Saturday, 4 July 2009

Drag Act. Hair net. 5-0.

Sweet holy Mother of Kermit!

Have the Muppets been officially declared the new aristocracy to rule over us wisely and firmly but kindly? Or is the following in fact not at all a really, really stupid idea?

Top cops visit burglars in Ferret City.

Daaa..da-da dah!

The story you are about to read is true.

Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, if any.

My name’s Monday. I carry a club. I’m a cop.

Dah..da daaa-da!

EAST Lancashire’s top cops have paid personal visits to the area’s most prolific burglars as part of a month-long crack-down on crime.

July 5, 9.21 am. Lancashire Police HQ.

I took a patrol car and drove the brass from downtown into the dark heart of Ferret City’s Lower East Side. Riding along was an exchange-placement officer on a PR junket for City Hall – a shapeless, smiling foreigner and a distant relative of the Frenchman who wrote Magic Roundabout.

Already I knew it was gonna be a bad day.

Finally convincing the brass that, yes, the seatbelt and smoking regulations applied above the rank of Detective Sergeant, I took the fast and dirty route up the Barnoldswick Road, past Charlie Wong’s Racetrack; second home to Ferret City’s biggest dreamers and the final resting-place of its slowest greyhounds – also the graveyard of many a Friday wage packet and many more marriages to women called Vera.

Pausing only to spend fifteen minutes going around Ferret City’s award-winning counter-clockwise one-way traffic system with its ACPO-approved traffic-calming measures, we were soon in the rotten heart of East Lancashire’s Red Zone; the Merdbeck Estate.

Daaa..da-da dah!

Superintendent Buddy Kowalski and Chief Inspector Myron Napolitano delivered warning letters to five of the area’s most persistent burglars who operate across Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley yesterday.

July 5, 9.59 am. 42 Anglezarke Moor Lane. Merdbeck Estate. Ferret City

‘Intel says this one’s a real hard nut,’ growled Kowalski, ‘A real low-life shyster, pimp, pusher, fence, trellis, ornamental hedge, water feature and grafter named Leonardo ’Lenny the Ring-Tailed Lemur Romano. ’

I wondered if the Intel guys had been into the evidence locker again with the Sarah Lee Cookie Dough and were even now ordering two eighteen–inch everything-included meat-feast pizzas apiece from Mohammed ‘Mo the Cheese’ Khan’s takeaway and fast food bar on Corporation Street.

‘Listen Monday,’ Kowalski went on, ‘This time I don’t want you staring and the ceiling throughout the whole interview and pretending to be an actor shadowing us for the day. You hear?’

Intel were on form. There’s nobody in all of Lancashire called Leonardo Romano but Kevin McFall was at the address alright: in an unornamented council flat with its National Collection of flat-screen TVs, but his name wasn’t on the letter so it was impossible to serve him with the paper.

Not that he needed more – he had an ASBO for every one of those giant TVs but not a single receipt.

The Frenchman smiled as we left to the musical accompaniment of McFall’s untouchable laughter.

Daaa..da-da dah!

Twenty-five others who form the ‘top 30’ burglars in Lancashire have been swooped on by senior officers from other police divisions.

Geographic inspectors across the county will also be paying a visit to their area’s most troublesome offenders.

July 5, 10.47 am. Flat 3, 67 Darwen Road. Merdbeck Estate. Ferret City.

It’s not easy to like people in a place whose very name conjures up images of squirming translucent things evolving in the primordial soup but you’re grateful for the lack of hospitality in Darwen Road where the kitchens are never used for cooking - unless you count unwrapping kebabs or heating up the wrong end of spoons.

‘You coming out of there, O’ Brannigan?’ yelled the kneeling Napolitano through the broken letterbox of the apartment. Napolitano was smarter than the average skateboarder though his meteoric rise through the police ranks had been slow in the first couple of years when he had actually attended monumental stone carving classes. There’s a good side and a bad side to the brass learning about the existence of the Internet, but one quick glimpse at Wikipedia’s disambiguation facility and he was on his way to higher places.

‘We no understan’, copper,’ came a muffled cry from within. ’You got warrant?’ inquired a pseudo-Polish voice of the ball-of-fur that I’ve written down on numerous reports since his grade school truancy days and spelled as Gary Butler, but who I call neither ‘Gary’ nor ‘Bulter’.

Not in the recesses of what remains of my soul.

‘Well, no, actually, I don’t have a warrant as this isn’t really an investigation as such. It’s just that we’re onto you O’Brannigan, we know all about your light-fingered ways, and if you try to pull any heists in my town, I’ll jolly well come down hard on you, like.-

‘-like a ton of social workers? Public defenders? Police brutality complaints?

If you’ve got anything on me, then kick in the door and come get me, but otherwise, go ‘way now. I’m busy with my bitches.’

‘That went well,’ beamed Napolitano on the way down 67 Darwen Road’s needle-tinkling stairs as I made a mental note to cross Criminology Degree off my Amazon wish-list.

The French guy just smiled again, and scribbled in his little grey book.

Daaa..da-da dah!

