Sunday, July 31, 2005


On Friday evening I was sitting on my scooter at the Kent Street lights on Berwick Street, when I heard an aggressive shout. As usual, this inspired an instantaneous and instinctive audit of my self and my situation. Is this directed at me? Am I currently breaking any road rules? Is my headlight on high beam? Are my Florsheims an affront to good taste and professional footwear? Anything? Anything?

The shout came again, a second later, and I realised that it was far too hardcore to be mere sartorial criticism or roadrage; it wasn’t the roar of someone crazed with anger, but that of someone holding and directing his anger in a tight, focussed beam. I looked over my shoulder and saw a cluster of police converging in the front yard of a nearby house. The shouting one had a shotgun levelled at the head of a man in a red flannel shirt, and everything about his voice and demeanour announced that he wouldn’t think twice about shooting him like a dog.

Even so, Red Flannel Man was clearly considering all his options as he slowly put his hands behind his head and lay down on the grass. But there were at least six cops, and only one of him, and he must have realised he had no real option but surrender.

Of course if I was in the same position, I would have gone down and kissed the ground faster than the Pope on speed. I’m about as hard as a jelly doughnut.


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