October 24, 2017 by writehandman.com.au
Though only spoken about in hushed tones, many Hornswood parents partake in the odd marijuana puff. It’s a boredom-avoiding necessity, because Upper and Lower North Shore pubs and restaurants are too quiet and close early.
About twenty years ago an old Uni mate of mine, was sitting at the end of a deserted Hornswood station. It was 11:00 pm and he was pretty pissed. He pulled one of those boredom-avoiding numbers out of his pocket and lit it.
He then heard the cop laughing behind him ask “are you serious?”
Within half an hour my extremely anxious mate is locked in the holding cell in Hornswood police station and a grumpy Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly is sitting at the desk, on the other side of the bars filling out the paperwork.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “Weight?”
My archeologist mate – “108 kg.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly (with a chuckle) – “I’ll just tick the box that says fat! Height?”
My mate (being as respectful as possible) – “Am I entitled to a phone call?”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “This isn’t Las Vegas son. Height?”
My mate – “190 cm.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly (rocking back in his chair) – “What are you a f#cking comedian? BULLSHIT.”
My mate (unsure what he’d done to cause offence) – “Sorry?”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “NO F#CKING WAY YOU’RE 190. I’M 190, YOU’RE NOWHERE NEAR.”
My mate knows his height. Just the previous weekend at a family BBQ him and all his brothers had measured up.
My mate – “No I’m definitely 190.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “PISS OFF. I’M NOT WRITING THAT SHIT DOWN.”
The other copper (speaking gently to my mate through the bars) – “Look here bud, the last thing you want is to get angry Sarge here, pissed off. You sure you’re 190?”
My mate nodded.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “AH F#CK THIS.”
He snatched his baton off the table and rushed up to the cell. My mate nearly crapped himself.
Other copper – “SARGE!! Settle down. Put the baton back on the table.”
Keep in mind readers, this is all true. Things were different back then.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “OPEN THE DOOR JOHNNY. I’M NOT LETTING THIS PRICK TREAT ME LIKE AN IDIOT.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly slammed his baton against the bars. My mate leapt in the air.
Other copper – “SARGE! It’s not worth it. Remember last year!”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “That was self-defence Johnny.”
Other copper – “Hey, I’m not your union rep. Calm down. Let’s give him another chance.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly was red-faced and seething. His knuckles were turning white on the baton in his hand.
Other copper – “Is there any way you could be mistaken?”
My mate – “I’m 190.” He’d thought of changing his height, but then he would be lying to the coppers.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly belted his metal baton against the door again. The noise struck into my mate’s very soul.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “OPEN THE DOOR JOHNNY. Now.” He pointed at the other copper with the no-doubt-often-wielded, baton. The door was opened.
My mate was about to pass out.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “TURN AROUND AND FACE THE BACK WALL MISTER-SMART-AS-F#CK-190.”
My mate spun around.
He heard some shuffling sounds. Facing the wall, shaking like a dog shitting, he felt something warm push up against the whole length his body. It was like he was being standing-up spooned. This certainly did nothing for his nerves. He felt like Ned Beatty without a canoe.
Then he realised what was happening.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly had removed his boots and was standing back-to-back with him, comparing heights. My mate already had his shoes off, because upon entrance they confiscated his shoe laces and his belt, so they kept falling off. The other copper carefully placed the baton on the top of both their heads to test their relative heights.
Other copper – “Oh jeez Sarge (he squinted as he analysed the flatness of the baton), it’s pretty close. I think he actually could be 190ish.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “PIG’S ARSE HE IS. CHECK HIS HEELS! ARE THEY ON THE GROUND PROPERLY?”
The other copper gave a defeated nod of confirmation.
My mate could feel the tension in Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly’s buttocks as, like a six-year-old getting his height marked on the growth chart in his kitchen, he stretched his spine as long as it could go.
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly – “PUSH HIS HAIR DOWN.”
About three hours later my mate was released. He was shuffling out of the cell area when he heard them talking.
Other copper – “Hey Sarge… you wrote his height as 188.”
Senior-Sergeant O’Reilly (yelling back) – “HE WAS LIFTING HIS HEELS!”
My mate walked down the street. A broken man. His shoes nearly falling off, jeans hanging low, laces and belt in his hand.
He rang his wife and explained the entire situation to her.
My mate’s lovely wife – “No honey, remember it’s your brother who’s 190. You are 188.”
My mate – “Oh… shit.”
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