Monday, 28 July 2008



Brief bit of context: the night this happened was the night of a big football game in the city. The local team needed a win to secure their place in the playoffs and the visitors needed a win to secure an automatic promotion position, so it was a big night for both sides. Which of course meant it was a big night for the fans. Which meant shit was going to kick off at some point and it was just a question of when.

As is my style, I happened to time it perfectly on two occassions.

So I'm driving back from a drop - this is about an hour before the match even started - and I stop at a zebra crossing to let someone over. In the ten seconds this took the street went from being more or less empty to being swarmed by football shirt wearing mouth-breathers and riot police; seriously, it was fast. One moment, nothing, just me sitting in my car and wondering why the dashboard clock was being so fucking slow, then BOOM! RIOT.

The police are forcing goons out of a pub on the other side of the street, and they're doing so with remarkable efficiency, perhaps because said goons are concentrating more on fighting each other than the police. Fans from both sides just scrapping away, and the cops are kind of herding them as far away from the pub as they can. They seem pretty confused about the whole thing, perhaps because they're more used to people fighting back at them than just going with the flow in order to best continue their own private (well, quite public, really) struggles.

Such is the current of hooliganism that the road itself quickly fills with leering, jeering, bottle-throwing fans. What the fuck am I supposed to do now? I don't mind admitting that I'm a little bit unnerved by the whole thing. The migrating brawl doesn't even seem to clock my presence, but I can't drive in any direction without hitting someone, and I don't particularly fancy running someone down even if they do SUPPORT ANOTHER FOOTBALL TEAM OH MY GOD WHAT A CUNT AM I RIGHT.

But, unfortunately for me, the flowing riot seems to have come to a temporary halt. In the middle of the fucking road. And the fans seem to have momentarily forgotten their differences in order to unite against a common enemy: the motherfucking police. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that, although in this case there seems to be a kind of reverse love triangle of enemies that doesn't bode well for any potential reconciliation in the near future.

So I'm just there, in my Corsa, wondering what my manager is going to make of my excuse for being late back from the drop. Bottles are being thrown, riot batons are prodding ample beer bellies, and I'm just watching it all from the epicentre with the kind of detached fascination I imagine a deer caught in a truck's headlights must feel.

But, eventually, my sense of pizza professionalism wins through and I realise this shit ain't gonna stop going down any time soon. Which fucking sucks, 'cause that means I've got to actually do something about my predicament, which is not my style at all I don't mind telling you.

I roll down my window.

"Er, excuse me?" I shout to the bloke standing nearest to the front of my car.

He turns, startled by the dulcet tones of my voice, momentarily abandoning his noble pursuit of hurling verbal abuse at police officers from behind the safety of about fifty other rioters.

"What?" he asks, a mixture of surprise and primal rage in his voice.

"Er... would you mind moving?" I ask. "You know, just for a second, you can move back after, I'm just running a bit late." I kind of gesture at my car, and then the road, and then him, and then my car again, as I talk, hoping my inept mime will indicate to him what my words are clearly failing to do.

Amazingly, recognition registers after a few moments, and the dude's eyes widen in shock and awe.

"Oh, fucking hell!" he announces, and promptly steps forward, to the edge of the road and deeper into the throng. "Didn't even fucking clock where I was! Sorry mate!" He reaches out with two burly arms and promptly drags two skinnier unfortunates out of my path. "Oi, you mugs, we're in the fucking road!" he tells them, and I see the same astounded realisation on the faces of his thuggish compatriots.

"Cheers, mate!" I say with a casual wave as I drive out of the riot I'd been momentarily embroiled in.

"No worries!" my new friend shouts back cheerily.

As I drive off I look in the rearview and see him pushing deeper still into the riot, tossing aside friend and foe alike as if they were no more than ears of corn in the field of life. That may sound a touch poetic to you, but if it does that is only because you fail to comprehend the beauty of a football riot.

Anyway I get back and my manager looks sceptical, but I remind her of the football game that's on today and she kind of shrugs and just goes along with it (not that she could really do anything else, and not that she really gave a fuck in the first place). I head out on my next drop, and as I do I see a familiar shape on the horizon. I'm driving in the opposite direction to it, but I see what it is and I see where it's headed.

