Our traffic wardens are a bit harsh here in The Shires. One of them had a previous career as a Drill Sergeant for the US Marine Corps and he has brought that same discipline to our gold paved streets here in sleepy, greedy Middle England.
Walking home from work I noticed a shiny bubble of a car parked outside one of our many estate-agents’ offices. A tubby middle aged man was packing the car with his wife, two kids and armfulls of M & S carrier bags, but before he could get in and away Traffic Warden Hartman approached him.
“Hey boy, isn’t that the new Audi TT motor vehicle?” barked Hartman.
The tubby man blinked nervously through his black, heavy rimmed glasses, “Yes. It is.”
“Yes it is SIR!” Hartman shouted into his face.
“Sorry. Yes it is, Sir.”
“Now, correct me if I’m wrong, soldier, but as far as I’m aware only two sorts of people drive Audi TT’s. Do you know what sort of people they are, boy?”
Tubby shook his head slightly and shuffled his feet.
“Queers and Steers! Now which one are you soldier?”
“Queers and steers, Sir?”
Hartman coughed and quickly corrected himself, “I mean Hairdressers and Estate Agents! Now which one are you, soldier, you sure don’t look like no hairdresser with that cut you’re wearing!”
Hartman was right, it was a bad haircut.
“Well boy? Which one are you! You look like an Estate Agent to me!” screamed Hartman.
Tubby clasped and unclasped his hands. His forehead shone with a thin covering of sweat. He glanced nervously around for help.
“Last chance soldier! Tell me now or spend the rest of the afternoon painting coal white!”
Well I happen to know he’s an estate agent, I’ve seen him working in the shop, but the embarrassment was too much for him. A large, round tear drop squeezed from the corner of his eye and ran down his cheek.
“I’m a… I’m a Hairdresser, Sir”
“Yes. Of course you are. A poncey hairdresser.” Hartman saluted, turned on his heel and stalked off along the street towards an old lady who had wedged her wheelchair between her car and a ‘No Parking’ sign.
Tubby’s wife called from in the car, “Hurry up John, we have to get to Waitrose. Was that man admiring the car?”
“Yes,” said John, “he was admiring my car.”