Friday, January 26, 2007

The thin blue line

As my mother lay ill in bed, bones aching and eyes tight shut, a shiny silver-buttoned policeman knocked on the door. "I've come about the accident," a young man told my father. "Who is it?" my mother, feebly called. They climbed soft-carpetted stairs to her bedroom, the policeman and the stooped offender; a gilt-framed Sacred Heart watching from the anaglypta wall, a rosary-wrapped St Anthony bearing witness from the dresser, as the policeman cautioned my aged father. "Now I don't want you getting upset but I have to caution you," he told him, this aged threat to the public good. "It's like what happens on TV," he reassured them, getting out his note-book and a black-inked pen. The plaster saints looked away in shame. "You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence ..." the youth chanted on. My mother, crash-bruised and still in shock, began the ages old lament of the criminal's wife. "My husband," she speaks out from the soft pillows, in between her tears, "did nothing wrong. It was an accident."
Later, steel-tempered by her encounter with the law, this fan of TV's Morse and Frost rings. "I told him straight," she says. "Coppers don't frighten me."

5 comments:

Southern Gal said...

Yeah for MORSE ! Hope all turns out ok - will keep them in my prayers!

King Lear said...

Well done Mum! Ladies of a certain age actually fear nothing - and certainly not a young whippersnapper who she would have cuffed round the ear a few years ago if he was rude. And don't worry Dad - after an enquiry, two court cases, insurance investigations etc etc all costing about £1m, you'll get the ??£500?? for the bump in the car.

Charlie said...

It is heart-rending to read your account. I despair of our country when I hear of your parents being persecuted by a very cold state apparatus. But I also take comfort from the decency, courage and strength of your mother. And (credit where it is due, however surprising) that the policeman had a degree of humanity about him and went about his role as gently as he could.

crackers said...

This reinforces the danger of accepting courtesy from another driver when the latter is not the only vehicle that may pose danger. I do not offer courtesy if my act will not be followed by other motorists. Sympathy to your father for following the invitation. I suppose the police have to follow up. Hopefully in a week or two the anxieties will have eased. Your mum seems to have a calming influence and trusting your father will be reassured by her.

buster said...

She is quite right. The older you get the less fierce a spotty 20 something in uniform looks.