It's the riot. The police have managed to get it moving again - why I don't know, maybe they decided it was time for some other people to be terrorised for a while - and it's heading towards the High Street. Now, to me, the absolute centre of the city centre does not seem to be the best place to herd a football riot towards, but what do I know, right, I'm just a pizza boy not some kind of police mastermind (OR AM I).

Anyway, fuck it, right? Not my problem. I'm headed in the opposite direction.

Only, as I come back from the drop, I realise it sort of is my problem. Again.

Because a pretty familiar looking riot is blocking the road.

We're now on the other side of the city centre, and it is possible to go around a different way to get back to the shop, but I'll be fucked by a fucking fucker if I'm fucking going to fucking do that. It'd take like ten extra minutes, using my own petrol for no reason (petrol becomes like ambrosia - not the rice pudding - in the mind of pizza drivers who use their own cars, by the way), and just what the shitting crikey is the riot doing over HERE anyway? There's like nothing in the part of the city they are now rioting in: nearest pub is five minutes up the road, the football stadium is a good fifteen minute walk away, the fucking police station is miles away: I have a sneaking suspicion the riot police herded the fans over here just because they had no bloody clue what else to do.

Well I have a bloody clue what to do. I've got pizzas to deliver, motherfuckers, and not even Allah himself is going to stop me.

I roll down my window (why the hell do I say "roll down" I have electric windows THAT'S RIGHT MOTHERFUCKERS MY CAR IS WELL POSH) and lean out.

"Excuse me?" I ask, as loudly and politely as I can. The crowd have their backs to me, presumably because there are police officers or footballers on the other side of the riotous mess that is blocking the way back to the shop. "EXCUSE ME? Could you shift up a bit, please?"

One particularly large fellow turns around after a moment's pause, and the deep frown on his face is replaced with a look of amazement that I recognise about as quickly as he recognises me.

"Fuck me," he says, wiping sweat from his chubby brow. "You get around a bit, don't you?"

"Pizza delivery," I say, with a nonchalant shrug.

He nods knowingly. What can you do, that nod says. We are just two peas in the pod of life, trying to make our own way, establish our own rights and freedoms. I have chosen the way of the fist; you have chosen the way of the deep pan, hot and under 30 minutes or your money back. Que sera sera. God speed to you, my little friend.

God speed.

After a minute's shiftying and shuftying my fat friend manages to move the riot enough out of the way that I can climb onto the curb (on the wrong side of the road of course) and squeeze past. I give him a nod of thanks as I pass him, and shoot a cheery wave at the bored-looking riot police as I go past. Looks the mob is managing itself quite well at the moment. With my newfound blood brother organising from the rear (heh) it's no wonder.

God speed to you, my little friend.

God speed.

Friday, 25 July 2008



In my first expose on the joys of knowing Brian, I looked at but one of the many facets of his character: that of his sheer mastery of the art of everyday human conversation. Today I will be exploring another element of the enigma that is Brian: his relationship with physical exercise, and - of course - the way he communicates said relationship to us, his hapless colleagues.

As I said in MEET BRIAN, PART ONE, Brian attends the gym three times a week (or so he claims, I'm not exactly a gym person myself so I've never been there to verify or deny) yet remains as portly and red-faced as ever. One favour that the gym does seem to have done our erstwhile hero is that his guns are, admittedly, rather impressive. This seems to be quite fitting to me, and quite representative of the way Brian approaches everything in his life. He decides he is going to go the gym regularly, and he sees on television or even just in the gym that guys who attend the gym regularly look pretty buff. Problem is, those guys eat a balanced and restrictive diet, as well as doing a full ensemble of exercises that test the body to its limits in every which way possible.

Brian looks at the exercise and diet regimes to achieve the physical perfection he dreams of every night in the bed he shares with his aging mother (actually I think he rents his own place, but work with me here). He realises that he just can't be bothered to put that amount of effort in. Dejected, he moves to leave the gymnasium, head hanging low, dreams of being a top bit of beefcake in tear-stained tatters.

