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Police Five

When I was about 19, I was on the train on the way home to my mum’s for Christmas. At Shoreham, the stop before mine, a guy got on and sat down opposite me. He recognised me; I wouldn’t have known him. “Bloody hell, mate,” he said. “How are you?” I had been to primary school with him. I gave him the gist; university in London, etc. How about him? “Been to prison,” he said, matter-of-factly. If I’d been mid-drink I would have spat it. “Jesus,” I said. “What for?” “Armed robbery, mate,” he said. He didn’t elaborate, and I didn’t particularly want him to. We made unrelated small talk until Worthing and went very separate ways.

On Sunday I was in town again and bumped into someone else from our class who I’ve not seen for at least 10 years. A good 80 per cent of my class seems to have stayed in Worthing, and he seemed to have news about nearly all of them. Turns out the armed robbery guy—for whom prison was the life-changing experience it was designed to be in the first place; it scared the living shit out of him and he determined to do something with himself: he now runs a successful building firm further along the south coast, and good luck to him—had left out one salient detail when I met him that day on the train, one that explains his fairly short sentence, but one that I understand he didn't want to share. I don’t know what the other members of the gang (which included the brother of someone else from my class) were armed with, but he was carrying a cucumber.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
Apr. 10th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
A cucumber...LOL...that's hysterical!
Apr. 10th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Now I know Worthing is quite boring (or was, it's been a good ten years since I lived there), but I still can't imagine anyone there actually doing armed robbery.
Apr. 10th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
hahaha fantastic
Apr. 11th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
What do you suppose the Police Armed Response Unit turned up with? Cabbages?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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