Wednesday, January 12, 2005


The Ghost of Christmas Past

Now the dust has settled over the “festive?” season I can start thinking about Christmas Past ! As a Village Bobby for most of my career I seem to have had most Christmases working and it brings back memories of sad days going to sudden deaths (lots of lonely folk tend to die on Christmas day) The usual “Domestic Disputes” about Christmas Tea time when the turkey hits the wall and the drink starts the fights and spending Christmas evening in a cheery cell block with drunk drivers who have usually caused vast amounts of carnage, both vehicular and personal and usually come out of it unscathed, drunk and belligerent ! Waiting for the Solicitor to be dragged out of his Christmas Night Celebration and so it goes.
A policeman’s lot is not a ‘nappy one. On a lighter note, One Cold and crisp Christmas morn I’m on a nominal 9 to 5 so I ring in, and full of bonhomie and probably scotch
The Duty Sergeant says, “Don’t bust a gut today Mog, just spin the village once or twice to show the flag, then stay at home. As long as you are by the phone, we’ll call you if we need you” Merry Christmas thinks I, and ring round the outlaws etc, round to the Residence for Drinkeys and She who must be obeyed will do the turkey lunch time instead of a late night supper (dinners were definitely a moveable feast in the Mog household in those days) So there we all are – Delicious smells from kitchen area, log burning on the open fire (typical police house – too tight to have central heating) carols on the stereo and tinkling sherry glasses from the assorted Aunts and GAs Christmas tree lights flashing (not on a timer just a bad connection) Just about ready to “risk” a small beer when
BANG BANG BANG on the Office door – (bugger off we’re closed in a very small aside) Heavy sigh as I recognise the face of the very rich and obviously upset Company Lawyer who bought the big house in the woods a few months back and spent a fortune on lights, alarms etc etc and was the bane of my existence forever reminding me how many council/police committee/Senior Officers etc etc he knew ! He felt the need for his own personal policeman and Mog apparently fitted the bill – “Look after him”, says my Inspector, “He’s a nasty piece of work, but he knows where a lot of bodies are buried”
So, slightly less than full of Christmas spirit I wave him in to the Office (freezing as no central heating !)” What can I do for you Sir” No preamble, no compliments of the season and here’s a bottle of scotch Mog straight in to it
“Listen. there’s a band of Oiks ( he said Oiks!!) obviously from the Council estate (far side of the woods) Who have been given motorbikes for Christmas and they are up in my woods (his woods now, I thought they were public)
causing a terrific row and making all kinds of noise – I’m holding a Christmas party for all sorts of important people, including I may add, your Chief Constable I want you to go out right now and put a stop to this ! Slamming of doors, whooshing of Jaguar and Orf . Apologies to assorted relatives and in to trusty van (Bravo 39) Book on and tell Sgt – going to woods to sort out Oiks (I ask you Oiks !!) It is, at this point, a very quiet otherwise Christmas morning, so the next thing I know there are 2 Divisional cars, a dog van and 2 traffic cars (nothing to do with the fact that the Chief is at old Pig Face’s (She who must be obeyed description of the git) party. All volunteering to assist. Ah well a quick solution then at least I can get back to have lunch at lunch time ! As we all know, the best laid plans (what have mice got to do with it??) The plan to surround and deal comes together far too well and as we tighten the net to the big dip in the middle of the woods we have at least 8 or 9 of the little darlings in it. I hate to say it, Old Pig Face was right; they were from the estate on the far side of the woods. So we load them up in the big van, bikes pushed into bushes and take them home. Convoy stops outside the biggest block of flats – by now it’s getting on to be about 2 o’clock. Quick chat with the parents and up and away ! I don’t know where I get these ideas from !! The next thing we know is that a large number of angry and p****d up gents come boiling out of the block and the shouted comments range from the incredible to the inedible via unbelievable and the mildest is “These spoilsports have stopped the kids having fun on Christmas day”, and a full scale riot starts. By the time we have got it under control, arrested about 15, recovered one burnt out police van, turned another back onto its wheels and got that recovered, had our wounds treated and returned to the festive cell block it was 9 o’clock at night ! By the time the prisoners have been sorted out, property recovered and reports written its Boxing Day. In to van, creep home, quietly enter house – large note on Kitchen door “Welcome home, your dinner’s in the dog” “Don’t you dare wake me up when you come to bed” – Ah well, nothing changes
Mornin all

Truly hilarious! The touch of Rumpole (spelling?) did not get lost on me, but the story is so true to life! How many times did a “domestic” end up with both parties screaming abuse? You just never know what happens next! On a more serious note, in a country with strict firearm control, such as yours, most of your stories have a peaceful ending – taking nothing away from your fantastic piece- it’s a pity that the rest don’t follow suit. Will certainly be reading more!!
Apart from the cuts and bruises - luckily in those days the prisoners tended to put up a bit of a fight but that was all "playing the game" There were only one or two in the village that I could not turn my back on ! Now the Officers have to wear stab vests ! in my day I had a Cape and a funny hat (I retired in 1997) thanks for your comments - I shall take a glass of Pomeroy's ordinary and mull on some more blasts from the past !
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