But wait, he thinks, a bolt of clarity striking from the blue. If I just do a load of bench-presses and change absolutely fuck all else in my life, I'll still get big biceps no matter WHAT the rest of me looks like! And if I talk to people constantly about how big and well-rounded my biceps are, they won't notice the fact that the rest of me looks like a sack of potatoes that's been padded out with bacon fat!

And so it was that Brian came to talk about his biceps nearly as often as he talks about his "published works". And oh boy, you better believe it gets a little awkward.

ME: Hmm? Oh. Ohhh. Hi Brian.
B: I was down the gym yesterday.
M: Oh yeah? I hear that's good for you.
B: Yeah. Yeah, it was a good workout.
M: Cool.
B: I think my biceps are coming along nicely.
M: Uh-huh.
B: I mean, I think so, but I'm not really sure.
M: You're not really sure?
B: Well, I don't really know.
M: You don't really know?
B: Well, no.
M: Have you... have you tried looking at them?
B: Yeah, but, you know, I can't just take my own opinion.
M: A personal trainer, in the gym? Or just, you know, anyone there?
B: Yeah, I did ask a trainer, but I'm still not sure.
M: Right.
B: So, I was wondering, what do you think?

(stage direction: it is at this point that Brian rolls up his sleeve - please remember that we are just behind the front desk and so all the customers in the shop, in addition to anyone walking by on the street outside, can see the older man showing off his biceps, which although large are still covered with a jellylike layer of flab, to his younger counterpart)

M: Oh. Er. Yeah, that's great, man. Nice.
B: Are you gonna touch them?
M: I'm sorry, what.
B: You can't really judge them without feeling them.
M: Brian I am not going to touch your biceps.
B: But-
M: Brian roll your shirt down and make some boxes.
B: But-
M: Brian I am going away now.

He's a character, alright.

So at about 11 on one weeknight evening, not much at all is happening but Becky is pissed off with the owner and has decided that she isn't sending anyone home early if they want to stay and rack up a little easy cash at his expense. So there are four drivers and three receptionists, and Becky, and we're just sitting around on tables and worktops talking shit and eating nachos (again, at the owner's expense).

Brian decides this is a good time to start talking about his biceps, but he doesn't get to the point of rolling up his sleeves so we can all admire the flabulous gun show (I don't know if anyone has invented the word flabulous before now, but be assured I will own the copyright on it before this post is finished) before Becky interrupts.

"Brian," she says, in a sweet, caring tone of voice, "you do realise none of us are even remotely impressed?"

Brian looks at her, and his mouth opens, but for the first time since I've had the complete displeasure of knowing him, the silly sod is lost for words. Me and Ben (Ben and I?) are trying our absolute fucking damndest not to burst into laughter, but we only manage for about ten seconds before the chuckles come out.

And you know what it's like when you've been trying not to laugh. Something that would have only been a short guffaw's worth of mirth becomes the funniest fucking thing since Little Man as the pressure of holding the giggles in builds up, and up...

Yeah, we were just laughing our fucking asses off. Pretty much in his face! I mean he was sitting right next to us! In retrospect, I feel bad, but not much, and to be honest I'm over it already. Seriously. Do you blame me.

Brian looks shocked and hurt for about a second - not that anyone really notices - but then his lip curls into the indignant pout of the thwarted child and he jumps up from the counter.

"You're not impressed? Well, come on then. I'll show you. Push up contest!"

I swear on the life of Konnie Huq from Blue Peter I am not lying to you. That is what he actually said.

"W-what?" I ask him, fighting down a fresh wave of laughter as the noble gladiators fought down the savage Christians. "A fucking push up contest? What are you talking about?"

"A push up contest!" Brian retorts, the repetition adding a sombre gravitas to his challenge. "If you're not impressed, let's have a push up contest! We'll see!"

"Brian," says Ben, getting up off the counter, "you know a 'push up contest' hardly qualifies as a test of physical fitness, right?"

