Impersonating a police officer
So, I walk up to the custody desk with a justified swagger. Sergeant Evans looks at me over the rim of his teacup, glances across to the clown I have in my handcuffs (I know they’re mine because they have Pokemon stickers on them), then fixes his steely, twenty-nine-years-in-the-job gaze back onto me.
“Is this going to be like the time you arrested Bill Stickers?”
“Absolutely not Sergeant.”
“Because we’re still paying for that, you know.”
“I know Sergeant, but I have actual grounds this time.”
“As I recall, you thought those signs were adequate grounds last time.”
“You must admit they were a bit confusing though Sergeant. If there’s no warrant for his arrest, why put up posters everywhere insisting that Bill Stickers will be prosecuted?”
Sergeant Evans sighs and sits up in his chair. He looks across the desk at my clown and we are all silent for at least a minute and a half. From one of the cells, a mournful yodelling can be heard. Eventually, his internal conflict apparently resolved, he shakes his head and starts typing into the custody computer.
“What’s he done then?”
I clear my throat and stand to attention, as befits my badge of office, which has dropped through a hole in my trouser pocket and is sitting in my right shoe.
“Taking and driving away a motor vehicle, common assault and possession of an adapted offensive weapon Sergeant.”
Sergeant Evans regards me with an optimistically elevated eyebrow.
“Really? Has he been searched?”
“He certainly has Sarge.” I say, feeling that things are going well enough for us to be on shortened-rank terms (besides which, he frequently refers to me with an abbreviated version of ‘Constable’)
I place three clear, plastic evidence bags on the desk. One is stuffed with colourful handkerchiefs, the other two are full of glitter. Sergeant Evans turns a couple of shades paler.
“Give me the facts.”
“So, I’m conducting enquiries on foot, because DI Reid’s still upset about me losing the squad’s Fiesta down that hole, when I see the victim attempting to enter his motor vehicle but being forcibly prevented from doing so by the prisoner who, by means of a ladder which he was wielding with reckless abandon, struck the victim multiple cranial blows, knocking him to the ground. At this point, I called for backup and continued to observe from a safe distance…”
I pause because Sergeant Evans’ tea has obviously gone down the wrong way and am waiting for the coughing to subside.
“…which is when I see the prisoner assault the victim with a bucket full of this glittery, metallic substance before making off in his vehicle. It was only the fact that both doors and all four wheels dropped off the vehicle after twenty yards that allowed me to apprehend this menace to society.”
Sergeant Evans, who stopped typing some time back and is now a terrifying shade of purple, stares at me in what can only be awe. I am distracted by the fact that a capillary has burst in his eye, turning it entirely red. After a while, he speaks in a tenor vibrato.
“He wouldn’t, by any chance, happen to also be…”
“A clown Sergeant?”
“Absolutely not Sergeant. I actually think he’s a writer of some sort.”
Sergeant Evans deflates in the style of a harpooned dinghy. He looks across to the whiteboard.
“All the other cells are full of Morris dancers, so he’ll have to share with the mime in number four.”
“What’s the mime in for?” I ask.
“He’s a fucking mime.” replies Sergeant Evans, reminding me that I still have a lot to learn. I nod my agreement while the clown honks his nose in futile protest.