Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Another Routine Call for the Pigs

It was a 6pm to 2am shift on the Rural Section of Countrytown in the Bumsted Constabulary. All the country beat officers (country beat = `Heartbeat`) which included me, could pretty much work the hours that suited their committments which meant I didn't do much night work. However, we were required to double-crew the rural van on a Friday or Saturday night, for what purpose we could never really work out. We had about 100 square miles of farmland, villages and hamlets and with very little in the way of criminal intel to fire us up, we did occasionally feel a wasted resource. Your crewmate would be from another country beat and so what tended to happen was that we'd use the first few hours to try and tidy up all the crappy loose ends on our respective patches and then settle in to playing back-up to the town section, who themselves weren't exactly rushed off their feet. That said, we had our unfair share of high value burglaries and occasional armed robbery committed, often involving the loss of Canaletto's and other top notch fine art and antiques that adorned many of the large country houses of the Home Counties. On this particular night I was posted with Carter, who was an ex merchant seaman and a bit of a lad. His beat house was about 15 miles from mine and, like mine, was less than 100 yards from the village pub. I think Carter had a thing going with the licencee's wife of his pub, because whenever we were crewed together on the van, he always wanted call in there around closing time to `see out the last of the locals`. Whilst we were at the bar chatting to the staff and locals as they left, the landlady would slip into the kitchen and make us a brew. On this particular night she made us our tea, then nipped upstairs and after a few minutes she called down for Carter, who didn't hear her as he was talking to the landlord. I popped my head around the door to the stairs to see what she wanted and there she was, sat on the top step with a big grin and her legs well and truly a'kimbo! Clearly this grand flash of her flimsy unterhosen was not intended for me as she quickly stood up somewhat embarassed and made a hasty exit stage left! On reflection, perhaps she wasn't wearing any unterhosen, but like my famous alter ego Dirty Harry once said, "I kinda forgot myself, in all the excitment". Just after this, as luck would have it, the following call came in: "Bravo Tango 75, we've had a strange treble-nine call. It sounds like a Japanese man so we can't make much sense of what's being said, but we think he's somehow trapped himself inside the telephone kiosk in Leafy Lane. He's panicking so can you attend and assist". We downed our tea and headed off into the sticks and quickly located the scene of the incident. It was pitch black but I still stopped the van 25 yards short for an approach on foot, as a precaution. Carter jumped out and advanced towards the t/k with the hand lamp. He was back within seconds and could barely speak for laughing. I baled out and followed him to the phone booth where we found a frantic Japanese face pressed up against the glass. Still not realising the full extent of his plight, I looked at Carter who grabbed my arm and wheeled me round to the door and shone his torch. Not able to take it all in at first, the beam of the lamp revealed a massive feeding sow, slumped against the door of the phone booth. She'd apparantly escaped from her sty at a local farm and was wandering the lanes snuffling for acorns and general forage and had got herself tuckered out and decided to lean up against the t/k and rest awhile, thus pinning the door shut tight with her massive bulk. Unfortunately, Mr Sakimoto was inside trying to call out the AA at the time. After much pushing, shoving and coaxing the dear old sow heaved herself onto her trotters and trotted off down the lane into the darkness whilst Mr Sakimoto stood before us bowing repeatedly and shaking our hands before dashing back to his car to await his second rescue of the night. After regaining our own composure we slowly headed off in the general direction of the escaped sow and eventually caught up with her on the edge of a hamlet of generally `exclusive` properties. Knowing the local pig farmer, Carter had already got the control room to call him out to the scene as we tried to contain her. She was trotting in the right direction, so I just quietly drove along behind her at a reasonable distance with Carter walking briskly behind waving the lamp as she casually looked back over her shoulder, keeping a piggy eye on him, like the local publican should have been. We were less than a mile from the pig farm and were just starting to feel that glow of satisfaction of a job well done when, totally unpredicted, she took an immediate left turn towards a very expensive house and, to our horror and amazement at her sheer strength, crashed straight through a sturdy garden fence, demolished a low level wall and splashed into an ornamental fish pond where she halted, a-huffing and a-grunting, with the water lapping over her numerous teats. At this point the pig farmer's Land Rover pulled up, having seen me in the police van. Carter, cool as a cucumber, strolled up and pointed him in the general direction of this very expensive house, where the upstairs lights were just coming on, and then coolly jogged up to the van, jumped in and said, "Thats all sorted then, put your foot down and we'll just about be back in time to book off". Sheer devotion to duty, although I suspect he was going back to the pub for an after hours snifter. ©

3 comments:

Auntie Jane said...

Love the pig story... ROFLOL

Sage said...

I was there with you when I was reading that and now tears of laughter are on my face... too funny... loved the landlady on the staircase mit her unterhosen asunder...

Cst KO said...

Howdy...Hope your feeling better soon...

The red phone booths in the photo...DO you see those around alot? I think they are the coolest things around.
I agree with auntie Jane love the pig story...
Lat Cst KO