"It'll show us whose biceps are better!" Brian exclaims, a mad gleam creeping into his dour eyes.

"Just, please, don't roll your sleeves up," says Becky.

It's about another minute before we've managed to stop laughing enough to line up for THE PUSH UP CONTEST.

Tom goes first. He manages a paltry 9 before he collapses, and there is much jeering, mocking, and consideration of exactly how much correlation there is between his homosexuality and his complete lack of upper body strength (I'd like to clarify that Tom is actually gay... gay for DELIVERING PIZZAS HOT AND ON TIME, that is).

I go next. I'm actually pleasantly surprised when I manage to force myself to 20 before giving up, my arms groaning like a ghost who's just realised he left the ghost-oven on back at his ghost-house. There is some generic jeering, but not much, for my fellow PUSH UP COMPETITORS know they have just seen a true man pushing up.

Brian goes next. He forges on, and he makes it to 41... even though the whole fucking time we are telling him to stop and start again because what he's doing barely qualifies as movement, never mind push ups. He's doing those weird gimpy "ass way up in the air and a slight flexing of the shoulders as your nose moves about an inch closer to the ground before going up again" push ups that are the general forte of kids, women, and homosexuals (political correctness disclaimer: fuck you, this is the internet).

We are informing him of this the whole time he is pushing, but he completely ignores us, his face growing redder as he barely moves, just that slight little movement of the shoulders that seems to count as one push. I swear I have no idea how he only managed to do 41 of them: as I said, his biceps are actually fairly impressive, and I'm pretty sure anyone can do as many of those shitty "push ups" as they want. I mean, the amount of free time and dignity you are in possession of are the only two factors.

Brian climbs to his feet, a laboured effort after his herculean performance. A smug grin spreads across his face: he is the king of push ups. The king of men. The king of biceps.

Becky breaks what I'm sure Brian imagined was an awed silence.

"That was embarassing. You're disqualified."

"Yeah." I have no choice but to agree. "Back of the class, flexy."

Brian protests, quite loud and quite long, but no one listens to him. We've all developed quite a knack for tuning him out by this point, and besides, there's one competitor left to enter the PUSH UP ARENA. For some reason, the four minutes we've been playing this game have got us all - competitors and spectators - hooked on the pure adrenaline sport that is the PUSH UP CONTEST, and our attention is locked on Ben, who steps up to the plate to push like his life depends on it.

And who knows. Maybe it does.

Ben knocks out 30 then jumps up, declaring he doesn't want to humiliate the rest of us any further. He might have taken home the prize (his staff meal) that night, but in a way, I think the real winner was everyone who is not Brian.

Monday, 21 July 2008


AND WE ARE BACK, PEOPLE! And we are hitting the road running. Or at least fighting.

Alright, as I said a few weeks back, I haven't run out of material from my last job, so expect more of Brian and the time I drove right through the middle of a street riot at the very least, but we will kick off the return to FAG TO GO with a taste of my new job.

My new job is delivering pizzas, by the way, only it is not in a city like it was last time, now it is back in my childhood home of THE COUNTRYSIDE. The job is quite different (it pays MUCH better, for a start) in that the large majority of the drops are very very close (5-10 minutes round trip) with the occassional drop that calls for you to drive to a nearby village, and when I say nearby I mean like 40-50 minutes round trip.

The amount of petrol money we get is scaled depending on distance, if you care (you don't, but I forgive you, for that is just one of the ways in which I am eerily similar to Our Lord and Saviour).

Another difference, which I discovered last night, is that animals are a lot less scared of humans. Especially at night. In the city, birds and foxes and cats make sure to stay the fuck away from the roads, and try to avoid contact with anything human or vehicle shaped in general. In the countryside, on the little back roads, when the sun's gone down and badgers are more frequent road travellers than cars, things are different.

A LOT different.


So, anyway, I've just delivered a bunch of pizzas to a charming young lady whose house smells so strongly of "Mary Jane" (weed, yo) that I'm pretty sure I'm high as I make my way back to my car. Incidentally, I went to the wrong house first, because - and this is another classic feature of the countryside - the road signs were sufficiently ambiguous as to make it look like a couple of the houses around the junction were existing on three different roads at the same time.

