07 March 2010

Just Gimme Da Ticket

(and I'll be on my way)

So let me start this story while my lips are unliquored and unlacquered and then come back with a bellyful of scotch and hone and tone it into verisimilitude.

It starts with my mother wanting to proceed from her look-in on Holy Trinity church (10:30-11:50am) to her current project, jazzing up the Bosketto Durrell Garden next to the Arts Caff (RIP).

[insert links and fotos relating to bosketto: mum slaving in daylight and then crepuscularly - the one that panicked the mayor - also the one of the Ya-Ya and kids (the other younger Ya Ya), also pics of visit by the Bosketto Team to San Luca incl congressman Lefteris Kuluris and jardinier Giannis Dallas and agragrian Frederiki Brigioti]

We drive the short distance from Mavili to the Garden where I drop and set on fruitless search for parking - no spaces so out past the Palace, round the Jewish quarter, back to the seafront, no spaces, repeat twice more.

Finally I get round and someone is pulling out so I execute dangerous maneuver of pulling left across all traffic. Beeg honking but i am pissed off because of there being no parking, proving for the millionth time that every bitch in life, every hassle and inconvenience stems from frigging gardening.

I see the man in the mirror waving. I get out and sans looking at him go round to the back of the car to examine its rear undercarriage where the problem must be to which he is alerting me, albeit it with excessively solicitous honking. He winds down the window and shouts at me but alas my Greek is not sufficient. I say I cannot see the problem; he informs me he wanted to park there. He gestures with his phone and mouths the word 'police' many times. He is going to phone the police.

I nod and tell him I have the time to wait. At this point the word 'malaka' makes an appearance - several appearances. But I am foreign and do not speak Greek so my expression remains accommodating and patient. He keeps showing me his phone and talking about police and pointing at the space I occupy, having cut so dangerously across.

Ohh - you need to call the police because of the parking ... I am about to express surprise that Greece includes it as a policeable offence to beat someone to a parking spot but just then I see the white of a police car approaching and tell him eagerly, 'Look - here they are.'

Not only here but they have seen me pointing and pull over, two fresh-faced fuzzless Fuzz.

Were I drunk I would draw this out with many a Corfucian quip and y'all would go 'how well he writes, how the truthfulness of this this story blazes off the screen' but i am too sober so you will have to settle for the unscenic route and rumbles of "God this guy is a liar, dont know why he even bothers to type it out. Oy! Gerorff the computer and do something sensible for change."

Loipon, it is explained to the cops that the gentleman is not happy about my parking in his spot and he is practising his right as a citizen to call in the law. Both police speak excellent English, on which I remark and they correctly nod stoney-faced, smarmy foreigner.

I express puzzlement that the busy hard-working police's time is allowed to be taken up with such matters.

I also wring my hands in frustration,

"Oh the number of times I have been moving towards a space but a driver with more speed and skill than me has zipped in first - and I have had to swallow my sadness and move on."
The police and I turn to look glumly at my little Nissan that, innocent tho' it tries to look, seems to have displayed speed and skill enough to enter the space ahead of the good gentleman there - whose speech is now peppered with lacquers and McKlackers and lord knows what else.

I ask the police why the gent is being so rude about them. Rude? Well, you know - he is employing the M-word.

The police exchange looks and the bigger one informs me that the man I have annoyed is not talking to *them*. I nod gravely. I am within a skein of being taken away and 'given the good news', as those Special Forces johnnies have it.

I look at my watch and tell them, OK - just give me the ticket? The ticket? The ticket for the crime. The crime?

Yes, the crime this gentleman here was telephoning about and you arrived so fast - the crime he was waving his phone about as soon as we began to converse. I look at them: there was more talk about police than about my parking sin. I wave at the car and the three of us look again at the Nissan, looking so innocent but clearly guilty of speed and skill.

