As we travelled to Newmarket for a combined race meet and Razorlight gig, I saw a police bike in my rear view mirror. I checked my speed and noted that at 80mph I was travelling a little fast but not excessive, I slowed down as he zoomed up behind us, breaking the speed limit by a heck of a lot more than me in the process. He tailed me for a couple of miles and I used the cruise control to stick at exactly 70mph. He pulled along side and stayed there for another mile or so before darting in front and pointing to a fast approaching (but probably not as fast as it would have been if I hadn’t seen him) lay-by. My heart rate went right up (who needs exercise to raise your heart rate when you can just deal with the police?) at the same time my heart felt like it sank through to my stomach (an all over body work out)…..
Decision time, how do I play this one?
I decided to get out of the car and face it like a man. Please don’t try this in America, I believe they tend to Tazer or shoot you unless they actually invite you to step out of the car. I suspect either of these actions will prove detrimental to your bargaining powers. Rolling around bleeding or with your hair slightly smoking with sparks coming off it might give you the moral high ground but an inability to utter anything more coherent than sobbing and gibbering does not help win the argument ….
Mrs B said that the colour drained from my face as I walked towards the officer and I appeared to visibly shrink. That would be because as the officer got off the bike he towered over me, being almost a head taller…The bully.
Hmmm, perhaps I should have stayed in the car after all, at least he would have got a bad back leaning down menacingly over us.
My first thought was: “Maintain eye contact; and show no fear” but with the benefit of hindsight, that might be for dealing with snakes not an eight foot high policeman. It’s a shame there were no trees close by, I could have got back the height advantage….although come to think about it that might be just for dealing with bears….well non-climbing ones anyway…It's not easy to think straight under this sort of pressure.
I felt like a naughty schoolboy up before the headmaster (if your headmaster was in black leather with a Darth Vader style helmet that is….Please note: If this stirs up deep feelings from your past, I really don’t want to know about, but feel free to post details in your own blog). As I dragged my feet towards him I was regretting not stuffing that day's newspaper down the back of my trousers in case he decided to go all 'corporate punishment' on me.
As it was, he decided to play a different game: - Mind Games
Leather Clad Headmaster – “Is this your Car?”
Me – “It’s my company car” *
* My sister had a much better answer when she was dealing with the police after her Mini had been rear-ended at traffic lights and she was asked if it was a company car:
“I don’t think so, I wouldn’t be doing very well if it was would I?”
This came shortly after she announced rather too loudly:
“Look what he’s done to Sooty!” which was the name of her black Mini at the time.
Again, not too bad except the other driver happened to be a black gentleman
LCH – “Have you got your driver’s licence on you?”
Me – “No”
LCH – “Any proof of identity?”
I showed him various cards
LCH – “Do you know why I stopped you?”
Me – “No”
LCH – “Are you kidding me?”
Me – “No”
LCH – “Do you know what the maximum speed for this road is?”
This was getting a bit like "University Challenge" or even "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" - I decided it was probably not the best time to phone a friend....
Me – “70mph”
LCH – “Do you know what speed you were doing?”
Me – “About 77mph"
I decided not to go for 80mph but to go with the 10% rule (You are unlikely to get done for speeding if you are not doing more than 10% of the speed limit) I'm not sure if there actually is a 10% rule but it sounds reasonable to me…. Mrs B said I should have gone in low and worked my way up.
LCH – laughing – “Do you want to try again?”
Me – “77 mph”
My first and final offer...."It was nice knowing you Mrs B, give my love to the cats and tell everyone I put up a brave fight...."
LCH – “Are you calling me a liar?”
Me – “Not at all, what speed do you think I was doing?”
LCH – “If I told you I would have to put you before the magistrate”
Me – “Well I don’t believe I was going more than 77mph”
LCH – “Sounds like you need to get your Speedo calibrated”
There was then an uncomfortable silence as we looked at each other. He broke first, I was too busy thinking what I would look like in prison garb…Not great I suspect.
LCH – “Where are you going?”
Me – “Newmarket”
LCH – “Are you running late?
Me – “No”
Well we were a bit but I didn't think it was a good time to bring it up. A bit like the time I got stopped going home from the supermarket - I decided to hell with the ice-cream it was its fault that I was going a tad faster than I should have been anyway.
Now this makes me sound like a regular speeder. In my defence I have only been stopped 4 times in 28 years of driving and have only been done once for speeding. Admittedly the other 3 times were not to congratulate me on my driving…..
LCH – “So why were you speeding?”