It's motherfucking Schrodinger's address, people.

The lady who lived at the wrong house was neither charming nor young. I was informed that this was "the third fucking time" I'd come to her house by mistake, and when I politely tried to inform her that this was only my second night in the job and the first time I'd come to this road, she rather cunningly responded by opening the door to her utility room and threatening to sic her Labrador on me.

Another thing that's different about the countryside: at eleven o clock in the evening, no one can hear you scream.

After amicably parting ways with the twisted old hag who DIDN'T, as it turns out, live on the Delkin, and after delivering a monumental stack of pizzas to the most articulate stoner I've ever met, I head on back to my car and fire up the engine. It starts on the second attempt, which these days is a damn good turn of events, and I'm on my way.

Only I'm not on my way, because no sooner am I round the corner than I'm slamming on the brakes, hastily deccelerating (is that a word) to stop a few feet in front of this humungous fluff-ball of a feline.


It just looks at me, it's eyes all weird and shiny as cat's eyes are wont to be in the evening. It's sitting down, evidently quite comfortable where it has decided to rest for the night. If it was me, I would not choose to sit in the middle of a road when there is a pavement but two feet away, no matter how untravelled said road is in the later hours, but whatever. I'm not a cat. So what the fuck do I know.

I pull my foot slowly up off the clutch and start to creep forward. It doesn't take long to ascertain that the cat hasn't been afflicted with the "deer/cat in the headlights" syndrome: his eyes remain locked pretty firmly on mine as I slowly but surely get closer and closer to committing greivous animal cruelty. It doesn't take much longer than that to realise yon moggy is quite definitely not intimidated by me or my car. It's a '97 Corsa, so I'll admit it isn't the most awe-inspiring of vehicles, but come on, dude. It can still run you over.

But no. I get so close I swear there's gotta be cat hair all over my license plate, but no dice. The little fuzzy shit ain't moving. He's quite comfy, thanks, and fuck everyone else. Even people who've got jobs to be getting on with.


Bear in mind it's not like I can go the long way round or anything. Multiple entry and exit ways? In the country? Are you having a fucking giraffe, mate?

Next logical step, then, is to start flashing the little cunt with my brights. ON, off, ON, off, ON, off, for about twenty seconds, just flashing anyway. The kind of shit that would kill epilectics and inspire epilepsy in until-then totally healthy individuals.

Does he care?

Does he fuck.

Right. That's it. I'm done being nice. I'm done giving a shit about this cat, the people that live on this cat's street (I mean, one of them probably owns the furry twat, so a double fuck you to whoever that may be), and basically the whole of the countryside, ever. I lean on my horn, and I lean on it HARD. It's not the noisiest horn in the world, but it's plenty noisy enough. After about ten seconds I see a few lights switch on here and there up and down the street, and I suddenly remember the bitter old bitch with the energetic young Labrador and waking up the locals at this end of town ceases to seem like such a good idea.

For the record, the cat is still sitting in the middle of the road, and he's still watching me.


Right. Well then. Bollocks to it. I'm getting out of the fucking Delkin and I'm getting out of it now. I get out of my car and walk round to the cat. He looks up at me, and I read the look in his eyes more clearly than I have read anything in my life (and I have read a book that was written for half-blind children).

The look says: "I win,"

I say: "No you don't."

I stick my foot out. I swear to God, Allah, Zeus, and all the other heavenly dudes that it was 100% my intention to apply gentle pressure until the little fuzzy shit had no choice but to move or be moved. Gentle, but undeniably, nudges. You know the business.

Unfortunately for both me and the feline, he decides that the presence of my shoe represents a greivous breach of the rules of our little mind game, and with a lairy hiss he swipes at my jeans, claws extended. Taken by surprise, and a little bit shot up with adrenaline as a result of the sound of angry movement coming from a couple of nearby houses, I kick out... and I don't kick out with gentle pressure.

I just fucking KICK OUT.

