Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Justice: seen to be done

I must say these new meds are excellent. A little on the large side, and rather green; the resemblance to a green olive was so remarkable I started taking them in my breakfast dry martini, and I've been really quite lucid since. I said so to Mrs QO, thinking this might reassure her after the trials of the last few days. "For a given value of lucid, no doubt," she said, which I thought was most generous of her.

I believe my last update was shortly before a period of unconsciousness while handcuffed to a hospital bed. My next recollection was the sight of two large and stern-visaged Officers of the Law leaning over me, one on either side. I gazed up at them in some confusion.

"Ah, feeling a bit more awake, are we, sir? Good. Thought we'd bring you up to speed, so to speak, sir. We've investigated the circumstances, and run everything by Mizz Voletreader of the Crown Prosecution Service."

"Hur hur. She's quite a lady, in't she, sarge?"

"She is indeed, PC Ballvalve. Top-class lawyer, hates villains and..."

"...legs up to her armpits, sarge."

"Yes, well, PC Ballvalve, we don't want any suggestion of gender-based innuendo, if you'd be so good. And if you value your career, such as it is. Anyway, sir, Mizz Voletreader said that unless we could find a 'Prohibition on Being a Complete Arse' on the statute book..."

"We did look. Twice."

"... then there really wasn't an obvious avenue for charging you with a criminal offence. I did suggest to her, sir, that we might explore the possibility of 'wasting police time' but she said that we'd have to charge most of the Government if we charged you and that was likely to irritate the Chief Super."

"We don't want that, sarge."

"Indeed, no. So, sir, I'm here just to issue an official caution and then leave you in the capable hands of Nurse Desirée."

I was rather bemused by all this, but managed to enquire on what basis I was being cautioned.

"Don't irritate Nurse Desirée, sir. Those handcuffs aren't ours. They're hers."

He straightened, adjusted his tunic, touched a finger to his helmet.

"PC Ballvalve, with me, son. G'night, all."

And with that he proceeded in official majesty and a south-westerly direction toward the ward door, a testament to Sir Robert Peel's vision.

I felt a deep wave of relief wash over me. I would not, then, have to face the Magistrates; I instinctively felt my explanations would not have found favour with those severe and unbending arbiters, and I could surely not have avoided finding myself a helpless prisoner in the remotest dungeon of the best-guarded keep of the stoutest castle in all the length and breadth of Merry England.

However, all was well. I brightened. Surely once the necessary if tedious medical procedures were complete, I would be released and I could continue my experiments. A minor setback had been encountered, yes, but the path to enlightenment has never been said to be an easy one. (Even with stout boots and a GPS.) I relaxed back into my bed, and looked forward to Nurse Desirée's return.

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