Sunday, April 20, 2008
OUT OF OPTIONS
We were called to the house at about 4pm, and were only late because I had a severe craving for a fillet of crumbed fish, and we had to take a slight detour in order to pick it up. The fish and chip shop we went to I hadn’t been to before, and so was understandingly unfamiliar with a) their menu and b) their ordering policy. After some minutes, I found a takeaway menu on a chair, but I had no idea a) how old it was, b) if it was different from their normal menu and c) if this mattered. It took some moments to catch the eye of one of the people behind the counter—in the course of which I had to decide if the proper term for their role was a) fishmonger, b) shop attendant, c) server, or d) retailer—and when I did, they did not seem to understand my question about the menu. The shop was quite crowded, unusually for such a time between lunch and dinner. I postulated some theories about the fish and chip shop’s unusually high rate of clientele. The way I saw it, either a) there was a high percentage of shift workers in the neighbourhood, working strange hours and therefore having strange mealtimes, b) the shop itself was only open and certain hours, perhaps because of outside commitments the management may have, such as sporting pursuits or hobbies, c) the fish itself was unusually good, having received either a series of good reviews, or infectious word of mouth talk-ups, d) a coach of tourists had just happened to break down outside the shop, and they all were taking the opportunity to get some food, or e) my watch, and the clock in the corner of the shop was wrong. After some deliberation, and when my turn was up, I ordered a particularly fine piece of haddock, and ate it in the car before wiping my hands and making my way safely to the scene of the alleged domestic violence dispute. As to whether I was negligent in my day-to-day duties as a police officer, I can only think of many reasons why not.