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.
[Sorry]

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.

5 comments:

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!