Friday, 17 July 2009

The seven percent no-brainer

Remember northern England’s reputation for hard-headed, no-nonsense practicality?

Remember when the police were recruited from the cream of the working class including many from the grammar schools?

Someone has to stand between the nut-jobs and our health and property, and I’m grateful that it’s still the police force that we have got rather than the gestapos they can be elsewhere, but sometimes the bleeding obvious is a tad over-employed…

READING body language and eye contact are a few tips licensees and door staff will use to prevent crime and disorder on nights out in Darwen.

Six-foot-two tall Burberry-capped, Kappa track suited Nike trainer-shod stranger: ‘Excuse me, sor, but would you be good enough spare the cost of a pint of this hosteler’s finest ale for a ‘umble solder late o’ the Afghan War wot ‘as fallen on ‘ard toimes - so ‘e ‘as - due to the vicissitudes o’ finance an’ the fickle fist o’ fate, if I may be so bold as to arsk?

Doctor John Watson: ‘Why certainly, my good fellow.’ He hands him change. ‘I have served Her Majesty in those dusty mountains, and once took a Pathan ball in the Kyber myself.

But tell me; what sort of a gutter urchin from the public housing estates is so well nourished as to grow to six feet and two inches, uses words such as “vicissitudes” and sports tattoos whose legends proclaim their civic footballing enthusiasms and messages of filial affection in fine church Latin?’

Mister Sherlock Holmes (for it is he), removing baseball cap: ‘Why, I believe that I have made a detective of you at last, my dear Watson.’

Watson (astonished):’Good Lord Holmes! What are you doing here?’

Licensees and door staff in Darwen teamed up with the police to take part in conflict management training course.

Holmes: ‘Inspector Lestrade has sent me north to investigate some curious incidents of ribaldry and fisticuffs here in this most picturesque of the County Palatine’s mill-towns. It seem that neither he nor any but one of the local bobbies are having much luck in identifying the miscreants before mayhem ensues and the Queens’ peace-.’

Watson: ‘God bless her!’

The training, which was delivered by Sergeant Andy Maltman as part of Darwen’s Bar U scheme, gave licensees and door staff tips on how to spot and stop potential incidents of disorder and how to react to them effectively and safely.

Holmes: ‘God bless her indeed, Watson, - before the Queen’s peace is quite broken, with consequent costs, loss of revenues to Crown and Corporation alike, endless administration for the investigating detectives, and the very great loss of healthy sleep for the families of the stout taxi drivers, kebab delivery-men and mobile phone sellers who form the yeomanry of Darwen.

In the absence due to influenza of Sergeant Maltman, I am here to investigate what type of fellows are leading this rowdiness.

Let us see what deductive reasoning might do for us here.

Take that fellow over there, Watson. D’you see anything amiss with him?’ He points to a drinker slumped at the lager section of the Lord Roberts of Kandahar’s public bar.

Watson: ‘That chap? Why he is slurring his speech - which I note tinkles with the soft, musical burr of the Mersey - a tattoo collection so obscene that it would bring blushes to the face of a Yemeni Lascar with twenty years as a boiler man’s third assistant on a tramp steamer sailing the Bristol to Lahore route. From his rotund shape, broken-veined visage and cigarette-stained fingers, I’d say he’s a twenty-year Incapacity Benefit claimant and former dockworker who still blames his two decades of unbroken idleness and undiagnosed incapacity on the former Prime Minister and life peer Baroness Thatcher. Ah, I see that he has asked the potboy to justify his statement regarding who was responsible for the soccer disaster at the Hillsborough Stadium. Trouble, I’d think, Holmes. That game’s afoot, wouldn’t you say?’

Holmes (smiling kindly): ‘My dear chap, appearances can be so deceptive, and you have merely noticed the obvious. Let us examine him more closely. Do you see the neatly-ironed creases in the sleeves of the Henri Lloyd polo shirt, and the esoteric markings on the formidable gathering of gold-effect chains around his neck-?...’ he ducks as the pot-boy flies horizontally over their table towards the juke box. ‘Despite this vocal defence of his brother Liverpool supporters, I’d say from these simple observations that he is in fact an impoverished minor relative of the Royal Family and a freemason of the more liberal and outgoing sort-’ he swerves to avoid the topic of their conversation who is even now piling onto the barman with flying fists and stamping Rockports ‘And therefore he can pose little threat to life or property.

Chair of BAR U Reg Gorton said they were trained how to diffuse a situation by remaining calm and bar staff would be encouraged to explain why they would refuse to serve someone instead of just saying no which may provoke some customers.

Watson (doubtfully) : ‘I suppose so, Holmes. But what of that young lady there? The one with the micro skirt, gilt boob-tube and JJB own-brand hooded fleece? She who has been arguing with yonder shaven-headed youth all evening – a youth who has been glowering at you throughout our conversation with an intensity I’d say was typical of unreasoning sexual jealousy and misplaced male pride? There’s danger there, I trust you’ll agree?’