I think I kicked the fucking thing under a car, but I'm not sure. I know for a fact (okay, not a fact) that I didn't kill the damn bastard, because I could just about make out its outraged hissing over the sound of my own maniacal laughter as I ran back to the car, fired up the engine, and was gone before anyone knew exactly which cunt it was who was blaring his horn at 11pm on a work night.

Am I a bad person?

No. I am not.

Monday, 7 July 2008


Blog postponed for one week; normal service will resume when the fuck I say it will.

When the fuck I say it will is, in fact, on the 14th July. I have been spending this week with my fiancee, so not much internet time because as you know females and the internet are like hyperactive cats and a bathtub full of ice cold water: they just don't mix. Seriously. Women. Am I right?


Friday, 4 July 2008


Recently my beast of a car has undergone several traumatic incidents. Some cunt smashed my wing mirror off - I'm happy to report it has been repaired with duck tape - and that came after I accidentally drove into the back of another car while attempting the most ridiculous parallel park YOU WILL EVER SEE. Except you won't see it, because I wasn't recording it. And after all that, and as if that wasn't enough for a vehicle with the delicate sensibilities of my Corsa, one of brake lights died while I was at work.

Of course, I didn't realise this.

But I would.

Oh, I would.

So I'm driving down Wonford Hill, doing my standard thing (speeding) when I spot a police car in my rear view. It's slowly catching me up, so I ease off the gas and touch the brake a little. I always think it's hilarious how the police get to drive as fast as they like, even when the sirens aren't going and they're just on their way to the pie shop. As an aside, Marten's Pie Shop on Pinhoe Street is well decent and you should go there right the fuck now.

Anyway, I'm doing about 15 over and the law is still going faster than me, so I decide to reduce their speed before they catch me up in case they're feeling particularly vindictive that day. Normally they don't seem to give a shit how fast you're going as long as you aren't doing double the posted limit, but better safe than sorry, right? Also because I am an undeniably law-abiding citizen, as you all know from the numerous awards I have received for my community service (ignore the fact that the community service was court-mandated, and I stand by my original statement that I had never seen that orangutan in my life).

The police Focus hasn't got particularly close when it's lights start flashing. Oh no! I think. There must be a robbery in progress somewhere! I had better do my civic duty and pull over to the side of the road to let them past.

I do so, but am slightly confused when the police car doesn't whip past me but instead reduces its speed as it approaches. What is going on now? I think. This must be a particularly leisurely robbery if they are content to drive behind me all the way to their destination (I presumed their destination was a bank because bank robberies are pretty cool when you see them in the movies).

Right then. I had better start driving again. And this time I will go a little over the limit, not so much as to cause them to abandon their race to the bank but fast enough as to give them a little more time to apprehend the villains when they arrive.

Little did I realise, my friends, that the villain WAS ME.

I start driving again and manage to get up to about thirty before the siren gets turned on. It was just lights before; I figured that that meant it wasn't a MAJOR robbery. Maybe the robbers had decided to stick up a building society instead of a bank; it seems logical to presume that building society robberies would be taken less seriously than bank robberies because banks have that awesome glass between you and the cashier while building societies just have a shitty counter with a fake wood veneer on top (honestly people is there anything that screams WE DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR CUSTOM like a fake wood veneer).

So when the light goes on, that's when I know it's got serious. Maybe one of the building society staff had been shot! I don't know why that needed an exclamation mark, it makes it seem like I'm excited by the prospect of young Debbie, the Trainee Account Manager, being murdered in the course of a robbery. I am not. That is awful. Why would you think that about me.

Seeing that the police are now more urgent than ever I rationalise that I should pull over once again. I mean, before they seemed pretty chill but now they're getting noisy, and if there's one thing my mother taught me it's stay out of the way of a noisy policeman. Up until them I had always figured it was just another of her crude euphemisms about how penises are the Devil's handiwork, but apparently not. There was something lurking underneath all those gin and tonics after all. Thanks, Mum!

