A number of years ago I set out on a quest to write a book of short stories. Not being as creative as some authors I decided to tell true stories from my life. Of course thinking about writing a book and actually writing one are two very different things. I do hope that you get a chuckle – Simon Barrett

Based on Uncle Eric’s many shady dealings it is surprising that there were not more close encounters with the boys in blue. In fact there were only two (notable any way). The first of these was the infamous obstructing of justice story ($75 fine), and the second was the ‘great dart match’ ($0 fine but several really grumpy people).

‘Landlord found guilty of obstructing justice’ , the local newspaper proclaimed. Yes, you guessed it, some one had pissed off Uncle Eric, and so in true Eric style, revenge had been extracted, unfortunately for Uncle Eric the chosen victims had been members of the ‘Thames Valley Constabulary’, and so had the ability to fight back. This was a situation where Uncle Eric acted without fully considering the problem.

The Horse and Harrow as mentioned in a previous post, is (or rather was, because they have since moved the road) was situated on the main road towards Wallingford. It’s exact location is at the bottom of a long curving hill. The posted speed limit is 45 MPH, and no one ever took a blind bit of notice of this. For this reason the boys in blue decided that the parking lot of the Harrow would make a perfect spot to sit in their Panda cars (police cars for us on this side of the pond) and nab errant motorists.

This is back in the days when the police were really cracking down on the ‘drinking and driving’ crowd. Well it does not require Mensa membership to work out that if there is a cop car in your parking lot, would be customers (victims) do not stop. They go to a hostelry that does not have cars with blue lights mounted on the roof, and a really fetching color scheme, parked in the parking lot.

Uncle Eric was furious, but somehow managed to fight off the urge to get his shotgun, instead taking a deep breath decided that diplomacy might be the best method of resolving the problem. Outside he goes, knocks on the drivers side window, policeman winds the window down, and Uncle Eric starts to bargain (at 150 decibels). “Will you get this fucking pig wagon off my property”. I am sure that in retrospect this was not the best approach to take, but, oh well.

The upholder of law and order, politely tells Uncle Eric to ‘go fuck himself’. A short discussion ensues concerning the question of the policeman’s parentage, and the uncomfort level that could be expected from having the radar equipment rectally mounted. Uncle Eric turns around and storms back into the pub.

Fifteen minutes later Uncle Eric is seen driving of up the hill in his Ford Cortina estate (station wagon), and returns about 20 minutes later, making sure that he is not breaking the 45 MPH limit, for even he has worked out that the guy sat in the parking lot would love nothing better than handing out another ticket, specifiably to him.

Policeman Plod had had a very productive hour pulling in motorists every 10 mins. Suddenly all of the drivers appeared to be conforming to the 45MPH limit. In fact PC Plod sat there for another 2 hours and did not stop another car. Uncle Eric seemed in better humor, everyone assumed that having verbally abused the policeman justice had been served. Things were about to change.

Uncle Eric was sat in the bar watching the police car with interest, and giggling like an orgasming banshee. Suddenly he spots another police car coming down the hill, it puts on its blinker, slows down and enters the parking lot. The two policeman have a quick discussion and then enter the pub. They invite Uncle Eric to join them in the Panda car, Aunt Flo is looking on questioningly, wondering what the hell he’s done now. Seeing as Uncle Eric only weighs about 140lbs dripping wet, it surely would not take two of them to arrest him for the minor verbal skirmish that happened a couple of hours ago.

All was revealed, Uncle Eric had taken a chalkboard with him on his excursion, he errected it about 1/4 of a mile up the hill, and written a warning to motorists that ‘The damn pigs have a radar trap round the corner’. The police had no doubt who was responsible, particularly because in his haste to perform this community service he had used a chalkboard emblazoned with ‘The Horse and Harrow’, instead of one of the generic boards. So a 50 pound fine, and bound over to keep the peace. Police 1 Uncle Eric 0.

This proves to only be a short setback, Uncle Eric will be back.

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