Me – “I hadn’t realised that I was”
More silence and staring, this was going as well as a very bad first date…
CH – “Drive carefully Sir”
Me – “Thank you, I will”
I shook him by the hand, deciding this was a safer couse of action than attempting to punch or even hug him...
So what the hell was that all about? He didn’t even give me a producer (5 days to take my car documents to a Police station of my choice. Shame they don’t cover expenses - I would select Hawaii every time….) I honestly think he was trying to trick me into talking myself into a ticket.
He sped off at what I would estimate was considerably more than 77 mph.
As I got back into the car, Mrs B rather helpfully said:
“Oh my god, I’m a gangster’s moll…..”
(yes Teach, for the record, I did try and compare Mrs B with a half blind garden destroyer, before she edited it out)
I’m just glad he didn’t call Mrs B as a witness. She says policemen make her feel guilty and so she would probably have blurted out something incriminating. The last time she was stopped by the police they were enquiring about her rear light that was not working:
Mrs B - “Oh, yes I know about that.”
The officer was so shocked at her honesty he just told her to get it fixed….Just as well she didn’t confess to other crimes - like having an inconsiderate husband, who should have changed the light for her but had forgotten......
In case any one was wandering what the origins of the fuzz as a term for police was.....
Although "the fuzz" is not a phrase encountered in common parlance, it appears to have originated in the U.S. in the 1920s. It was a pretty popular slang term among "underground types" in the '30s. As is the case with many word origin issues, there are several theories but no definitive answer for your question. Here are some of the more widespread theories on the origins of "the fuzz":
"Fuzz" is derived from "fuss" because police officers are fussy or hard to please.
It's a reference to the beards that police officers sported at the time.
It's a slurred pronunciation of the exclamation "Feds."
So there you have it -- the fuzzy origins of "the fuzz."
Thanks to Yahoo for this tip bit of none information
Horse racing and Razorlight
I’m not a huge fan of horse racing in general, certainly not on the old goggle box, but at an actual race course it makes a bit more sense. As we had been a bit delayed, thank you Officer, the race meet was well underway leaving us with a choice -
Eat first or place a bet.
We went for food as the queues for betting were massive. It turned out to be a good choice because as we sat down for a meal a floating bookie appeared and asked us if we wanted to place a bet.
Or at least it might have been if we had been any good at betting…….
For our first bet I wanted to go for the “Ollie the Octopus” style of betting (The Wold Cup predicting Octopus, that basically went for the brightest team colours) – while Mrs B wanted to go for the ”Sounds familiar” style of betting. I didn’t have the courage of my convictions so we bet on Deacon Blue (Now that sounds familiar), the 11/10 favourite, which romped home behind the 9/1 outsider in the bright yellow colours….Grrrrr that would have paid for our evening….Oh, well.
After this we opted for the Ollie style of betting and watched our choices fall further and further behind the winner of each subsequent race….the brighter the colours the lower the race position. Shame we weren’t betting on losers we would have been rich. Watching all these losers gives you loads of time to think and I came up with a genius idea to make horse racing more exciting. Why not have the horses change their shoes part way through the race? Start off with standard flat metal shoes and then go for 9" stilettos for the final few furlongs. Now, how exciting would that be ...? Apparently a number of young ladies had had a similar idea and tottered precariously around the course in evident support of this. Ladies - grass and stilettos are not a match made in heaven, leave it to the horses they are professional and paid for that sort of thing....
The combined ticket for racing and a concert certainly made for an interesting crowd. Some well dressed wrinklies had absolutely no idea about rock concert etiquette. Part way through the gig I got a huge dig in the ribs and turned around to find a little old lady glaring at me:
Little old lady – “You are blocking my view”
She didn't even have the decency to say "Young man"
Me – “Give me a break, this is a concert I’m meant to be blocking your way…”
For the record Razorlight were brilliant, as usual, and despite my bruised ribs I still managed to enjoy the performace – very little chat just pure rock and roll perfection….
A record of the week
Appropriate music to accompany this week BlackLOG
"Caught by the Fuzz" – Supergrass
"Mind Games" – John Lennon
and various Razorlight songs including
"I Fall to Pieces" - Mr Borrell has clearly had a run in with the traffic police, at sometime in his life...
I was tempted to include "I Fought the Law" - The Clash
but decided it was not appropriate, as in this particular instance the law clearly did not win....
Enjoy....If you happen to be reading this after the song order has changed you can find all the songs on the Ipod shaped jukebox at the top of the blog. Just select the arrow to the left of the song title and you will get the full list of tracks that have been loaded.....
Catch you next week...have a good one