Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is it ‘cos I is black?

Christmas is a hell of a time of year if you ask me. All them presents being given and visiting relatives you haven’t seen in ages and of course the food. Well actually, I like the food bit. But anyway, Christmas is that time of year when you re-evaluate what’s important to you and yours. Personally, me and the wifelet like a quiet time.

This year wasn’t quite as quiet as we would have hoped, in fact it was rather exciting. We nearly died you see. Let me explain. For those of you that know me, you will know I have a fetish with cars. Not an unnatural affection, I don’t find them sexually attractive or anything but I do like them. The car I have is quite a rare model golf r32 and I lovingly polish it whenever I am allowed. My Christmas tale starts with me at the wheel of my car.

I normally keep a very close eye on the condition of my car but the other week I realised that I had a break light out on the passenger side. Unusually for me I didn’t change it straight away. It was cold outside and I was warm and it’s hard to get to and the bulbs, like everything else with that car has to be ordered and well, I just thought it could wait. Well, on the Saturday after Christmas, the 27th , me and Julie decided to go to the climbing centre with some other Concept 2O™ operators. We had a good time and drank a lot of very nice coffee. When it was time to leave we mounted up and rolled out of the climbing centre quite happy and content.

I had to pull sharply out of the entrance way because it’s a blind bend but to my horror, there was a police car on the opposite side of the road. Both officers looked into the car as we passed and then turned in the road to follow us. It’s not a nice feeling having that kind of attention from the police is it? And, so we quickly run through everything they would check just to make sure we were safe. We were quite confident that the only thing that we could be pulled on was the brake light, which I was expecting a quick telling off for.

It was a little strange though, because the police kept following without pulling us over. There were many twists and turns on our way home and they kept close but no flashy lights or anything. Maybe they just liked my rear end. Julie does.
So I carried on into my street and up onto the driveway. I didn’t use the foot brake for the whole 4 miles preferring to slow down with the gears. An old trick my dad taught me just in case my brakes ever went. But I had to use the foot brake on our drive and as I did, the police 4x4 screeched to a halt, blocking our car in and the flashies went on.

We turned off the engine and got out. I was ready to start apologising for my lighting discrepancy when we were met with a rather unusual response -

“Armed police, place your hands on your heads!” you say what? He repeated his command loud, to the point of screaming and then the Mrs and I suddenly became aware that all the police were in a defensive position behind their vehicle and they were holding guns. Not just little guns either, MP5 sub machine guns.

“Put your hands on your heads or we will fire” oh bugger, these guys weren’t messing about. So well we, err, put our hands on our heads.
“Interlock your fingers and SLOWLY get on your knees!” we looked at each other and slowly got down on our knees. Well what else are you supposed to do! I couldn’t help thinking this was a bit heavy handed though. But if I was in any doubt, the south Wales police soon cleared that up.

From out of nowhere, a further three armed response vehicles turned into our street with sirens blazing and lights flashing and then came the air support helicopter, which kindly hovered about thirty feet above us. Helicopters are loud and quite windy at that height.

Thirty seconds later I found myself hand cuffed face down on my driveway, with four armed police pointing their rather impressive looking weaponry at my head while two more cautiously approached my car pointing the mp5’s firstly in the car and then slowly opening the boot, only to find my puffer jacket, my sub woofer box and a mars bar I was saving for an emergency situation.

At this point it gets a little real, because I could hear Julie getting upset. So what do you do? Well I started shouting taunts and threats at the highly trained tactical officers. Needless to say they weren’t too scared of an unarmed, handcuffed man face down on a driveway, but I swear to God, I would have given them a nasty bite on the ankles… 10 minutes later and in front of all my neighbours we were unceremoniously shoved into separate vehicles and questioned. Ten minutes after that and we were left standing in the street waving goodbye to our newly acquired friends. Apparently, someone had reported armed men in balaclavas waving shotguns out of a car similar to mine. It wasn’t us though, we were sipping lattes in the climbing centre cafĂ©. Yeah, nice one, thanks guys.

Over the rest of that day, there was a mixture of emotions starting with excitement, its not every day things like that happen, well not to us anyway. All the way to the sheer danger of the situation. What upset me most was the fact that there were live rounds in the guns and the police were pointing them at my wife. Good job neither of us had a backpack is all I can say!

Seriously though, if there was ever a case where details are important, this was it. The police didn’t run checks on the number plate to see who owned it and the registered address. They took no notice that they were in a 4x4 and I was in a powerful sports saloon and could have outrun them at will if I was a real baddie. And I should have got the brake light fixed when I had noticed it out. All were small things but they could have led to a tragedy. By the way, I’d just like to thank the south Wales police, tactical armed response units for not killing me. Appreciate that.

Business is exactly the same. So I’m here on my first day back to work, working my way through a list of jobs I should have done ages ago but were just not important enough. Trouble is, you never know how these things can mount up and turn into something ugly.

So my humble advice to you is to watch the details because they count apparently.

PS. Sliver R32 for sale, good runner, mint condition fully loaded….

Carl Phillips
Clear View Plus Ltd