Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Gracious Address

That's formally what the Queen's speech is called. I think I've gone and missed Lizzy's message to the nation this year. I made my mind up a week ago to have a Jake's Alley substitute for the Queen's speech. I don't think i'm in any position to offer life lessons or advice. I figured what I could do is share a story with you. Those who know me well would have heard this one for sure. For those who haven't, it's quite special. The reason I felt to tell this tale was that it occurred a year ago last week. I imagined it had been aired on the Alley already as stories of this calibre are few and far between. This assumption hadn't taken into account the fact that the Alley didn't exist at that time. The first birthday will be in February. Join me on a cold December night just over a year ago...
I can't remember where we'd been but wherever it was it required a night bus home. I was with Benji. Getting home on the night bus for me means getting off the bus on a hill about fifteen minutes walk away. Having done that you need to walk down a never ending road. I have felt like lying down in a front garden and giving up the ghost numerous times. First stop for us having left the bus was to visit an open all hours garage on the hill. In retrospect this may have been our first mistake. The garage stopped letting people in after twelve quite a while back. We ordered through the hatch. What is the obvious choice at four in the morning when it's frosty outside? Slush Puppies! That machine rotating away in the middle of the garage used to get me every time. Blue and red. A raspberry and strawberry mix is what we both opted for. Slush in hand we went about tackling my least favourite local road.
Shivering whilst trying not to drain too much flavour at one time we made slow progress. Crossing one street I spied a car light and clocked that it was the federalis straight away. They were faced the other way. To get to us they would have to drive a block backwards and double back onto the road we were on. I knew somehow that this was just what they were going to do. "We're getting pulled over Benji" I remember saying. Sure enough that car swerved up next to us and the riot that is being stopped and searched ensued. It has happened more than a few times in the last ten years. Usually I am minutes away from my house. Every time I'm informed of there being reports of burglaries in the area and me fitting the bill. I suppose maybe I did. Alive, walking on two legs, in the area, two blocks away from my house. I swear it was the Slush Puppie. Weirdo with a Slush Puppie on the coldest night of the year=cat burglar. Benji and myself enjoyed a serious investigation that cold night.
You already know the drill. First question is your name and the next where you live. Having said round the corner I think that should really be the last question but this wasn't to be the case. The officer quizzing me was amicable enough, I think Benji was having a harder time of it. Having dispensed with the getting to know each other stuff the inevitable hands up pocket search was to come.
How old the jacket I'm wearing dictates how much refuse lines the pockets. On this particular night it was an old one. He had a good time filtering through old receipts, tissues, empty chewing gum wrappers, filter tips and stop and searchers find of choice-rizlas. Smoking is not big or clever kids but I do happen to smoke at this point in my life and choose to roll my own. Slush Puppie, Rizlas. They had pinned us already as Cheech and Chong on the hunt for swag. As always my bus pass wallet got a going over, I don't throw much away. Rob once filled a whole canvas with my wallets contents. I stood and watched travelcards at least two years old being sifted through. I should really have a clear out. We stood there for a long time just minutes from our houses. A combination of the iced drink and the Baltic conditions made me begin shivering. I asked when we could go home. We were told that very soon we'd be on our way. The whole thing began coming to a close. We would have been there for more than ten minutes.
The officer searching me said that he was done and I made a step to my left in the direction of home. "One minute" he said and stopped me in my tracks. He'd spied something by my feet. Reaching into his utility belt he pulled out a torch and flashed it quickly on the ground. I hadn't looked down, on a scale of one to over it I was already in bed and had nothing to hide. He gave me a knowing look in the eye and bent down to pick up whatever lay between my feet. The look into my eyes said I've got you now. I glanced at what was in his hand, it was brown and not very big. He thought this was some Cheech and Chong contraband obviously. The Rizlas, the drink choice. The puzzle pieces were aligning in my officers mind. I watched him take the Walnut sized brown lump in his hand and look at it suspiciously. He then held it between thumb and forefinger and gave it a rub.
This he didn't need to do. My mistake was the Slush Puppie, his was the rub. He had broken the seal on and I judge by the colour here a fresh, day old nugget of dog dobbies. I watched him bend towards it to take a sniff. I couldn't believe what was happening, it was funnier than Superbad and real. As soon as I had figured out what was happening I made sure I couldn't see Benji at all, I would be unable to hold it down. The look of repulsion in his face as the contraband hit the floor along with a little mini gag was film worthy too. I was concentrating really hard on the floor, every part of me was singing. He turned to the other officer and said "have you got a wet wipe?" This killed me even more. I asked if we could leave again and was told that we could, the clean up was now top priority. We got to a couple of cars away and pretty much howled with laughter the whole way home. I just heard from Benji that the night in question was our first ever Slam City/+1 night at the Macbeth so it makes the tale so much better. Our one year anniversary.
I thought I'd share that little Chrimbo story with you, it's a funny one. Enjoy your holidays.

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