I’m supposed to exercise my right tomorrow and walk up to the local school, The Paul Gadd Comprehensive, and put a cross beside the name of the individual who I want to become Kent’s first Police and Crime Commissioner. Frankly, and not for the first time in my life, I am absolutely clueless. I suppose I should have paid more attention to the election broadcasts, pamphlets and canvassers which haven’t passed my way over the past three months.
For someone like me who is known for, and occasionally criticised for, taking an active interest in politics and the police, it is shameful that I have no idea who is indeed standing for this, doubtless, very important post. I suppose I’m taking the view that if the powers-at-be aren’t interested (which seems to be the case, judging by the lack of info flying about) then I’m not either. In fact, if I hadn’t cast a cursory glance over the runners and riders for a previous post, I’d have no idea that at least one of the candidates is called Steve Uncles and he is representing the English Democrats. So at least that narrows down the field of those I might vote for, having already crossed off his name from my mental ballot.
And please don’t think I’m un- or even dis-interested in the election. Crime is at the forefront of my mind at the moment. They say tell me that four, count ’em FOUR houses in the nearby vicinity have been broken into over the past couple of weeks. This is rather unsettling and has quite rightly, worried the goolies out of The Incumbent. Measures need to be taken. Actions need to be acted upon.
I consider it a given that, no matter who gets elected as Civvy-Plod-in-Chief tomorrow, it will be asking a lot to see a dozen or so Bobbies plodding their size-nines up and down Margaret Moran Way, keeping a keen eye on the Potting Shed, making sure that, not only me and the Incumbent are safe, but that no-one lays a latex glove on my complete set of Columbo DVDs, my Gilbert & Sullivan LP collection or, any of the 1,538 unsold T-shirts in assorted colours (get em while they’re hot, they’re lovely).
There is a porch attached to the front of our abode. It has nice double-glazed windows and double-glazed door. It’s main purpose is to house a couple of pairs of wellies, my walking stick and as a place where delivery drivers can leave parcels, should we ever be away from our posts. It has never been locked – well, not for the two years I’ve been living here it hasn’t.
More recently it is where the Gabor the milkman, a new addition to our cast of character, leaves his dairy goods and the odd loaf of bread, they having been ordered by the Missus online the night before. We never had a milkman before a few weeks ago. But a man (who we now know is named Gabor) knocked on the door a while back pleading with us to buy milk etc from him and not from “them fuckers” down at Sainsburys. “My milk might be a little bit more expensive than theirs, but it’s much fresher, and you’ll be keeping me in work” said the Magyar Milky. It was a decent enough argument (especially the “them fuckers” bit) and so we felt good with ourselves when we ordered a pint every third day, and a loaf at the weekend (we know how to push the boat out). Long live Serfdom, thought the Socialist.
Well that was a month ago. Ever since that day, every third day (and/or every Saturday) we are awoken at 3.45 am, (yes, that’s ZERO THREE FORTY-FIVE ACK EMMA) by Gabor and his ghostly gold-tops, coming down the driveway like an annoyed Panzer Division, whacking open our porch door til it nearly Houdini’s itself from its hinges, then three seconds later slamming closed the self-same door before, like a plague of rattling Stukas, Gabor and his crate of milk bottles (deficient to the tune of one), retrace their steps up the driveway and on to the next and ,up until now, slumbering household.
So today I went looking for the key to the porch, while The Incumbent firstly wrote a note to Gabor telling him he was one slam of the door away from waving our £1.80-a-week goodbye, then off she went looking for a plastic/other* box to leave outside and into which Gabor could put our orders next time he came a-calling.
3.45 am is fuckin early, even for an old insomniac like me. I have wondered if we were the only ones on his route. I can’t place where the nearest dairy is. Must be miles away. If we’re half-way along on his round, some people must get their milk before they go to bed of an evening. Probably just after Countdown.
So anyway, after a lot of faffing about, I found the key, then had to wait 3 hours til the long squirt of WD40 took its toll on the rusty old, seized up lock. After which the lock actually still works. The porch door now locks, keeping Gabor out, and becoming another line of defence against Dave the Burglar, and his Burglar friends. Not satisfied with that, I found in a cob-webby corner of the Potting Shed my never-been-used-successfully set of golf clubs, from which I have extracted my trusty 5 iron with which to keep under the bed, just in case I come up against an intruder in the middle of the night. Or worse, though possible a little less likely, a medium-length par 3. Let’s hope for the burglar’s sake, he has a head which looks like a golf ball. I’ll never manage to hit it.