King’s Road, Chelsea

Walking down the King’s Road at lunch time, saw an old woman standing on the very edge of the pavement, facing along the road. She was stiller than a statue, stiller even than a street performer pretending to be a statue. Her eyes were trained on the traffic at a fixed point in the distance, scanning the incoming data for a pattern matching that of a London cab. Her arm was raised to a horizontal in front of her, minimizing the time and effort required to lift it up 45 degrees once a taxi came into view. Arresting.

Luckily not arresting were the many yellow-coated policemen scattered in front of shops at intervals along the King’s Road. Obviously something big about to happen. Two of them, a short one and a tall one, reminded me of the two stupid policemen that used to crop up from time to time on the Young Ones making inane comments:

[Two policemen are standing guard.]

COP #1: ‘Course you see, I look at life like this. <TILTS his head>

COP #2: Why’s that? Problems?

COP #1: Yeah. Had a heavy bust-up this morning with my lady.

COP #2: W. P. C…?

COP #1: Dunno, I never could remember her name… umm… it’s got a four in it, it’s got a four, ’cause I remember, it was a round one, like that.  <DRAWS circle in the air>

COP #2: Has it got a tail?

COP #1: Yeah.

COP #2: <PAUSE>That’s a Q.

COP #1: Yeah?

COP #2: Yeah. Pretty sure.

COP #1: We’d been goin’ out ‘kin years.

COP #2: <PAUSE>How long?

COP #1: ‘kin years…I reckon if I played me cards right, I could’ve, you know…<BENDS his knee inward>

COP #2: Kneed her in the groin?

COP #1: No, the other one.

COP #2: Slept with her?

COP #1: Yeah.

COP #2: Yeah.

COP #1: I reckon I could have slept with her, if it wasn’t for something I said. But we had a row, and uh… I said something about the Pope.

COP #2: That’s a bit stupid, you know she’s Catholic.

COP #1: Yeah, I know she’s Catholic, I didn’t know the Pope was.

COP #2: Heh. That’s a laugh, eh, ain’t it?

COP #1: What?

COP #2: That noise you make in the back of your throat when you hear a joke.

COP #1: Yeah, that’s a laugh. <NODS>

COP #2: <NODS>

[The shot of the cops freezes and expands, as it becomes a photo on
the front page of The Guardian, which RICK is reading. The headline says, “POLICE I.Q. SHOCKER”.]