Friday, August 3

Country Law.

Further to yesterday's post, I thought I would tell you about the local constabulary.

There was one Policeman stationed in the Village, & he lived locally, in a house behind the Police Station, with his young wife, & 3 children.

He was a tall well liked young man, who coached the local under 18 Rugby team. And there were some very tall burly well built young lads, who liked a beer or 3. And the Policeman was realistic. He told us on the quiet, he knew the lads would drink, although they were underage. And he knew we ran a tidy Hotel, & would look out for the boys, ensuring they didn't get too drunk or were taken care of by their mates.

I have known HYPH run several home, on occasions, to make sure they did get safely home. And the Policeman, I will call him PC Dave, felt it in the interests of the community to keep the boy safe, rather than have them going off into the City, & killing themselves on the drive home, on the long country roads.

PC Dave came into the bar one evening, & caught several of the young lads sneaking out the back door. I heard him telling them, that he always wore his hat when he came into the Hotel, & he always entered via the Bottle Shop entrance, & he was sure that in his hat, he stood 7 ft tall, & those boys would be guaranteed to see him, long before he saw them, & he never wanted to catch one of them in the Hotel again. And so it worked, the boys would duck out the minute they saw Dave's hat.

He was a very fair Policeman. He quickly earned the reputation of a fair & reasonable man, within the district. On his nights off, he would often go to the Country Club, & someone was always sure to ring us to let us know, "Dave is off duty".

As it was customary for Country Hotels to do 'afterhours' we would know that Dave would not be coming snooping unexpectedly. Though we did get a call or two from him, asking that we made sure the heavy drapes were well closed, so as not to stir the nit pickers in the community.

Now there came to the District a Traffic Officer. The Traffic Department were quite apart from the Police Department, in those days. And they were not alway friendly 'rivals' in their enforcement of the law.

The Locals would always test a newcomer out very thoroughly before they took him to their hearts. And they would respect a person, if they thought they were fair decent & honest. And their loyalty was rock solid.

Now Officer Slime as I will call him began his time locally, by making himself well known at the Country Club, & ingratiating himself with the local regulars there. Which started out seemingly ok. But, he began to appear to drink heartily with the locals, & then he would lie in wait for them, & nab them as they left the Club, perhaps a drink or two 'over the limit'.

So, Officer Slime was to taught a lesson, on country manners. He lived alone, in a house on a property which was on a farm. There was no road gate to the drive up to the house, but one of those 'Cattle Stops' was at the entrance.

For those who dont know 'rural' a Cattle Stop is a pit dug quite deeply with a grid of iron placed over the pit, & it prevents animals from crossing, as they fear the open pit below the rails, but vehicles can use it as a normal roadway.

So one night when Officer Slime was in bed asleep - well the lights were out. Some of the young locals, roared into the driveway, & proceeded to do wheelies, chewing up huge chunks of turf in the home paddock, loudly honking their horn. They then roared off & out, down the driveway.

Of course Officer Slime leapt into the Department car & came screaming down the drive. Wrecking the car completely, as he drove straight into the deep pit, from which the Grill had mysterioulsy disappeared.

And, somehow the persons responsible were never found. And Officer Slime was posted to another area entirely. And the whole village chuckled loudly & long at each re-telling of the wonderful lesson taught to Officer Slime.

And for reasons known only to the Traffic Department, there was never another Traffic Officer posted to the area.

On occasion, the Police would come over from the nearest neighbouring larger Police Station. On those occasions they would pay us a visit & if we didnt have a permit for a late license night, we would be admonished. As there was not trouble, we didnt see them very often, & PC Dave would be almost apologetic. One night he did a quick check of the Beer Garden. He opened the doors, looked out, walked around the silent statues facing the fence, came back inside, & said quietly to me. "Meggie there seem to be some lost souls studying your fence out there. Perhaps they have lost their way?" He grinned & was off & away.

We did have a lot of troubles with the students, one way & another. They could be so mindlessly destructive when they got drinking. They would bend the chair legs, smash the light bulbs. Just foolish behaviour.

