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This is a question Jobsworths

All over the world there are little people following the rules and being arsey because, let's face it, it's fun.

Tell us about your experiences with petty jobsworths, or, if you are a petty jobsworth, tell us how much you get off on it.

(, Thu 12 May 2005, 9:53)
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Reading Rock
In the early 80's I used to attend the Reading Rock Festival every year. It used to be the highlight of my year, a week of stoned pissed up sex and music - halcyon days.

One year, I forget which, it was absolutely baking hot - real melting Mad Dogs & Englishmen type of weather. Sometime in the early morning I wandered down to the Thames which ran by the camp site and then up to Cavendish bridge and leaned against the parapet and watched the crowds of rockers and hippies enjoying the weather. Then some bright spark had the idea of depth charging the boats passing under the bridge. It was quite a technical operation with a spotter on the other side of the bridge and a team of drunken rockers on the upstream side ready to jump.

As each boat started to go under the bridge, the spotters would indicate where it was likely to emerge and the jumpers would ready them selves in two groups. They'd be over the parapet and hanging onto the guard rail waiting for the boat to emerge and as the prow came out from under the bridge they'd launch themselves in teams of two and land on either side of the boat in the depth charge position. As they surfaced and cleared the jumping area the next pair would jump.

Watching from a few metres away it was really impressive watching these nutters soak every boat passing under the bridge and a large crowd formed on the bridge and on the tow-path to watch their antics. Of course, eventually Plod had to step in and spoil the fun.

About 20 coppers formed up on one side of the bridge and started clearing the bridge and asking everyone to move along under pain of being arrested on whatever trumped up charge they could think of. Eventually they got to me and a fresh faced young sprog of a copper (he looked about 12) told me to remove myself from the bridge immediately.

"What for?" I asked - "I'm not doing any harm"
"'Cos I say so" says Plod "Now move or I'll nick you"
"But I'm not doing anything wrong! I'm enjoying the sunshine in a public place. I'm not drunk and I'm not harming anyone. What grounds do you have to move me on?" says me.
"Look smartarse. I've been told to clear this fucking bridge and that's what I'm going to do. I don't give a shit about what you think - I want you off this bridge, right now, or you're nicked!"
"So if I don't get off this bridge, right now you're going to arrest me? I asked grinning at plod.
"You've finally got the idea into your tiny mind says" copper "Now move"

So with a shit-eating grin flashed at the copper I put both hands on the guard rail and launched myself over the bridge and into the Thames. - A creditable dive even if I do say so myself.

As I surfaced, I looked up at the bridge and could see the copper charging over the bridge and towards the steps that led down to the tow path. The crowd of hippies were jostling and hampering as he ran but the bastard was determined to reach the bank before I did and nick me.

I swam as fast as I could, cutting through the water like a demented epileptic and reached the bank absolutely knackered. As I crawled out, plod was almost at the bottom of the steps and I was too fucked to run. Looks like I'd be spending the rest of the weekend in the cells.

As I staggered to my feet and resigned myself to my fate there was a roar and this trail bike appeared in front of me.
"Jump on mate" Says this greasy biker.
"Way-hey!" yells me and I leapt on the pillion of the bike and we screamed off up the tow path with the copper just missing grabbing my collar by a couple of seconds. Great times.

I remain, as usual,
(, Thu 12 May 2005, 10:56, closed)

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