsin, five minutes away -- but the car behind rolled right up to our bumper.

    As it was early in the morning, we were alone, and it's a country full of nutters with guns, we decided to get out of this guy's way and so we turned.

    Then the blue lights came on, and it turned out the impatient bastard behind us was a copper.

    All we got was a telling off, but it still rankles to this day that the copper essentially forced us into breaking the law; given that they didn't do anything but tell us off, it seemed like the most pointless and petty act.