The Embarrassing Gaggle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The behaviour of off-duty policemen.

Submitted: January 30, 2012

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Submitted: January 30, 2012




Andy picked me up from outside of the pub, The Friar Tuck.  I put my case in the boot of his car, along with several cans of beer.  Tom and Andy appeared not to have brought cases, just boxes of beer, several bottles of whisky, vodka, Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, and, bizarrely, some bamboo canes.


Andy set off at speed.  I hoped that he wasn’t going to drive like that for the next hundred and seventy miles.  Out came the cans of beer.  On came the Ipod.  Tom was a steady driver.  I had thought he was going to take us.  At least the car was spacious.  I wasn’t sure who owned it.


I was already feeling tense and slightly sick, but after twenty minutes we slowed to a stately pace as we were stuck in traffic.  I took out my copy of The Mitfords Letters Between Six Sisters and began to read Nancy’s letter to her parents.  Why hadn’t I started this book before the trip?  It’s always better to start a book in advance, in the quiet of home and get addicted to it, before taking it to work or on a trip.  The words danced before my eyes.  They didn’t form sentences anymore.  I gave up reading it.


We stopped at the services after about 2 hours.  Apparently they had won the cleanest toilets awards that year.  I bought three cups of tea from Le Petit Four Français, but the waiter didn’t give me a tray.  In carrying them to the car, I burnt my hands.  Tom spilt his onto his chest and used some of the ice blocs from the picnic box to cool it down.  I went back into the toilets to rinse my hands under the tap for the prescribed ten minutes.  We set off for the final leg of the journey.


Andy said this holiday was going to turn us into proper men, so far it had given me red, sore, hands and a headache and Tom was clutching an ice bloc to his moobs.  We drove around for half-an-hour trying to find the entrance to the camp.  We passed a convertible Peugeot filled with busty women.  Andy hooted.  They giggled.


Our parking space was close to the park.  Our caravan was at the other end of the park.  It was costing the force £540 each for the week.  Other ones, platinum caravans, had widescreen TVs and DVD players.Ours had a CD player (broken) and toilet (blocked).  Actually, it may not have been blocked when we arrived but it was blocked after Tom went in there.  We ‘unpacked’ and opened three cans.  We then opened three more. 


This was the point to have some Jim Beam.  Andy brought out some plastic cups and quarter filled each with Jimmy.  The challenge was to drink it all in one go.  I had mine in one go.  They were quite impressed that each time the cup was refilled I was able to repeat the feat.  I warned them each time that I wouldn’t be able to do it again and actually wondered how many I could take, but before I had chance to find out those aforementioned women walked by, with fewer clothes on than they had had on before.  We decided, instantly, to give chase.  It was not difficult and we invited them back to our caravan.  They declined and invited us to theirs instead, which was clearly a platinum one.


They put some music on.  They poured some wine into glasses.  It wasn’t bad.  One of them had a French accent.  I asked her where in France she was from and she said a name I didn’t recognise.  She said it was famous for its rugby team: wasted on me as I knew nothing about rugby.  I asked her who she voted for in the Presidential election, she said she hadn’t voted but was pleased that France had its first woman president.  She asked me how I liked having Ed Milliband as a Prime Minister.  I ignored the question, asking her how long she’d lived in England for and she said that she came here for university in 2007 and had stayed ever since.  I explained that my maternal grandfather was French and so officially I was a French citizen.  On hearing that her attitude towards me mellowed and we became friendlier.  This might have also been the effect of the wine.


She asked me what I did for a living.  I told her that we were police officers.  She said we were a little young.  I explained that Andy, Tom and I had only been police officers for a couple of months.  In fact I was amazed that Tom had passed the fitness test.  She laughed.  We moved closer. 


Whilst we had been talking Andy had been back to our caravan to fetch the vodka, which he was busy mixing with coke.  Everybody took a paper cup.  Barry White’s My Everything came on.  It reminded me of John Cage in Ally McBeal.  I might have even demonstrated the John Cage dance.  All I remember is walking back to our caravan with this French girl.


There was sick outside of the caravan.  I could smell it going through the window.  Andy was up, wearing his glasses, and making a coffee.  “There’s vomit on his sweater already.” 


“Morning,” Andy said. 

“Epic night,” I replied.  “Where’s Tom?”


“Ah.  Should we wake him up?”

“I don’t think he’d thank us… Do you want bacon and eggs?  Or something lighter?”

“I feel sick.  Is the toilet still blocked?”

“I managed to dislodge the shit, so it’s usable.  But it doesn’t smell too good.  You were damn lucky last night.  That French grandmother things worked a treat.”


“Yeah grandfather.  Is it true?”


“I didn’t think so.”



I managed to make it to the toilet just in time. 


There was a knock on the door.  It sounded like our Beat Manager, Harvey.


“Morning lads.  Mmmm.  Fried breakfast.  Can I have some?  I don’t think Tom will be wanting any (pointing at the wall of the caravan).”

“Yeah sure.  The bacon’s not very good though.  Looks a bit dry to me.”

“Where did you get in from?”


“You should the butcher here.  I walked passed his window yesterday.  He’s apparently been there since 1856.  Which means he must be hundreds of years old.”


I came out of the toilet.


“Morning John.  See you’re suffering today.  Over hung.  Well you’ll get used to it.  Would you like a cup of tea?  A strong cup is as fine a hangover cure as I’ve found.  I’ll make you one and bring it round.  Oh and if you three are up to it, we’re all going to the pub for the Man U game this afternoon.  Bye.”


I ate my breakfast slowly, dissecting each mouthful before putting it in.  Harry came back with the tea and ate his breakfast quickly, spitting bits on to the table in front of us.  The tea tasted like cigarettes but it did help.  He left after ten minutes.


Andy rolled a cigarette for each of us and, ignoring the signs, we smoked them.  I struggled to relight mine because my hand was so shaky.  He put the radio on – I stopped to listen to the sound of Adele’s voice, to the emotion she was conveying, which was so much more intense than usual.  I could hear every note.  My ear was attuned to every rhythm.  For an amusical person this surprised me greatly but it was a pleasant sensation.  A can was placed before me.  I pulled the cap and sipped from it.  The Black Sheep Ale made me feel instantly better.  I was still shaking, but as sips changed to gulp I greedily consumed it.


“Why did you bring real ale?  This isn’t a real-ale kind of trip.”

“I didn’t.  I took it from the caravan we were in last night.  I couldn’t drink anymore.”

“Will we be going back there today?”

“You tell me.  You were the hit of last night.  Check your mobile.”


I switched on my phone using the button on the top.  The light flashed on.  Nokia appeared on the screen.  Then it searched for the signal.  None could be found.  I tried again.  I moved around.  There it was a flicker of a signal.


At this point there was a knock on the door, a police officer walked in, looked at Andy and said, “John Armstrong.”

“No, I’m Andy Brooks.  This lad here is John Armstrong.”

“John Armstrong, I’m arresting you for the rape of Claire Ebblingham, contrary to section 1 of Sexual Offences Act 2003.”


© Copyright 2019 Hugo Beaumont. All rights reserved.

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