Having One's Particulars Taken Down

Well, my excitement for the day was the police turning up at my door. Now, I don't know about you, but whenever a policeman turns up at my door and says "Are you Donna Moore?" I always start to panic. Of course, it's to be hoped that a policeman isn't going to turn up at your door and say "Are you Donna Moore?" That's an altogether different problem. My immediate response is to think a) Oh my God what's happened to everyone I love, followed swiftly by b) What the hell have I done? and sometimes c) Has someone sent me a strip-o-gram?

Now, it just so happens that every single time a policeman has turned up at my door I've been on the decidedly underside of dressed. Today, I was fresh out of the bath and wrapped in a big fluffy towel and had moisturiser all over my face.

Anyway, it turned out he was here about the little falling off the bus accident I had a month ago which has left me on crutches.("You're here to investigate me falling off a bus?") I worried for a second that falling off a bus was illegal, but it appeared that the bus driver had reported it to keep himself in the clear and the police follow it up.

But it reminded me of the last time I had a brush with the law. One Saturday morning there was a knock on the door and it was a policeman who had come to interview my ex and I. I was in my pyjamas so he said he'd give me a few minutes and then come back. I must have looked pretty scary because he didn't turn up until half an hour later. When he finally arrived I said to him "Sorry if my appearance scared you so much that you gave me enough time to go out to the dancing."

What had happened was that a couple of days before an elderly man was knocked over in the street and he died. Complicating matters was that it was a police car which knocked him over, so, obviously, they have to do a REALLY thorough investigation. The policeman said that it was like doing a murder enquiry, even though it wasn't a murder. He had to fill in forms for both John (my ex) and I.

He said "We'll go to the first person first" and turned to John.

"Excuse me" I said "But who's to say HE'S the first person?"

He looked a bit shocked but laughed and said "OK, you can go first then ...it's just that he was sitting nearest to me."

Weak, very weak. He asked name, address, age, telephone number, where I was born (I bit my tongue before saying Newport Pagnell Gas Station - pump 4, and just answered the county)and height. As he was writing down my height I said "Oh god, you're not going to ask my weight are you?" Luckily he said no. Then he asked whether I was known by any other name. I didn't think that Tootsbinswanger or Tillie Tinkelpaw was relevant, so I kept schtum. I hope I don't get hauled up for withholding evidence.

Then he gave me the form to fill in the next bit - you had to circle your hair colour, eye colour, build (oh God - the ignominity of having to circle 'fat'; but 'pleasantly plump' or 'the tubby side of voluptuous' just weren't on the form. Skin type 'pale' (I decided not to go for 'spotty' even though a huge zit had appeared on my chin that very morning - I just hoped that it would disappear in a couple of days and NOT be a permanent distinguishing feature). Then there was a question that asked for tattoos/piercings/peculiarities/ scars.

"Do you have any extra sheets - I can't fit all my peculiarities in on 3 lines."

Then it was John's turn, or "Person number 2" as the policeman called him from then on. I liked that. I used that from then on.

While person number 2 was filling in the form the policeman said "I'll now be able to go back to the Equal Opportunities officer and tell him that I did everything correctly."

"How humiliating." person number 2 said.

"Yes, you've learned a valuable lesson here today" person number 1 said.

Meanwhile, person number 2 was agonising over his form "Do I have light brown or dark brown hair? Is it straight, or short? Or straight AND short?"

"Is there a box for old-fashioned?" I said. "If not, straight and short will do."

And I could see him visibly sucking in his stomach when he got to the 'build' question. 'Slim' was the look he was going for I believe. I caught a glimpse of his form as he handed it back. God help the police if they ever need to search for John. They'll be looking for someone who looks remarkably like Johnny Depp, when Johnny Rotten would be more accurate.

Then the policeman's cell phone rang. Imagine this big butch bloke in a uniform (steady), and his cell phone's trilling away with Britney's 'Ooops I did it again'.

"How disappointing," I said. "I would have expected you to have the theme tune from The Bill or The Sweeney."

"I have. When the station rings it plays The Sweeney."

So there you have it. If I ever come to write a story about a police investigation I have some background research. I'm not exactly sure that it's any use though :o) He probably went out of here thinking "Two dodgy characters if ever I saw them. Pale and Fat was a bit mad. Tall, Slim and Good-Looking is obviously a pathological liar. And what the hell were all those books with 'murder' in the title?"

Tata,
your pal,
Pale and Fat

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Comment by LC Fraser on June 22, 2007 at 7:00am
Shoes, nails, hats - what more could they need in a description?
Comment by Donna Moore on June 22, 2007 at 5:40am
Lynne - I've always thought I would be a really crap witness. Mind you, I wold probably be able to do a photofit of someone's shoes...

Steven - now that's a good question! I never did find out what happened. Hmmmm...cover up? :o)

Don - that's hilarious. That was a good way to make yourself memorable and might have helped you to get the job. Of course, if you'd actually turned up for a face to face interview naked, that might NOT work. Depending on the job.
Comment by Don Anderson on June 22, 2007 at 4:54am
". . .on the decidedly underside of dressed."

Sounds like the job interview I had where I was half-shaved and naked. No joke. It was an unscheduled early-morning follow-up phone interview with a hiring committee, and I was getting ready for an interview with another potential employer. I actually finished the phone call by telling them it was the first time I'd ever been naked at a job interview. I got the job...as a county prosecutor. My new boss said the people from the hiring committee referred to me as "the naked guy" after that.
Comment by Steven Torres on June 22, 2007 at 3:51am
What I don't understand is how they had already determined that it WASN'T a murder investigation if they hadn't talked with the witnesses yet. What if one of the witnesses claims the police car accelerated toward the old man...?
Comment by LC Fraser on June 22, 2007 at 3:45am
I have only had the cops at my door once - to ask questions about neighbours I had never seen, the husband of which who had been murdered. That was interesting but not really very edifying. Learned nothing except that around here they send the rookies to question the neighbours and if you don't have a dog then don't expect anyone to know you.

You do live an interesting life. Hope the towel did not slip.

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