Chief Inspector Napolitano, who is leading the operation in Eastern Division, said: “Burglary in Lancashire is at its lowest in 35 years, but we want to keep it that way and this is just one of many tactics aimed at disrupting the activities of our most prolific burglars.

This type of crime is iconic and has an adverse impact on public confidence, not only to victims, but to the wider community.”

July 5, 12.16 am. Case, Bag and Cash Trading Inc. Ecclestone Munitions Industrial Estate. Ferret City.

‘Icons…Icons. L’yet me see. ‘Lyet me see…’ said Kiselev as we stood gormlessly in his pawn shop right after Chief Napolitano had explained Lancashire’s brilliant new anti-crime strategy to him.

The fence wandered off, chuckling, into the back of his shop that I knew contained half the stolen goods in Lancashire. There was a keyboard tapping sound as username and passwords were deleted and contacts broken but it meant nothing to the brass; I’d recently had to explain to Kowalski that login wasn’t a Russian surname.

Kiselev returned. ‘So sorry, gentlemens,’ he smiled, wiping tears from empty, satisfied eyes, ‘But I haff no icons. I got many stuffed animals y’and also plasma screen televisions like new, y’and also very large collection of Hannah Montana merchandise from this poor teacher you arrest by accident last week and release without charges. Also I got much nice new house furnishings and ornaments from MP now spending time wit’ h’yis researcher family before election but no icons, unfortunate.

You say there is much house-breakings in Ferret City, officers; despite the lowest crime since thirty years, God be thanked? I know nothing of such.’

‘Well just you keep an eye out for suspicious characters coming in here, Mister Kiselev,’ said Napolitano, as Kowalski eyed a silk evening gown and silver fox stole longingly.

‘Sure will, y’inspector. Glad to help polices always. Y’and if you is having difficults with forensic evidencs for this one crime or that one, SOCKO budget low and no overtimes, you be giving me a call da? Haff friend in National DNA Database from old days.’

‘Why that’s very public spirited of you, Mister Kiselev,’ put in Kowalski as he put down something silk and spangled with diamante with obvious regret.

The Frenchman met my eyes on the way back to the squad car as he muttered into a pocket mike.

There are a million stories in the City of Pigeons.

Daaa..da-da dah!

.“There are a small minority of people responsible for committing the majority of burglaries.” The message to them is simple: we know who you are, we know where you live, and if you continue to commit crime, you will be targeted.”

The warning letters are the first phase of Operation Julius, a campaign aiming to reduce burglaries across Lancashire.

Other aspects to be employed will involve filming suspects as they go about their day-to-day lives.

Superintendent Kowalski said: “We want burglars to know we are watching them.

“Most intitatives are to counteact a problem, but we have the lowest crime rates for 35 years and we want to keep it that way.”

He added: “It’s not often you get a Chief Inspector and a Superintendent knocking on people’s doors.“

But we know the impact these people have on the community and we want to show them we’re not messing about.“

They won’t like getting these warnings, or being watched.

“But it’s their choice. If they stop offending, they won’t have to worry.”

July 5, 15.32 am. 9 Tockholes Walk, Merdbeck Estate. Ferret City.

Sharon Plank was a bust.

Even her bust was a bust: despite years of work the twin towers of the former Miss East Lancashire and The Blackburn Intelligencer’s Playbloke Supplement centrefold Ferretgirl of the Month for October 1996 has seen better days. One of those better days had apparently been 9/11.

‘Listen copper,’ she sneered as Kowalski handed her a threatening letter from the Lancashire Constabulary (into which I was fairly sure was folded a hastily-scrawled note requesting the name of her plastic surgeon and the address of her costume suppliers), ‘I don’t know nothing about no burglaries.’ She scratched under her hair-net alluringly.

‘What’s this? You hassling my wife?’ rumbled my old pal Terry Dean Reynolds as he emerged from a back room that was filled with well-thumbed law books and purely decorative Housing Benefit claim forms full of imaginative names and identities for his amateur dramatic society nights down at the Overspill Refugee Centre.

‘You’re always round here bothering us, and we never done nothing’ - except that one time. Which was self-defence.

You never get pictures or forensics or hire lawyers from anywhere but Ferret City U who couldn’t spot a walk-away technicality if it bit them on the arse. There’s never going to be enough filth on the street when you’re always in the station house doin’ paperwork or away on diversity courses or poncin’ around with the communities. So I’m laughing at your Operation Julius which you’ll never have the manpower to follow through or the overtime to back up.

You ought to get out more year in: year out an’ spend some money on beat coppers like the old sod who always put my Dad in nick.

So you get out an’ don’t let the door hit you on the arse as you go. An’ take that Frog bastard with you.’

Kowalski beamed with delight at this last remark.

‘That’s racial harassment, Mister Reynolds, and we know how to deal with that kind of thing in my town.’

Kowalski turned to the Frenchman who was now stroking his Zebedee moustaches and jumping up and down like he was on a spring.

‘Book ‘em Danot,’ he said.


James Higham said...

No, you're not wrong - the Muppets are the new warrior class.

WomanHonorThyself said...

lolz. great piece dude!

Adam Mantis said...

I think this could well be one of the best posts I've ever read anywhere... keep it up!


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