I am thinking - the crime of being a Motorised Malaka - and a xenos, to boot. What is the one about blacks in Ferraris? BWD - black while driving?

I tell them, just give me the ticket because now we have talked so much that my old mother will be very cold ... and her project is for the Mayor and if he is there to inspect the good progress, he will be impatient, and if congressman Kulouris is there, he too will be impatient.

I'm not positive what Lefteris does but he's a top lawer with political connections via his being i/c cultural heritage buildings or whatever. He told me when they all came up to San Luca.

I look at my file as if to support my need to rescue my mother. This is something the police understand - a file, paperwork - loipon colour photographs.

They start to look at the photos as if checking their validity but my file is full of letter-headed documents and all sort of business cards attached with VERY SENIOR TITLES under the names. Not the Mayor's but they are not looking.

I tell them - please, give me the ticket and I must go to collect mittera mou.

What ticket? I can see it in their eyes: they too have Ya-Yas and the one in the photo is surrounded by burly attorneys with political ambitions, and business cards in Greek, and the talk of the Mayor.

They exchange looks - which one wants to tell the Supe they've brought in a foreigner (and his mother, whom he will have collect and who will almost certainly be being chatted up by the Mayor so *he* will have to come ...

"Right, lads, what have we here? Oh, your Honour, forgive me, I did not see you there. Be right with you, Your Honour.

Right, lads, make it quick, don't want to keep everyone hanging abaht - that gemmun there, is it? And ...?"

"Jumped the parking queue at the Liston, he did, Supe, and this gemmun over here ...."

A very long and loaded silence.

"Yes ... right ... well, I needn't detain you, Your Honour, nor you Kyria, nor you, sir. Yes, lads, just wait in the interview room as I see our guests out."

Dude! Only another 3 hours and they'd be off duty and he'd promised Lia he'd be round ... and dad needs driving to the backgammon game ... what are they looking at? An extra 2 hours form filling and ... why them, FFS?

So we are there and I really *am* getting worried about my mother. I look across to the Boketto gate and see my well-trained mum walking from the playground towards the exit to await me and save me parking again.

I look at the driver who has gone quieter - OK, I say, I would have moved anyway if you had asked me - to the police, if he had asked me I would have moved, but he is calling the police straight away, and you come so I decide why waste police time when they are here so fast - I will accept the penalty and the police duty can be done.

I shrug - very Greekly, I see their nods of approval at my skilful shoulder work - isnt there a line in Hey Jude about it being in the shoulder? That John Lennopoulos ... never missed a trick - I express again my ignorant foreigner surprise that the police have their time occupied by such matter - loipon! In the cause of co-operation and to save these gentleman in uniform from lengthy paperwork (grave nods of appreciative understanding - the xenos is not so bad after all ... as for the m'lacquer over there who started all this in the first place ...)

I go to the car and get in.

"See? I go. Thank you, officers, for explaining to this gentleman how we can make an understanding here."

I edge into the traffic and see in my mirror the Fuzz shaking their heads at the thwarted driver. I flash at mum and pull over to where she is waiting.

"Any problem parking?"

"Nope - cinch."

"Yes, well, it is Sunday and there are usually plenty of spaces. Well! - I've done my inspection and have plenty for my next report."

"Cool - I'll have it typed and ready to send before the committee gets into work tomorrow morning."

On Yer Bike! (but orf my bus) ~ Alert Sinbad of Anorakiana sends in this bit of bloggorial synchronicity.

Will you look at those officious jowels ~ verily a specimen who would have gone to the mat before he let Badass + bike onto his private personal-space omnibus.

Look at that larder of oafish officialdom: you just know what his home life is like, what his kids are like, how he parks his car and where he parks his slippers.

He's every Ford worker and union bigot who's been Orl Right, Jack (now naff off)

Great stuff. Well done Sinbad for resisting pooteresque pouting.

1 comment :

Simon Baddeley said...

I was heading for Gedling on the edge of Nottingham...