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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Women in uniform

It's usually females who confess to a thrill when they see members of the opposite sex in uniform. But admit it guys, there is something about a smart-looking woman in a fancy uniform, isn't there?

They certainly stir my strongest emotions. They're called fear and guilt. So when the six-foot lady constable on my step does not reach out and clap the cuffs on me, as soon as I open the door, I am mightily relieved, I can tell you.

"Do you know anything about smart water, sir?" she says, and I wonder why the law has come to my door to babble strange words from the delirium ward. Maybe she's one of those fancy-dress strippers and will rip her top off any minute. But it's not my birthday or anything, so I play for time in a way I've mastered down the years, when things don't make sense to me, by opening my mouth and letting a cavernous sound come forth. 

"Uhhhh," I say.

"It's a uniquely coded liquid you paint on your possessions," she says, but my brain still refuses to engage, so she hands me a piece of paper and as I read it a little light begins to dawn. 

I've often found this and not just recently. People talk to me in lectures or conversations and there's no flicker of understanding, but if I go away and read about it, things starts to make sense. I reckon there's a design fault in the human communication system. If people had speed limiters, like white vans do, so they could talk no faster than one word a second, then folk like me would have less trouble keeping up.

"Well this sounds very interesting," I tell the nice policeperson. "You give me a bottle of this stuff and I brush it into 'the nooks and crannies of my valuables'. Then if they're stolen you can identify them as mine under ultraviolet light." 

"Every householder in Scotland is getting a different bottle," she confirms with a smile. "You also get SmartWater stickers for your window which act as a powerful deterrent to burglars."

"That sounds great," I say. "So what do I paint it on?"

"Your valuables," she says and I have another blank moment. 

"I can't think of anything," I tell her.

"Your television," she says. 

"It's twenty years old," I say. 

"Your sound system."


"Expensive clothes and shoes," she says and I shake my head.

"Paintings, gold, jewellery?" she says.

"Nope," I say.

She is clearly getting exasperated now and I'm getting worried. Last thing I want is to upset the law. 

"What is the most valuable thing in your entire house, sir?" she says and I get a flash of inspiration.

"Me!" I tell her. "Can I paint this stuff into my nooks and crannies to stop me getting stolen?"

She studies me with scorn, shakes her head and turns on her heel, and I have to tell you, guys, women in uniform look way better to me when they're walking away.

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