Porridge

07.02.14

(20.42)

I’m at the railway station, having spent the last four hours in police custody. I managed to get arrested. When I say “managed”, it’s because it involved a lot of effort and bad luck. Here’s the story:

Last night I was tidying up and sorting out Gilbert Arse. This included cleaning my desk, setting up my cooking area, sweeping the floors and generally tidying. You can’t polish a turd but the turd now looks a little better.

My absent housemate’s belongings were strewn about the floor, so I decided to put them all together in one place: the corner where he sleeps. In one of his bags I happened upon a knife: a lock blade in fact. Given that my housemate is sometimes unpredictable (and that’s being charitable), I thought I’d rather the knife not be on the premises. So I took it and wondered what to do with it.

Today, I was in the library and I popped out for a cigarette. I found a bike lock, on the pavement, not attached to anything and with no bike on the end of it.Thinking this odd, I thought I’d hand the lock in, the nearest place being the library. I needed the loo, so I went (in the library loo). Upon exiting, I was greeted by the police:

“Do you own a bicycle?”

“No. I assume then that this is about this?” I produced the lock. “I’m about to hand it in.”

“As you’re in possession of something which doesn’t belong to you, you are under suspicion of theft and must submit to a Section One search.” (That’s the one where they don’t probe your arse.)

I remembered that I had the knife and figured this might be a good opportunity to hand it in; to be rid of it. So I declared it and surrendered it without prompting.

The policeman: “This is a lock blade: an illegal weapon. I am arresting you under section…You are not obliged to say anything…”

(For fuck sake).

So I’m under arrest and taken in.

During interview, I explained in great detail how I’d come to be in possession of the knife. I even had witnesses and an alibi. I explained that I’d not really known what to do with the thing: hand it in to the police and get arrested for possession? They suggested I should have merely thrown it in a bin. For someone else to find? If I’d taken great care in covering the knife with rubbish, I may have been spotted acting suspiciously and got nicked.

And nicked I was anyway. And charged, because possession of an offensive weapon is a serious crime: fair enough, in principle. It’s clear that the saying is true: possession is nine tenths of the law.

So I’m bailed to appear in court next month and possibly facing a custodial sentence. That’s the last time I try to be a good samaritan or to protect myself.

Bail is unconditional as I have no form, so I came to the station (the railway one) and met a few mates: they’ve collectively opined that as it was a first offence, I may not get sent down. Good, because I didn’t fucking do anything! But it’s a long wait: five weeks before I learn my fate.

And in relating the story to all assembled, Victor Frank gained sympathy. And a can of beer, some spicy chicken wings, 20g of tobacco and a fiver. Mr Frank was Victor.

So free now and project kitchen continues tomorrow. I was due to complete it today but the filth put paid to that; and my time in the library; and McDonald’s, where I was due to meet friends and get my free coffee.

What’s currently a work in progress (the kitchen) will eventually have at least two “hobs”: in reality, two mini braziers and two metal dishes; one containing water for boiling and the other lard for frying. We shall eat well and I have many recipes, including one for disaster, given the danger of boiling lard over a naked unadjustable flame. Assuming we survive, my frugality and culinary skills will dictate that we’re okay for food.

We were a bit short on food today and money was tight, so lunch was a challenge. We had left-over pizza (a few days old but Gilbert Arse is a fridge, so it was fine), tomatoes, grapes, salad cream and bread. So sandwiches seemed logical.

Using the pizza topping, I made cheese, ham, sausage, pepperoni, spicy beef and salad cream sandwiches: toasted over the brazier. For dessert it was grape and salad cream sandwiches (it works, really). All well-seasoned and absolutely delicious.

Make the most of it before prison food becomes the staple. 

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