A POLICEMAN’S LOT, part 5. The Miraculous, The Ship’s Stoker, and a Woman’s secret Weapon.

My previous posts have been of the more, hopefully comic bent. This one gives an overview of what you would come across in an ordinary working day/night.

THE MIRACULOUS. I use this term in the true sense of the word, (Occurring through divine or supernatural intervention. Highly improbable and extraordinary and bringing very welcome consequences.) Another Saturday night on mobile patrol in Fortitude Valley, one job to another: domestics, street offences, traffic stops. It would’ve been near to knock off time when the call all coppers hate came, two vehicle traffic accident. It was on the Story Bridge, the Valley end. Crap, it was the paperwork that was the killer, endless reports. Nobody answered and we were still on a job. I answered then the airwaves burst into life, “We’ll do traffic control.” Thanks heaps.

For those who don’t know the Story Bridge, it crosses the Brisbane River between Kangaroo Point and The Valley. It’s a reasonably long bridge and lends itself to those who like to speed. At the Valley end you can go straight ahead to cross through to the northern suburbs, left into the City or right to go under the on ramp and onto McLachlan street. The scene is set, the bridge is strangely empty inbound. I’m the passenger tonight, we pull up behind a badly crumpled white hatchback. It’s been hit from behind and rammed into the concrete divide. The usual scene, bonnet up, hatch in the air, the driver and passenger unconscious.

There is always debris around the scene of a collision and I didn’t take much notice of the bundle in the centre lane, until it started crying. You guessed it, a baby. Still no traffic coming our way (the backup hadn’t arrived yet). I plucked the bundle from the road, expecting the worst and a little arm poked out. I checked him over, not a mark that I could see. While my mate stayed with the baby and the occupants I went looking for the other vehicle and found a dented V 8, Valiant sedan further down the road, crunched up against the tunnel. The driver was unable to get out because, A, he was drunk out of his tiny mind and B, his door had wedged shut.

He wouldn’t have been able to get out anyway, there were that many empty beer bottles on the front seat. He blew well over the limit, the parents survived and the baby? Well I still believe in miracles. What forces were at work that night, that would protect a three-month old baby from a huge car ramming into where he lay in his bassinet? Then being ejected from the car without hitting the hatch, and landing in the centre lane of traffic. To top it off he lay there for five minutes without being run over. Don’t tell me miracles don’t happen.

THE SHIPS STOKER. The Valley is a quick cab ride from the wharves, and is a magnet for visiting sailors, civilian and the Navy types. Another Saturday night, a warm summers evening and I’m standing on the intersection of Brunswick and Wickham streets. Watching out for troublemakers and of course keeping an eye on the local lovelies. One such lovely approached me to make a complaint, it seemed that a man approached her and as she passed he squeezed her bottom. She pointed him out and I followed him up the street. I came along side and introduced myself to the pocket-size Arnold Schwarzenegger. He cast me a withering dark look, it didn’t take me long to realise he was drunk.

I took hold of his upper arm, or should I say attempted to and arrested him. I could just get my hand on the back of his arm. After calling up for the duty Sergeant I lead him back to the corner. If I added water I reckoned this bloke would’ve grown to full size. Expecting trouble I was surprised when he climbed into the back of the car. After booking him in to the watch house the sarge and I left. Twenty minutes later we returned with another pinch.

We’ve all seen the movies of bar room brawls, where the injured lay around amongst broken furniture. Those who can walk dab at cuts and grazes and loud groans emanate from various nooks and cranny’s. I can still see the sergeant in charge, shirt torn, glasses broken. Everything on his charge counter flung to the four corners. He leveled a malevolent stare at me and said,  “You, you, don’t you dare bring anyone else here tonight. The bloke went ape just after you left.” It seemed that my Stoker thought I was a taxi driver who’d taken him there and when one of the staff led him to his cell he went ballistic. It took all the staff to keep him down until they put him in a straight jacket.  I was ever so glad he waited until I’d gone.

A WOMAN’S SECRET WEAPON. I know what everyone is thinking and no it’s not that. Although that has been offered on some occasions. A social group hired a set of rooms in an old Victorian building in The Valley. They were involved in meditation and enlightenment etc, and like all organizations they attracted a certain fringe element. One was a young woman who suffered from Bi Polar disorder, they banned her from the group because of her disruptive behaviour, and she kept going back.

