I've been commissioned to write a lengthy tract about some technology my client has developed that will apparently make the criminal justice system more efficient.
On a planning call with various 'stakeholders' in this project, the conversation wheels around to why I was selected to write this thing in the first place.
'So, Patroclus, do you have a background in criminal justice?' asks a stakeholder.
I pause briefly to consider my experience in the sector, which includes:
1. Being told off by a weary policeman for rolling in a municipal flowerbed in Forres, Moray, at 2am on the night before the 'Britain in Bloom' judges were due to arrive.
2. Having a disgruntled policeman pop up from behind a hedge to take my photograph as I participated in an episode of organised civil disobedience on Crown land as a protest against the criminalisation of peaceful mass trespass under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill (later Act).
3. Being forcibly manhandled off Crown land by a no-nonsense mounted policeman during the same episode.
4. Being tear-gassed by riot police in Park Lane, after a protest march against the aforementioned Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill (later Act) became somewhat lively, this liveliness including the burning of cars, trampling of flowerbeds and overturning of bus shelters in the aforementioned Park Lane, and the rattling of gates leading to Downing Street (the latter activity later immortalised in the opening credits of woeful 1999 Britflick Human Traffic, which is now notable only as an early celluloid outing for The Lovely John Simm (awww look at his little face, awww, etc.) and for having the Age of Love's 'Age of Love' on the soundtrack).
5. Receiving a phone message from the Devon and Cornwall police requesting that I go down to the station 'for a chat' following the publication of an article I had written for the student magazine about a conference at which representatives of the aforementioned police force had reassured local parents that 'there are no drugs in Devon and Cornwall'. (In proper Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas style I had turned up to the conference stoned, but only in order to give a hilarious ironic counterpoint to my article. My professional dedication has never been anything less than impeccable.) I didn't go.
'Erm, not really,' I reply.