by Martin Odoni

In light of the almost tragi-comic week the South Yorkshire Police Service is currently enduring, with two changes of leadership in 48 hours, and, thanks to the Inquest verdict on Tuesday, the force is now almost certain to face long overdue criminal charges over the Hillsborough Disaster, I found myself unable to resist writing the following; –

[Applicant sat in the waiting room of a police recruitment centre, dressed in a hole-ridden raincoat, sniffing and picking his nose. A recruitment officer with a clipboard walks up.]

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Ah, Mr Bollux, thank you for attending this recruitment event today. Now, we’ve gone over your C.V. and we’re sorry to inform you that we will be unable to recommend you for the role of Police Constable on this occasion…

APPLICANT: Wuh-….? Why not?

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Well your record does seem to include a few… unfortunate incidents that lead us to question whether you are of suitable character…

APPLICANT: Oh dat’s fu’in’ typical, dat is. I makes one small mistake and they never lets me forget it…

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Er, well, it’s not so much one mistake we’re looking at as…. the other thirty-seven.

APPLICANT: Can’t be dat many.

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Well the incident of peeping tommery on your part does seem to have been replicated on several occasions.

APPLICANT: Oh, you’re counting them that way are ya?

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: You mean the actual number of times you did it? Yes, we are. That may be seen as pedantic, but comprehensiveness is the surest path to accuracy. And while the six months you spent in prison for low-level embezzlement might be argued is a debt to society that you have already repaid, the other three cases of embezzlement you boast of on your application do not appear to have been penalised as yet.

APPLICANT: What, you mean I have to be punished for every crime I commit before we’re square?

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: It is traditional. And then there are the drug offences….

APPLICANT: Oh look, it wasn’t cocaine, I doesn’t know how many times I has to say it!!

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Oh, we accept that the substance wasn’t cocaine, Mr Bollux. It’s just we can’t accept that the orifice of the cow you smuggled it through customs in can be used in precisely that way without also violating several bestiality laws….


RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Yes. “Oh.” You can also count the incest charge as a minus to your application, even though you were able to prove that she only shared one parent with you, and that you weren’t actually aware of it at the time of entry.

APPLICANT: Yeah, exac’kly! I though she was my nan…

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: As for the fraud you committed to con pensioners into buying cheap gas from you…

APPLICANT: Which was cylindered burps after I had a three-course Madras, yeah. I was proud of that wheeze, thought it were right clever…

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: Yes, well we might have let you off for that, but the fact that you threw lit matches through the pensioners’ windows after the sales were completed, and they actually detonated the gases in the cylinders seems unforgivingly cruel and needlessly ruthless.

APPLICANT: Well, stupid old fogies deserved it, din’t they? Dumb enough to buy burps, the gene-pool’s better off without them, innit?

[Applicant hawks back some mucus and gobs it all over the floor with a loud retching cough.]

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: No, I’m sorry, Mr Bollux, you are clearly a man of absolutely no empathy or conscience, possessed of a one-track, unprincipled, manipulative mentality. You are a self-serving bundle of appetites and baser instincts that lead you to sacrifice anyone and anything to advance your own myopic interests. You lack consideration, you are unpresentable, you are lewd, avaricious, corrupt and perverted, and you have all the eloquence of a clockwork sewing machine, all of which means you are completely unsuited to the role of a Police Constable.

[Applicant looks downcast.]

RECRUITMENT OFFICER: So I’m putting you forward for the post of Chief Superintendent in South Yorkshire instead.