The building had a certain charm about it, there was an internal staircase that wrapped around from floor to floor. Each floor had several office suites on it. So if you stood on say the fourth floor, you could look all the way down to ground level, and see every floor in between. We’ll call her Missy, and like the cat she kept coming back. The group ended up taking a court order out against her. On this particular Saturday we received a call, Missy was back. I have no trouble with people who are afflicted in any way, and to be honest I felt sorry for her. But we had to remove her. Because of her predilection for being hard to handle the Sarge sent the whole Beat along to escort her out.

She stuck with her usual routine and staged a sit-in at the meditation session. Being the senior man I went in to coax her out, she went into a rage, and my mate came in to help. The other two went up the stairs to stop her getting up to the roof if she broke away. We wrestled her out onto the landing and she kicked my mates shins, he let her go. She laid into me with her handbag, and I still think she had a spanner set in it, I digress. She managed to pull away. Matey and I backed away from the swinging handbag, the other two-edged down the steps.

Looking back I can understand her mental pain and how she must have felt but we had a job to do. I tried to distract her while the other two came down the steps, it didn’t work, “Stay back,” she screams, “Don’t make me do it.” Flinging her bag to one side, she lifts her skirt right up, thrusts her hand down her panties and rips out a sanitary napkin. If she’d pulled out a Star Wars light sabre we wouldn’t have been more surprised.

As I’m writing it brings to mind the commercials for women’s personal hygiene products, you know the ones: sweet young thing flings packet of said product in her purse and takes on the world, she sails, skis, swims, wrestles and boxes. Well add frighten the crap out of four policemen to the list. The two coming down the stairs squeaked and back tracked, matey picks up her hand bag and I stand there in negotiator mode, hands out, “Okay lady, put it down. We don’t want anyone getting hurt here. Let’s talk about it, okay?”
“What’s the matter, you big bad boys afraid of a little blood?”
It wasn’t our finest hour, although we managed to disarm her and nobody got hurt. Maybe our pride and manhood did though.

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12 thoughts on “A POLICEMAN’S LOT, part 5. The Miraculous, The Ship’s Stoker, and a Woman’s secret Weapon.

    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog posts Ted. It means a lot to me, keep coming back or better yet follow the blog. I can reccomend reading from the start of the series.
      Cheers
      Laurie.

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  1. patgarcia

    Hi,
    Laurie, sitting here reading Policeman’s Lot part 5, I can only say hats off to every policeman and detective in the world. You have to have a sense of humour and a good stomach to handle some of the things you go through and still remain sane. The story with the three months old baby touched me the most, cause I believe in miracles. If that wasn’t divine intervention then, nothing else was.
    I did not know you had a blog until today but reading the first article has given me deep insight into your writing. Your book Mountain Of Death was so real for me. It really took me all of Saturday to remove my mind and emotions from the scenes at the end of the book. I was rooting for Jack, Randy and Detective Leeson.
    Thank you for this blog. It is the side of life that so few writers see and I applaud you for presenting it with the realism that comes with it.
    Finally, thank you for putting me on your blog roll. That is one of the highest honors that you could pay me.
    I look forward to reading your blog postings and will slowly read all of the posts that I have missed so far.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      Thanks for the comments Patricia, it was and probably still is a thankless job. One was never thought of a fellow human being, only an impediment to someone’s day. That is until they needed you. Hope you find the others in the series interesting.
      Cheers
      Laurie.

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    2. laurie27wsmith Post author

      It’s me – again – Patricia, I didn’t do your reply justice so I thought I’d batter rectify that. I’m in total agreement on the divine intervention, it could never be relagated to coincidence or good luck. I sometimes wonder if the child knows how lucky he was. I am so moved that you took so much from my book, a couple of ladies in the writing group I attend turned their noses up at it – fair enough but they didn’t give a reason for disliking it. I know it’s not to everyones taste but you looked at it in a deeper way, that is where the story is: motivations, desires, needs, fairplay, natural justice, revenge, love, hate, cruelty. I could go on(hang on I do)and I agree with you at the end it went on a bit of a roller coaster ride. It was my pleasure to put you on the blogroll, I believe the people you reccomend reflect the type of person you are. Plus we can all get noticed out there. Keep reading Patricia.
      Cheers
      Laurie.

