Monday, 20 April 2009
The Perfect World We Live In
Real names not used in this post. Steve was a big bloke. 6`4", 15 stone, shaved head, arms as big as thighs, covered in tattoos so you couldn't see much un-inked flesh. He was the epitome of the expression, `built like a brick shithouse`. He was very handy with his fists, which made it a good thing if you were on his side, but it wasn't always the case as most of the time he was only on `his own side`. He'd been in many a scrap over the years and was even investigated once or twice, getting away with it - something most people involved in the case knew in their heart of hearts he was guilty of. He was a bully and made women feel uncomfortable in the way he looked at them, talked to them, invaded their personal space and chanced the occasional `grope`. Roger was was friendly, quick witted and jolly, always up for a laugh and pretty much the life and soul of the party. He also fancied himself as a ladies man and was also a bit of a `personal space invader` and would have a grope if he thought it would be OK. He was a bit of a charmer with women, but ultimately would treat them as disposable objects for his own amusement. When he was good, he was very very good, but when he was bad he hurt people badly. Dave was a loner who never really fitted in. He never socialised beyond a game of cards. He was always reading magazines that were on the stronger side of what is sometimes referred to as `soft porn` and which seemed to have a leaning towards whips, chains and restraints. He would always wear black kid leather driving gloves, even in very hot weather, and would often have them on when reading his magazines. If anyone commented that his magazines were `a bit strong` or make a derogatory remark about a particular photograph, Dave would simply say, "Nothing wrong with that" in a monotone voice. People just put it down to him being `a bit of an oddball`. He used to regularly visit a prostitute who specialised in his fetish and would wear a leather mask for him. It covered her mouth. He accidentally suffocated her in a sex and bondage session, panicked and decided to dispose of her body by burying it in some woods. It was eventually discovered, as was Dave's involvement. He was cleared of manslaughter and convicted of obstructing the Coroner and preventing the victims lawful burial. Eric was a very nice man indeed. Diligent, hard working, attentive, very good at his job. He was well known and popular. He died accidentally, dressed in womens underwear, stockings, suspender etc with an orange stuffed in his mouth, having suffocated in one of those auto-erotic asphixia cases. Who were they? Two were senior police officers, one was a police constable and one was an MP. The above examples were unusual. But as well as those 4 particular people I knew and worked with during my polis years, were many other equally unusual men and women. They paraded for work at all sorts of odd hours, often having rest days cancelled to do so. They did their diligent duty, resuscitated people, directed traffic, pulled people, or bits of them, from wrecked cars, rivers and railway lines; climbed bridge parapets to talk people out of jumping to their deaths; investigated the sudden and inexplicable deaths of babies whilst distraught parents looked on as their already shattered lives were poured over by these `agents of the Coroner`; investigated other deaths of infants whose parents had shaken them until their tiny brains bled but who pleaded ignorance; stood inside football stadia whilst moronic hoardes covered them in spit (I always hated duty at "The Shed"). One of my mates took a bullet going to the assistance of Princess Anne during the Mall kidnap attempt [the bullet's still inside, as is the would be kidnapper, no early release scheme for his sort]. Another friend of mine was killed trying to arrest car thieves. hundreds were deployed to Liverpool during the Toxteth riots; hundreds more were sucked into the Miners strike which was not of their making but which made following orders, on occasions, very difficult to reconcile with their own feelings. Some of them used bad judgement and arrested the wrong people; some used the right judgement but also arrested the wrong people - in both examples apologies and compensation followed; one or two got caught up in criminal activity and were prosecuted and sacked; Some faced discipline and weren't sacked, even though they should have been, but maybe their high rank meant that they weren't that bad after all? Some police I knew were a touch rough with people who didn't really deserve it, but there weren't many of their sort. Whats this bloody ramble all about? I don't know exactly, but going round in my mind are questions about the frantics in the media and elsewhere and the idealists and others who are hell bent on beating up the entire police service over matters that are arguably the responsibility of individuals who, like every other officer, have to answer for their individual actions. Very few people who turn up for work intend to do a bad job. The vagaries of work in the emergency services make it unpredictable and tremendously challenging. The police, on a daily basis, do not actually deal with constant `emergencies`. The bulk of the work is about the drudge, dross and general naff mundane ness of the bad bits of the human race as it bumbles and grumbles along its unpredictable path. Striving for perfection is a great goal but it leads me to the other questions buzzing around in my head, `what kind of perfect bloody world do these people think we really live in and how do they achieve perfection in their lives`? and if anyone is in the slightest bit interested in `who was who` amongst Steve, Roger, Dave and Eric...... does it really matter?