Thursday, December 27, 2007

T'was the Night Before Christmas

And some bugger, not in his 4x4,
Let his car roll into my driver's door.

The bugger in question had been delivering something to a nearby house, and had left his handbrake off. When he reappeared, he was non-plussed, then arrogant, then oh-so-contrite. His behaviour was really odd. He got back in his car and drove off, so I telephoned the police. (This was a Bad Move.)

"Hello, I'd like to report a driver. I think he was drunk."

"Right, Madam, what's your name, address, mobile number, home-telephone number, car registration, car make and model? What was the other car's make and model, registration number? Where, and at what time, did the accident occur?" [Accident?]

"The drunk driver? He's still out there somewhere. You might want to MAKE A NOTE OF THAT..."

In what direction were you travelling? At what speed? Were there any witnesses? Why didn't you exchange details? It was a reportable accident. You'll need to visit to your nearest police station within forty-eight hours to present your documents."

"You WHAT?" I took a Very Deep Breath, and reminded myself that I am a Good Citizen. "Okkkay."

It being Christmas Eve I had only until the afternoon of Boxing Day (small boy's birthday) to present myself and relevant bits of paper, so I decided to go straight away. I was given the name of distant (but nearest with "front desk") police station, open until 8pm. I went home, found my documents (this only took an hour), bundled the kids into the car and drove three-quarters-of-an-hour through rush-hour traffic to the nearest police station, open until 8pm.

It was shut.

I spent an age ringing the bell and banging on the door (there were lights on), but no one came. The kids were frozen. I was frozen, and seriously grumpy. I picked up the yellow phone by the door and made my feelings known the to (actually very helpful) chap at the other end. He made a record of my attempt to present myself, and said that they'd probably send someone round. Fine.

We had a nice Christmas.
On Boxing Day, I had my first-ever at-fault accident - but that's another story.

Today, a nice CSO telephoned to tell me the opening hours of previously-closed police station.
"I know the opening hours. I spent quite a long time looking at them."
He told me anyway.
"I thought someone was coming round."
"Oh, no, Madam. You'll have to visit the—"
"I spent an hour on a round trip of twenty-five miles, plus twenty minutes arsing about on some freezing doorstep with three tiny children. And you want me to do it all again? I wasn't the drink driver, you know? I was the Good Citizen. You want my documents, you come and get them." Grrrrr.

Now I sit, with a narrow-eyed smile, awaiting my summons for failing to produce my documents.

I can't wait.


HelenMH said...

Meanwhile, drunk guy is still quite happily driving around somewhere! It really makes you wonder about the police doesn't it? When I was nearly killed on the M1 by a lorry driver who couldn't be bothered to look where he was going, I still ended up being breathalysed and having to present my documents at the police station. So much for being the innocent victim! (The police did present me with something called a 'Crash Care Pack' though, which made us wet ourselves laughing!)

CTaylor said...

Oh God, what a HUGE pain in the arse. You have my sympathies.

Leigh said...

Helen - What a coincidence! I was nearly killed by a lorry-driver on the M1 too! I was only 15, so they didn't breathalyse me, but, hey, a 'crash care pack'! Where does the hyphen go in that, then?

Cally - Arse is the word.

mel said...

Hello Leigh. This story made me SEETHE. You should send it to the Daily Mail. Love from Mel

Leigh said...

Hello, Mel!
Yes, seethe; that's another good, applicable word. But as for publicity? No, I think I'd better keep my head down!