Holmes: ‘My dear fellow, I think that I must tutor you a little more if you are to carry on my work. While it is true that the couple have indeed been talking intensely for some minutes now you can surely see that the young woman is a mother and several times over for all her tender years. Indeed, I suspect that she is the mother of those very ragamuffins outside to whom I paid a shilling each to mind my rented motorcar when I parked it this evening. There is a flash of light from the car park, as of an Avis Ford Focus bursting into flames. ‘But she is clearly also a devoted mother and her anxiety and her young man’s is almost certainly due to the modern habit -’ here Holmes sniffs disapprovingly ‘- of gentlemen no longer carrying either manly walking-sticks nor neatly-folded umbrellas as part of their evening costume. She is clearly concerned for the amusement of her multi-hued children outside, and is ruefully discussing with the man how sad it is that he carries neither cane nor brolly, so that sadly the scamps may not use her earrings for toys and roll them up and down the street as you and I were wont to do Watson when we ourselves were young.’

Shaven-headed youth ( to Holmes) : ‘Wot the ---- are you lookin’ at, you lanky bastard?’

He hoped the training would help keep customers and staff stay safe and encourage them stay in Darwen for a night out.

The training was organised after licensees expressed concerns about personal safety and incidents of violence both inside and outside pubs in Darwen. It was delivered to 46 members of staff from pubs across Darwen.

Later that night, outside the Come N Get It Niteclub

Watson: ‘Are you well now, Holmes, old chap?’

Holmes (holding a blood-stained handkerchief over his nose): ‘Why, never better my dear Watson, never better. Though a seven percent solution might calm me and help me to order my thoughts. Perhaps we should go inside so I can find such a dose through the good services of one of these fine porters here?’

Sgt Maltman said: “Hopefully this training will allow licensees to work in a safer environment as well as helping the police to reduce crime in Darwen.

“Whilst violent crime is down in Darwen, this type of training should demonstrate that the police work closely with licensees to make the town’s pubs a safe place to socialise.”

Later still, in the street outside the Come N Get It.

Watson: ‘I told you Holmes, most of these doormen are well-paid agency staff now. You can’t just ask them for cocaine as if it was the way to the cloakroom any more.’ He finishes wrapping the field dressing around Holmes’ arm.

Holmes: ‘No matter Watson, let us continue our quest to discover what dark secret burns in the breasts of so many of Darwen’s lusty youths and blushing maidens and bids them misbehave so remarkably.’

Holmes hauls himself up from the pavement and props himself unsteadily against a street sign.

‘That young lady, for example; a beauty for sure, if underdressed by several layers. What can you deduce about her existence and of the threat – if any – that she poses to life and limb in Lancashire?’

Watson, (musingly): ‘Well she looks twenty or twenty-two years old so I’d say she is in fact no older than sixteen. From the still-fresh stretch-marks on her midriff and the constellation of facial piercings I’d surmise that she left school no more than a year ago and furthermore that she left it bearing no certificates of achievement at all. From her teeth, her gait and the heelless state of her left plastic stiletto shoe, I’d say that she is fond of vodka-based sugary shots, and that she started drinking them between four to five hours ago.’

Holmes: ‘Very good, John; very good indeed. You are back on form I see. Is there anything else you can tell me about her recent activities and anything at all about the prospects for her future and its likely effects on the rest of humanity?’

Watson: ‘Well, I don’t expect her to put any upward pressure at all on the going price for illegal Rohypnol tonight, and I see that she is both a rapid eater and a connoisseuse of lamb kebab with garlic and chilli sauce, heavy on the onions, and curly fries.’

Holmes: ‘Good Lord, Watson, how do you know the latter?’

Watson points downwards.

Mr Gorton, who owns Roxy and Bar Java nightclubs, added: “The training session held by Darwen Police was a great success and I was really impressed with the attendance. This training is yet another tool that we as licensees can implement and ensure that we maintain the safety of our staff and customers at all times.”

Holmes (mopping his ruined shoes): ‘Finally, Watson, what can we conclude about public safety and report to Lestrade’s bumbling police colleagues about the best way to enjoy a healthy and enjoyable evening in Darwen and its sister towns in the Red Rose County?

Sunnyhurst ward councillor, Andrew Graham, who is on Blackburn with Darwen licensing committee, said: “I think anything that helps keep disorder to a minimal is a good thing.

“People want to feel safe when they are on a night out. If people know that licensees and door staff have taken the course they will feel more confident about going into the town centre.

“When there is an incident it is dealt with very quickly by police and the appropriate people. I hope this gives people confidence to stay or come to Darwen for a night out.”

Watson: ‘Put your foot down and head for Yorkshire?’

Holmes: ‘Quite so, John, quite so.I’ve heard that Dewsbury’s nice and there’s this little place where they do double shish with donner, gravy and shredded red cabbage that’s to die for.’

Watson: ‘Very likely it is Holmes.


Goodnight Vienna said...

No, no, no - keep them well away from Yorkshire please. I liked one of the replies to the article - 'try stopping Gorton's lock-ins and the amphetamine pushing instead'. It's all too softly-softly these days.

Sue said...

Whatever happened to logical thinking?

JuliaM said...

Just superb...! :)

James Higham said...

The rich tapestry of your mind, NNWer.

Adam Mantis said...

Once again, another thoroughly entertaining post

Dave H said...

Sheer, faultless, hilarious class. God bless all writers of such material and all who sail in them. I really wish I could write something like that.

(Actually, I may nick it and pretend I can. I would, of course, amend it to read 'took a Jezail bullet' to ease my conscience)

North Northwester said...

Thank you, thank, one and all.

Sorry I'm late saying hi, but I've been away in a place with no computers.

Dave H, if I can steal teh Great Detective's grweat name, you can steal my mutterings ;-)


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