But they once stole a huge earth moving machine belonging to the Council, & drove it up the steps to the College, & smashed all the glass doors & windows. And finally the Dean was stirred into action, to try to control the young horrors. No wonder their father's sent them off to College. It was a year to get some wisdom.

Norah Jones, Anything she sings!


sueeeus said...

What a fascinating tale! I must read on. :) Your sidebar visitor counter is intriguing. You are very popular!!

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Great story!

I agree anything Norah Jones.

z-silverlight said...

What a laugh. It is so similar to my community. If the law minded it's own business, and didn't try to throw his weight around, everyone got along fine.

h&b said...

Although, as you know, country law is not always best.

We got a 'dickless tracy' posted to our town. Chick coppers ween't the go in our parts, so they murdered her kitten and shoved it in her mailbox.

She moved thereafter.

The story whipped around town, as they do, but I only remember harsh laughs and shrugs. Was I the only one filled with horror ?

h&b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunty Evil said...

I just knew when you called him "officer slime" that he wasn't going to be a good guy in the story. :)

fifi said...

That was no small feat to take off the cow-grate.
Very funny!!

meggie said...

Hi All,
S, glad you stopped here.
Debbi, I love Norah's voice.
z-silverlight, Somtimes country areas have their own rules which work.
H & B, I was horrified by that story too. I would like to think our community would have stopped before that, but there are always the 'redneck' element.
Aunty E, Oh Officer Slime was something else!
Fifi, those boys had it all worked out!

bluemountainsmary said...

Thanks Meggie - another great story - it is sounding more and more like a collection of publishable short stories to me ! Mary

Fairlie said...

Another great slice of life from the country publican's life! We had an agricultural college near the town I grew up in too...and yes, there was a fair degree of 'pranking' aka bad behaviour that went on.

joyce said...

It's amazing how people in the country will clam up to protect one of their own from outsiders. It sounds like PC Dave had it all figured out.

Bren said...

LOVE this one. Officer Slime really did have it comong to him!!

Exuberant Color said...

I started chuckling the minute I read "officer Slime". I knew he wasn't going to last long.

Molly said...

So nice to see officer karma catching up with Officer Slime!

Mimi said...

Hi Meggie, Thanks for visiting my blog. I don't live in the country but in good old suburban USA. What gets me is how the police lie in wait to nab us while speeding on a main thoroughfare yet let people race through our neighborhood like it's the Indy 500 endangering all the kids, dogs and other defenseless pedestrians.


ancient one said...

No comment! LOL My brother was the cheif of police for our town until his retirement.

Ragged Roses said...

What great stories - I love stories like this. Glad to hear that Officer Slime was removed from his post!
Kim x

velcro said...

Fantastic story. PC Dave sounds like he was a very good sort but HB's comment filled me with horror. How could anyone do that?

Cattle stop = cattle grid over here

Sheila said...

We used to drink after hours in a tiny country pub in the UK. The village policeman used to wheel his bike up the the back door, throw a tarp over it and come in for a 'quick one'. He always did his job, and was firm but fair. Because of that no one seemed to go overboard.
I'm glad Officer Slime got his comeuppance.

Ali Honey said...

Great story Meggie. Being a country girl in NZ all my life; I am surprised I hadn't heard of that one happening before!

Josie said...

What a wonderful story. My grandfather was a police chief. He would have loved the way you dealt with Officer Slime.


Alice said...

What a wonderfully understanding man PC Dave was. Just the right balance of 'short sightedness' and discipline. Love your stories, Meggie.

Joke said...

LOVED that story.


sheoflittlebrain said...

Another great story meggie! Officer Slime! Glad he got what he deserved.
We have cattle stops in rural Arizona too..cattle "guards" here.

Catalyst said...

Ah, country justice. 'Tis a wonderful thing!

Isabelle said...

You can certainly tell a good tale, Meggie.

Tanya Brown said...

I confess that I look forward to your stories. I'd love to see them all together in a book.