Some people have told me that they can’t make any sense of this blog.
Firstly, I can’t make much sense of it either. Secondly, to understand what’s going on, you need to start with the very first post.
The first post is called ‘Family’ and can be found in the month of February in the BLOG ARCHIVE section to the right. Read that and then read the next one above it. Continue doing this until you’ve either had enough or have reached the latest post…or you can go for a lucky dip approach and just click on any of the titles in the archive.
I walked into the magistrates’ courtroom and left Gertie, Corky and Barty in the waiting area. There were three magistrates sitting on the bench, waiting to be told of the license application details.
The Licensing Officer from the council glared at me (he’d spent thirty six hours in a police cell some days ago after I’d had Corky arrest him). He stood up and said: “The council strongly proposes that this license application be refused.”
He picked up some paperwork and started.
“Since the applicant has been running the Dog and Donkey the following occurrences have been recorded as taking place at the aforementioned premises: underage drinking, numerous incidents of fighting, prostitution, the sale of class C drugs, multiple street urinations and various other acts of anti-social behaviour.”
I was thinking that it could have been worse; he’d left out gambling.
“Also,” he continued, “there have been seventy eight complaints of excessive noise levels received by the environmental control office.”
I thought it had been seventy six formal complaints, but I could have been mistaken.
“Additionally, there have been over forty complaints made concerning the management’s poor attitude to women.”
I looked at the three magistrates. Two were men and one was a woman; the licensing officer had just knocked in an own goal.
“Finally, hospital records state that the following injuries have been received by customers of the Dog and Donkey in the last few months: impact wounds, facial lacerations, multiple flash burns, one incident of severe crush injuries and, lastly, one impalement.”
He looked at me, “I think that this court will have little difficulty in refusing this application.”
All three magistrates looked shocked.
It was my turn. I stood up and spoke:
“Whilst it is unusual to call witnesses at a license hearing, I feel it would be expeditious to do so and call Sergeant Corker as my first witness.”
“That’s alright,” said a magistrate, “go ahead.”
I looked at the magistrate. For the last week, he’d probably been listening to people denying that their dogs had shit on footpaths and was clearly eager for the battle to commence.
Corky walked in.
“Sergeant Corker, I believe you are in your final year of service?”
“Yes, sir, this year will be my twenty fifth year of duty.”
“I would ask you to look at the list of suggestions for refusal of application that has been submitted by the council.”
“Oh, please!” called the licensing officer. “These are not suggestions, these are proven facts!”
“I do not recall interrupting your oration. Please allow me to continue with my delivery.”
Without the magistrates hearing, I said to him, “nipples.”
He just stared at me.
“Sergeant Corker, perhaps you could give the court your experienced opinion of the list.”
“Well, I will start with the underage drinking. I find it hard to believe that someone such as the applicant would allow such activity. Despite the many children’s charities that the applicant supports, he is known to be ill at ease in the company of teenagers.”
Corky took a sip of water and continued, “the majority of the fights in or in the vicinity of the Dog and Donkey has mainly involved females, often armed with axes, from the Women’s Institute.”
“He’s right,” said the female magistrate, “they’re an awful group of hooligans.”
“With regards to the sale of drugs,” Corky resumed, “the officer in question has been suspended from duties pending further enquiries.”
Corky took another look at the list.
“Prostitution! Ludicrous! Knowing the manager of the establishment, I can personally guarantee that she would not allow a prostitute on the premises.”
“Excuse me,” interrupted a magistrate, “you said ‘she’. The applicant is clearly a male.”
“Sir, the applicant is not the manager. He is merely the owner.”
“I thought the applicant had a bad attitude to women? Is the manager outside?”
I stood up. “Yes, sir.”
The magistrate asked that the manager be brought in. I ran outside and grabbed Gertie.
“Right, Gertie, don’t take any shit from that fucking licensing officer and for God’s sake don’t mention oral sex.”
We walked in.
The two male magistrates looked at each other, sunk down in their chairs and started to look very nervous.
“Perhaps we could ask the manager some questions, if necessary, later. Time appears to be running out,” one of them suggested.
“Good idea,” said his male colleague.
“As to the various acts of anti social behaviour and street urinations, I can only advise that due to a cut in funding from the council, the town’s policing ability has been severely curtailed. However, the applicant has appointed a head of security, installed an extra toilet and such incidents are now very, very rare.”
“Is the Head of Security here?”
“Yep,” I answered and squeezed Barty into the courtroom.
Instantly Barty started to talk.
“I have a diploma in recreational security. I have a diploma in crime prevention.”
“Wait a minute, you only have to say something if we ask you to,” said a magistrate.
It had taken me four days to get Barty to remember what he had to say. Nothing would stop him once he’d started.
“I’m a respected member of the community and I’m sorry for throwing the cement mixer at the council offices.”
Barty fled the courtroom.
I turned to the licensing officer, “tell me; your wife’s nipples, are they still hairy?”
“Right! I’ve had enough! This is all bollocks! They’re all fucking liars!”
Corky ran over to the licensing officer, bundled him to the floor, hit him several times with his baton and handcuffed him.
“Sorry if that seemed harsh, but we’ve had trouble with him before. He’s a nasty one. Just last week he carried out an unprovoked attack on one of Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenues officers.”
Barty charged in, leapt across the room and put himself between the unconscious licensing officer and the magistrates.
“It’s alright," said a magistrate, "I commend your actions, but I think the sergeant has the situation under control.”
The licensing officer started to snore.
I turned to the magistrates. “Unless the licensing officer has any further objections, can I have my license, now?”
The leading magistrate asked, “does the licensing officer have any further objections?”