I get out of the way of the noisy policemen, once again pulling over to the side of the road. They're closing on me pretty fast, though, so I decide to use my initiative and I turn left down one of the side streets that pepper Wonford Hill. Wonford Hill is a pretty narrow road, and I'm not overly enthused by the prospect of having the expert repair work on my wing mirror (did you know duck tape costs 3 pounds a roll? what a rip) undone by the fuzz.

In my rear view I watch the cops zip past, continuing their journey down Wonford Hill towards the building society and the horrific crime scene that doubtless awaits them. Satisfied that my civic duty has been done for the day, I decide to carry on down the side street. It comes out somewhere pretty near the house I'm dropping at, and while it's more of a long cut than a short cut it's just really hard to get my car into reverse gear. Why go backwards when you can go forwards, I always say.

Not that I have a choice.

I make it about a mile down the road before I see something you don't see every day. I realise that's quite a vague description, so I shall be a little more specific.

I see a cop car parked across the road.

How rude, I think. I mean, it's not like I've got a FUCKING PIZZA TO DELIVER HERE.

But whatever. They are the police, after all, and that technically gives them the right to do whatever the hell they want. And if they want to barricade off a road for larks, well, that is their God-given right as members of Her Majesty's Coppers.

It's about at this point that the passenger door opens and a cop steps out, one hand up in that universal gesture which can either mean stop or I am doing a crude impression of a Native American and I am about to start doing a "rain dance" and going "pow-wow-wow-wow".

I assume it's the former, but you know what they say: when you assume, you nearly get arrested for evading the police.

In my defence, I have never been stopped by the police before. I have never even seen anyone in the process of being stopped by the police. I have seen cars at the roadside and have laughed as I drove past, watching the stricken looks on the faces of the people being bollocked by The Law, and on one occasion I witnessed about ten seconds of a high-speed chase up the M5 (that was hilarious by the way, the dude cut off up one of the exits and both of the cop cars just zoomed straight on past before stopping and REVERSING BACK UP THE MOTORWAY - collateral damage, anyone) but I honestly had no idea what the process was for police pulling people over. Why the hell don't they just get a loudspeaker and go "PULL OVER YOU MORON OR WE WILL DO VERY BAD THING TO YOU"?

Why do they just activate their flashing lights without the siren? Impressionable delivery drivers the world over are being fooled into think building society staff have been brutally executed EVERY DAY because of this shoddy police work.

All I can think as the officer approaches me is "holy fuck that guy looks like Stephen Merchant". And when he opens his mouth to speak all I can think is "holy fuck that guy sounds like Stephen Merchant". I do not inform the gentleman of this fact.

"Please get out of the car."


"You know why we've stopped you here?"


Stephen Merchant appears flummoxed by this response.

"You don't?"

"Nope. Did I do something wrong?"

"Uh... yes. You just pretended to pull over twice while my colleague was in the process of trying to stop you, before turning down this street and losing him entirely. Does that ring a bell?"

"...Sort of? I mean, I didn't realise he was trying to stop me."

"The flashing lights? Driving right behind you? Not bringing back any memories?"

"I..." I stop myself before I say I thought a building society was being robbed. I don't really know how that would have affected the outcome of the situation, but I would put money on not for the better if I was a gambling man (which I am, although I make a general habit of not betting on the police).

I try again. "I'm... sorry?"

Stephen Merchant sighs. I can see he is mentally noting this exchange down to work it into his next stand up routine. "Is this your car?"


"Only it's registered in a woman's name."

It is, you know. My mum's. A little bit of insurance dodging, if you will, although if you're aware of the cost of car insurance for young male drivers in the UK I hope you will applaud me for my efforts. Without my mother's name the first year would have cost me about a grand. A grand. My fucking car cost me £900 and you expect me to pay MORE THAN THAT to insure it? Eat a fucking dick, Direct Line.

Anyway, this is where the story sort of peters out because Stephen Merchant is actually very understanding about the whole thing - I guess being a comedian-come-copper you see a lot of crazy shit and it starts to get blase after a while - and once I've proved my identity he gives me a ticking off about the faulty brake light and tells me to get it fixed before my shift at work.

Jokes on him, I haven't fixed it AT ALL!

Cops aren't allowed to read the internet, right?