This time, they're on our side. There's a noisy bastard across the street. The music is coming out of his flat, reflecting off the shiny new building across the road, and spraying all over the area. I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't have such terrible taste in music. (Eighties, and not a power ballad in sight, just the shitty stuff.)
We called the Council's Noise Team. After three phone calls they passed it on to the Police. The Police passed it back to the Noise Team. The Noise Team said they were sending somebody out. When somebody turned up, it turned out to be the Police. I wish they'd make up their minds.
In the meantime I'd wandered down to the street to work out which flat the noise was coming from. A nice gentleman from the club next door let us in to the stairwell. (
Do you want in? *mighty kick*
There.) No answer at the flat door. And I'd had a chat with the chap from the flat below mine, who'd also come out to find out what was going on, and then we saw the Police turn up and go inside. (*mighty kick*.) Ten minutes later, one of the rozzers comes back out and stands on the street outside. The music is still going on.
I pop down to chat to him. Apparently they're waiting for the joiner. If there was a fracas or somebody was actually in danger, they'd just kick the door down, he tells me, but since there isn't and nobody is, they can't. A long time later, a joiner's van pulls up. Somewhere along the way another police car has turned up too. The joiner's van has more flashy lights than the coppers do.
Throughout all of this, J's phone is ringing every five minutes with an
update from either the Noise Team, the Police, or other random organizations that may or may not be remotely involved. (Bring bring.
Hello, this is the Noise Team. We've passed your complaint on to the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
Really? I'm no longer surprised. Bring bring.
Hello, this is Vivian Stanshall. We've passed your complaint onto some bloke we met in a pub. I don't know if he's any use, but he might be able to pass your complaint on to Sting, who is at least the singer for the Police. By now, in case you couldn't tell, the incessant Eighties music has started to infect my brain, Cypress Hill's going insane, got no brain, crazy insane.) The general upshot of all of this is that, even if the music wasn't keeping us awake, the interminable phone calls are.
There's a satisfying sound of sawing and hammering from the flat across the road and then, by virtue of another phone call, J learns that the policeman wants to come and take a statement. At this point, dear reader, I should observe that aside from musical shenanigans, I've had a bloody awful day at work and I have since come home and had a couple of drinks.
Specifically—and who knows, this might be relevant—I've been drinking Moscow Mules. Cocktail apparati and discarded ingredients are in evidence in the kitchen.
J: Throw away the limes.
J: Hide the limes!
I: There are only two limes!
J: Yes, but it looks like there are a lot more limes!
I: That's because you cut them into pieces.... look, do you think this is police procedure, that it's in the handbook?
Keep an eye out for discarded limes?
Your honour, I could tell straight away that he was one of those lime-users?
J: You have to blog that.
Bloody good job I wasn't making daiquiris, I suppose.
Fortunately, the policeman doesn't even bother to look in the kitchen. While taking statements, he explains that, since the gentleman across the road hasn't let them in, he hasn't actually refused to turn the music down, so there's not much they can do except give him a warning. If it happens again, though, he's on record, so then they can seize his stereo and stuff. For now, all they can do is put the frighteners on him.
Two minutes later, when he gets done with my statement, there's a sudden cessation of noise from the street, and the policeman's colleague lets himself in. They've seized his stereo and stuff, and while they're at it, they've arrested him for good measure. Apparently, he believed he was
under threat from persons unknown, and was compelled to defend himself by means of the broadcast of shitty Eighties tunes. He was unwilling to refrain when asked politely to do so by two carloads of baton-wielding rozzers, so a £300 Samsung amplifier is now in a locker somewhere marked as
Exhibit A, and the owner of such is currently learning to sleep on a bench in a cell. Despite all of this, the bobby describes the guy to us as
he appeared sane.
(Apparently they get the joiner to fix the door again after they've finished. That's nice.)
It's nice when the boys in blue are on my side for once, but it's still going to take me another hour before I can get to bed. I hate talking to policemen.
And I have another unused lime left.