Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Dial 000

It is a very quiet night, only a few regulars are in the bar, the very occassional road train or lonely ute passes by the Wayside Tavern.

Mine Host thinks to himself: "How boring can it get? I wish something would happen"

(Always unwise to tempt fate by making such wishes)

Suddenly in rushes one of the toughest young men in town, tattooed, wiry, muscles like whipcord, reflexes of lightning, he gives ground to no man! Er.. until tonight that is, for his hands are waving as if from rubber wrists, his skin has paled to whiter than an Irishman who has never seen the sun. In an advanced state of fear & agitation his voice is high pitched & panicked, quavering he bleats: "They're after me... help me"

Unable to resist some inward gloating at a physical superior throwing himself at Mine Hosts' mercy, I escort "mean John" to the office & LOCK HIM IN. Hee hee hee....

The gloating evaporates when Mine Host returns to the bar & dwells on the thought that if "mean John" is scared, perhaps we all should be scared.......

.... All thoughts are banished by the entrance of a bikie. This man has SERIOUS tattoos, aggression & violence ooze off him, but the atmosphere of electricity & fear is caused by the small shotgun the bikie is carrying. It is not so much that he is carrying it, as that he is attempting to conceal it behind his leg.

"Where is Mean John?" barks the bikie (I've never seen this bikie before, perhaps he is a *gulp* hitman up from the big smoke, with mean John his intended "contract")

Affecting a bored tone of voice Mine Host casually wipes an ashtray: "Not seen him for some days now"
"Don't mess me round, he just came in here, I saw him!" As much as mine host pretends to behave normally, the bikie tries even harder, asking for mean John as if asking does anyone know the time. This affected casual air is clear proof of the gravity of the situation in which mean John has found himself.
"...um... ... he must have gone down one of the alleyways either side of the pub.. "

Not waiting to argue (his "target" may get away) the bikie rushes out to follow this lead. The Wayside Tavern is not within a thousand miles of an alleyway, & the facade is part of a solid brick wall running the full length of the city block.

Having thus diverted (albeit very temporarily) the hitman/bikie, Mine Host turns & makes the first (& to date only) triple-O call of his life. Thank heavens for push button phones, as the fingers quaver too much to use a dial.

What sort of response do we get to a Triple-O call in this neck of the woods, and how quick do we get it?:

Within 3 minutes more than 60 armed police section off the street (yes, sixty, feel free to be overcome with envy all you urban burglary victims who waited hours in vain for even one policeman) each officer is brandishing a revolver. This sight is somewhat incongruous, as most of the police are dressed in singlets & shorts, thongs or sandshoes.

Unbeknown to Mine Host, & certainly not known by the unsuspecting hitman/bikie, there is a gathering in town of the Stock-Squad. Behind the Wayside Tavern is located the police station, outside of which the town's regular police were "sinking a few" with every Stock Squad policeman in the state. Mine Host's distress call had interrupted them just as the entire group was comparing sidearms.

45 minutes later the "armed offender", by now very much sans belligerence, is located in the shunting yard, hiding under a railway carriage.

1 comment:

slatts said...

Jeez, the excitement never ends in your taphouse. Where do I find it?