Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Coronavirus: Constable Savage reincarnated - as Constable Coward

Forty years ago, thanks to the genius and talent of the Not The Nine O’Clock News team, we were introduced to the parody policeman Constable Savage, whose bovine stupidity in picking on Mr Winston Codogo for a series of non-existent offences was matched only by his unyielding belief that he was carrying out his duties to the letter. He accepted his transfer to a notorious division of the Met not as a disciplinary sanction, but as if it was the promotion that he had been awaiting ever since he first put on his uniform. And he trod on his sergeant’s hedgehog on the way out.

Here and now, as police interpretation of the Government’s lockdown guidelines appears – at least in what we can only hope to be a minority of cases – to have taken on what might politely be described as a creative element that defies common sense, those of us who remember Rowan Atkinson and his colleagues at their finest can hopefully be forgiven for believing that Constable Savage has emerged once again, albeit in the form of his reverse doppelganger….

SERGEANT: Come in, shut the door. Now then, Coward, I want to talk to you about some charges that you have been bringing lately. I think that perhaps you’re being a little overzealous.

CONSTABLE COWARD: Which charges do you mean then, sir?

SERGEANT: Well, for instance, this one: loitering with intent to enter a branch of Asda. Coward, maybe you’re not aware of this, but it is not illegal to enter a branch of Asda. Neither is not smelling of hand sanitiser an offence.

COWARD: You’re sure, sir?

SERGEANT: Also, there is no law against travelling to work on a public omnibus, or complaining about lockdown without due care and attention.

COWARD: If you say so, sir.

SERGEANT: Yes, I do say so, Coward! Didn’t they teach you anything on your Common Purpose course?

COWARD: I’m sorry, sir.

SERGEANT: Some of these cases are just plain stupid: keeping your social distance in a funny way … Is this some kind of joke, Coward?

COWARD: No, sir.

SERGEANT: And we have some more here: walking on the cracks in the pavement more than 100 yards away from your home, walking with a barking dog within range of a police drone during the hours of daylight, and walking around with an offensive father on his 78th birthday. In short, Coward, in the space of one week you’ve brought 117 ridiculous, trumped-up and ludicrous charges.

COWARD: Yes, sir.

SERGEANT: Against the same gender neutral person, Coward!

COWARD: Yes, sir.

SERGEANT: A Mr John Smith of 22 Acacia Avenue.

COWARD: Yes, sir.

SERGEANT: Sit down, Coward!

COWARD: Yes, sir.

SERGEANT: Coward, why do you keep arresting this gender neutral person?

COWARD: They’re a villain, sir.

SERGEANT: A villain …

COWARD: And a jailbird.

SERGEANT: I know they’re a jailbird, Coward. They’re down in the cells now. We are holding them on a charge of possession of a recently purchased Cadbury’s Easter egg.

COWARD: Well, … well, well, well there you are, sir.

SERGEANT: You arrested them, Coward!

COWARD: Thank you, sir.

SERGEANT: Coward, would I be correct in assuming that Mr Smith is a white Anglo-Saxon protestant with no Equality Act protected characteristics?

COWARD: Well, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed, sir.

SERGEANT: Coward, you’re a bigot. It’s officers like you that give the police a bad name. The press love to jump on instances like that and the reputation of our force can be permanently tarnished. Your whole time on duty is dominated by bullying the law abiding and picking on soft targets. Do you get some kind of perverted gratification from going around stirring up trouble?

COWARD: Yes, sir!

SERGEANT: There’s no room for men like you in my force, Coward. I’m transferring you to the Online Hate Speech Hurtful Insults Taskforce. Now get out!

COWARD: Thank you, sir.

SERGEANT: Oh, and mind…

[Loud squelching noise.]

COWARD: Oh, sorry sir.....is this your Easter egg?

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