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Come On In My Kitchen (part six)

March 6, 2011


Constable Grimbold shambled up to the station in all his finery. He was hungry and he was not on duty. He achieved an egg mayonnaise sandwich from the café at a cost of £1.60 in money.

The trouble with Constable Grimbold was that he looked like Peter Beardsley as sketched by Aubrey Beardsley. He browsed the day’s paper at the newsstand, which he had not been able to read that morning because he was busy observing and reviewing the official interrogation of a violent criminal.

The newspaper was full of information. A supermarket had banned schoolchildren from taking bags into its store. A woman was distressed after receiving an email from her recently deceased husband urging her to look at a new website for downloading mobile phone ringtones. A man from Jamaica had been given a gold medal for running a distance of one hundred metres at remarkable speed. It was not thought that the man would attempt to use the gold medal as currency in exchange for food or accommodation; more likely he would keep it in a cabinet with his other ones and think about it fondly.

He fell into a reverie by the newsstand with an expression like an off-duty tiger shark. You can see with this Constable Grimbold that I’m having merry hell getting the ambling bastard from A to B.

His prompt and proper arrival at B (wherever that may B) must seem even less probable when I tell you that the train he tried to board was quickly confirmed by its conductor to be going nowhere at all in the immediate future.

‘Under no circumstances will I permit you to board the train’, asserted the conductor, a decent and enthusiastic Hungarian.

‘What’s the meaning of this, then?’, asked Grimbold.

‘This is not a matter for the public to have knowledge of.’

‘And what if I were to give you five pounds?’

‘I will accept the bribe under no circumstances. But I will tell you in confidence that part of a man’s anatomy is trapped in the seats, and under no circumstances will we set the train in locomotion.’

Constable Grimbold’s eyes widened (the effect was repulsive). This was clearly an horrific event, and as an officer of the law he thought that he might go and have a nosey. Brandishing his badge he barged through the train door, weirdshaped, full-blooded and – under these circumstances – off-duty no longer.

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