It is true, I am the dodgiest looking bloke in the world.
I am pure of heart, morally sound and crime free, but even the sight of a policeman makes me feel slightly shifty, and I suddenly develop a Nick Cotton like demeanor, but more cowardly. I become a prime suspect. I don't know why, perhaps I carry the weight of societys guilt. Perhaps I have never fulfilled my promise as a social champion, never became the darling of the downtrodden, because I spent too much time playing crappy computer games from aged 10, and part of me knows that I've wasted the latent talent that simmers beneath the surface. I'm the broth that's never overflowed, my destiny has taken me down another path forever to be greul, but never a lobster bisque.
In a parrallell universe, I bet there is another me, a cross between Michael Mansfield QC, Gandhi and Bruce Willis, much loved by the world. I bet that shitbag has won a nobel peace prize too. But I bet he's never taken Fulham to the champions league final beating AC Milan 4-3 on penalties after extra time, in Football Manager 2008 in a three day marathon without changing his pants once.
And that's why I feel guilty in the face of authority, because I coulda been a contenda, but actually I'm just another loser, one step from a slot on the Jeremy Kyle show.
So when I arrived at Milton Keynes station last week, with my rucksack and overnight bag, wearing my black coat and wooly hat pulled down over my ears, with my beatnik chin beard poking out, shivering in the cold, I noticed (even through the steamed up haze of my jam jar glasses, reacting to the change in temperature) a significant police presence, with semi-automatic guns, dogs and I knew I was going to get pulled. A multitude of commuters were in the station forecourt, and I sighed, my "guilt beacon" activated... I awaited my fate and seconds later...
"Excuse me sir, we are operating under wot is known as the the prevention of terrorism act, and we'd like to look in your bag please. My handsome assistant here will take down your details whilst I look in your bags."
He was polite, courteous and even though he was holding a gun, disarming and even warm. Officials in the UK are well meaning, and from my limited experience of being pulled in various countries :-), the best in Europe. if I was say in Spain, or Italy, or France and I was being asked questions by a policeman or customs officer with a gun, I'd be a lot more nervous.
However, why do coppers all speak in that faux posh clipped vaguely cockney accent? It makes me smile. He didn't bend his knees and say "Evening all" though, which would have been great, but not particularly in place at 7.00am.
The policemans spaniel turned his nose up at me, he had better things to do than check out some nerd waiting for his train.
What was most humiliating, more humiliating than being searched under the anti-terrorism act, more humiliating that trying to make a good fist of it in front of hundreds of commuters by swapping joshing jests with these amiable gents is having to tell them my occupation... it is devastating .... "I'm an IT manager"....... I remember my mate telling me about his experiences on dating websites, girls actually stipulate in their profiles they'd be happy to meet anyone in any occupation... but not IT! Felon.. tick, Cult Leader... tick.. I.T.... NO WAY! Secondly, IT I think is the breeding ground of many a terrorist cell (of any extreme), or the haven of the crazed loner, so they probably felt slightly justified by pulling me... I ticked a lot of boxes :
4. IT nerd
5. Dodgy name
IT people... Are we such wankers? The answer is of course, yes! Girls - men who work in IT suck, that's my advice to you.
Oh yes, I was of course clean... the police bade me a good day, and I went on my way!