Wonderful quote in this morning's Guardian. As I don't commute on Fridays any more (or most days, come to that) I feel I have the time to share it with you. The story is that some 11% of British banknotes have traces of cocaine and a drugs expert from the Kent Police, PC Adrian Parsons explained how the fuzz go to work when they think they've found a white-powder merchant in a crowded pub.
"You can spot people in the queue who when they get to me its 'game on'
that they will provide a positive sample," said Parsons. "They are
louder than normal people. They are non-stop talkers. They are arrogant
and feel invincible. They are happy to ridicule bystanders who are not
part of their group, particularly police officers. They are
jaw-clenching, sweaty, with clammy skin. They are extremely paranoid,
especially if you try to look up their nose, and have eyes the size of
saucers. These are the symptoms we teach police officers to look for."
It was lucky I was not drinking tea as I read that deathless line about looking up people's noses. It would have spattered all over the paper. Anyway, the scene is a crowded pub in Kent and a loud, talkative. sweaty jaw-clencher is at the bar whilst a gent with a raincoat and notebook crouches at his knees. The lines just write themselves.
Jaw-clencher: "Eight pints of triple X love and have a double vodka yourself. And pass me that napkin, I'm drenched here"
Plainclothesman: "Sorry sir would you mind just flaring your nostrils a little"
Jaw-clencher "What the hell are you doing? And wearing that stupid coat in here, you look like a nonce, you pathetic little worm"
Plainclothesman "Please don't ridicule me sir, I'm only doing my duty. It's bad enough you staring at me with those huge saucer-like eyes."
Jaw-clencher "You're out to get me! All of you. You're all out to get me!!"
Plainclothesman whispers into microphone sewed into lapel "I think I've got one, Super."
Jaw-clencher "Do your worst, copper, you'll never pin one on me, Captain Superbo, the toughest man in the galaxy"
Plainclothesman "That'll do nicely sunshine, you're nicked"
with grateful thanks to Michael Frayn in whose satirical footsteps I am not worthy to follow