Spending as much time on the roads as the travelling performer Pirate has a few tales involving the constabulary.
The first that comes to mind occured in the long ago while doing birthday parties in Brisbane (1992-1999).
Some parties, as this was, were held in parks to avoid the homestead being trampled by a dozen plus pairs of little feet. On this occasion the party were held in Jindalee Park adjacent to the Brisbane River. It were the normal practice to cruise past a few minutes earlier than expected to sight out the party and plan parking and an entrance. On this occasion, having cruised, sighted and planned we pulled over at the far end of the park to wait out the final five minutes before show time. As we pulled over to make a U turn we passed a police car emerging from the carpark, decided to wait for police car to pass us before completing U turn. It pulled in behind us so we moved to U turn at which point the siren strikes up…..so we stop.
Their further investigation concluded there were no illegal fishing traps on board as the birds cage sitting on the front seat appeared to be to them but “would you please step out of the car, sir” the young female cop asks, “you’re not in trouble I just want to get a good look at the outfit.”
However the best story we have to tell so far takes place in south western New South Wales town of Narrandera.
Ten minutes before showtime we’re sitting outside the tourist information centre on almost the main drag.
Being an old bugger we forgets things. This time remembered hadn’t applied deodorant (don’t want to smell off) so dived into the back of the van and with my right arm rammed up my left armpit a few seconds later caught sight of black shoes outside the sliding door window. The shoes were joined to navy blue trousers as we scanned higher saw pistol, cuffs, utility belt, blue shirt and policemans face and hat….two of them in fact although one were smaller and stood to the side and back a step. We stared at each other for what seemed an eternity then the voice in the mind says “well what are we going to do now?” the answer were “hmmm I don’t know, maybe we should open the door.
So with hand still stuck up armpit I opened the sliding door with the free hand.
“Good morning sir, we are conducting searches of vehicles in a search for drugs and guns and targeting vehicles with interstate number plates”
Response: blank look (hand still in armpit). Withdraw hand, point it over cops right shoulder in the general direction of the preschool we was about to perform at and mumble “I’m just about to do a show at the preschool.” The point of the point was to let the cop know I actually knew where the preschool was.
The next little bit of exchange is a bit of a blur as the mind sought ways to solve all the problems we now confronted in our mind like contacting the preschool to notify them of a delay etc. Having learnt from previous encounters… when in a hurry the least said facilitates the quickest release. Police in this situation are fishing for guilt which often displays itself by running off at the mouth. If one complies with reasonable (in their eyes) requests and doesn’t incriminate oneself in a flurry of verbal excuses for questions that haven’t been asked.
I remember words like “you wouldn’t be selling drugs to preschool children would you?”
Supress the urge to say “No we get more money for guns”.
No reply to any of that sort of questioning lest we say something that be taken the wrong way. We stuffed our sense of humour back up our bum and supressed all urges to not take this seriously.
Finally when the cop had run out of things to say and we hadn’t confessed to selling guns or drugs to toddlers he straightened up and said “But you don’t look like the kind of person we’re looking for.”
That was that.
Three days later travelling from Albury to Leeton, the route involved a 200 metre foray into Narrandera then a left turn onto the Leeton road.
Right on that corner was a RBT set up. The vehicle in front and us were pulled over by a young short female police officer that I recognised as being offsider to the one we encountered three days previous. Sure enough, the female cop went to the first car and her partner, the same dude as last time came round her and started towards the Pirate van.
We felt at advantage this time because we saw him before he saw us. This time we was disguised in flanelette shirt and other bogan attire but had the same mirror sunglasses as alwways. Our face and the cops was barely a metre apart before we saw, like the shadows of sunrise racing across the landscape, recognition dawn and spread over his face.
“I know you, you’re Pirate Pete, we met the other day, YOUR FAMOUS!” He called his partner and said ,” Hey ….(partners name) It’s Pirate Pete!” I guess after our previous encounter he’s done some research into known Pirates in the area.
In all his excitement I noticed the hand holding the breathalyzer unit had dropped to his side. “He’s not going to test.”
Just as if he had been listening to my thoughts he looked down realised he still had to conduct the test and proceeded to do so.
Methinks he had as much fun with the encounter as we did