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      1. patgarcia

        Hi Laurie,
        I debated as to whether I should write this in an email or on your blog, and decided to write it on your blog. So, here goes. You have been given the gift of writing about a part of life that most people prefer to keep their eyes closed to. It is a life where the normal everyday Jane or John Smith who grows up in a half decent suburb or housing project rarely ever see, unless they end up in jail or on the wrong side of the track through some kind of mishap in their lives. So the reactions from those people are understandable. They don’t want to see that side of life because they cannot handle it in their own psyche. It is a pity, because such people have built a world that they look through with rose colored glasses. They become selective and that what they don’t like, they tend to ignore instead of understand. I am blessed with the gift of reading, understanding what I read, and being able to see it through my own eyes, and I read voraciously, especially if a book has my attention. There are nights when sleep never comes becomes I am reading or writing my own books. And even though my books are classified in the genre romantic suspense, where I have branched off into the inspirational, multicultural romantic suspense field, I write realistic stories that people can relate too. That is important for me and I, as well as my publisher, was extremely surprised at how my first published short story, On A Rainy Day, caught the hearts of both men and women. She told me yesterday that it is the first hit that has broken all of her chart records and boost her statistics out of this world. What I am trying to say is that your book is so realistic because it is based on real life and what you have seen and experienced, and therefore your heart is in it. Your book is full of life! I read your book and I believe I put it down once, and picked it up again, and just let everything else go until I had finished reading it!!! It was really so and the next day, I was walking around my office like a zombie for lack of sleep. When a book captures my attention like that, regardless of the genre, it is for me an excellent book. Every writer has a gift to write in a certain area or areas of life. I loved the way you presented the humanity of Jack, Randy, Slick, Grace, Leeson. I loved the way you presented Jack sitting in jail. How many times have I heard this same story from men and women I have sung to when I visit the prisons, I don’t know, but I do know that there is a parallel world out there where rules of justice and integrity are totally different from our civilized perceptions, and you have portrayed that world beautifully. I say it again, YOU HAVE DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB!!!!

        As for the child, the destiny of that child definitely was influenced at the beginning by God. You may never know what happened to him, but one thing you do know is that God had plans for that child. He wanted him to live and stepped in through you. You made a difference in that kid’s now young man’s life!

        Take care,
        Ciao,
        Patricia

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      2. laurie27wsmith Post author

        What can I say Patricia other than a hearty thank you,(and that my hat won’t fit me anymore?) It is so nice to have someone who believes in what I do, other than my wife. I set out wanting to nudge the boundaries, to have the reader react to the ‘punches’ thrown by the story and by Jack and if someone gains understanding, all the better. I had to show their back stories, people don’t do the things they did without some underlying cause or event. They all had their own life trauma, some more than others. The interesting bit is how they reacted to it, given that we all have free will. I’ve always thought that official corruption is one of the worst crimes, after murder and rape, as it puts the just in the untenable position of not knowing who to trust. It destroys lives, full stop. The other thing I wanted to convey was that life isn’t always neatly tied up, that there are monsters out there who prey on the weak and the vulnerable. And sometimes the knight who attempts to slay it doesn’t always wear a shiny suit of armour. I take from your post that I have succeeded in giving a message to the astute reader.
        Thank you.
        Congratulations on your book, On A Rainy Day. No wonder your publisher is happy, there were plenty of positive comments after it. Are you going to write full length romance or are you looking at an anthology of short stories? It’s a clever bite size story, one I can see people reading it over lunch on their ipads and such.
        Your comment on the baby touched me and I understand now that whether or not he’s still alive, is irrelevant in a way. Because he was put there for a reason.
        Cheers
        Laurie.

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  2. Raani York

    OMG Laurie… another blog post that brought tears in my eyes – happiness about the babies unbelievable luck!! And the Secret weapon of a woman made me laughing tears. I just sooooo love those blog posts, please don’t EVER stop them. LOL
    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. laurie27wsmith Post author

      I often wonder if the baby in question grew up knowing what a lucky escape they had. What I didn’t put in the post was I nearly ignored the bundle in my haste to get to the offender. What a lucky little boy he was.
      Laurie.

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