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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 4. 21st March 1973

Cop among 'The Daffodils'

Cop among 'The Daffodils'

Not all policemen are thick-skinned vulgar yobboes; some of them are friendly sensitive people, just like you or me. Take C.P.007* for example. I came upon him in the corridor of the Magistrates Court the other day, having a cozy chat with a police witness. A well dressed, female, police witness. She smiled charmingly at C.P.007 and stroked the fringe on her handbag as though it was something else. I asked C.P. 007 if it was in order for him to talk with his witness before a case. He assured me that it was all right, provided that the case itself was not discussed. I took C.P.007's number and wrote the first three verses of "The Daffodils" in my notebook. This had a marked effect on the proceedings. The cozy little chat assumed the character of a furtive conspiracy. Suddenly our hero marched halfway up the corridor and invited me to join him there for a talk.

"Now look", he said, breathing a bit heavily in my face "Don't you go taking my number without asking me first see. It makes me very edgy". I remarked that the big silver numbers on his epaulettes had probably been put there to save him the inconvenience of being asked all the time.

"Well I don't care, I like to be asked, see I'll even tell you my name if you ask me". I did. It sounded something like Machiavellie. How was it spelt?

"That's for me to know and for you to guess" said C.P.007 triumphantly. I finished the "Daffodils" transcript and turned the page before he saw it.

"It's no good you writing down things I say and quoting them off" said our mate. "I'll deny it all, as you well know".

I did well know. So I began on "The Wreck of the Hesperus" instead.

"You aren't dangerous to us Mr Franks" said C.P.007 getting flustered. "You aren't dangerous to us at all. We've got more important people than you to get you know". I told C.P.007 that this was great. It gave me more room to move in. He leaned over me angrily, dismissing science for weight.

"Got anything I can arrest you for Mr Franks? Got any money owing to the justice department?" No there wasn't sorry. Would C.P.007 be'happier if there was? No answer. Only "just don't you take my number without asking see, it makes me annoyed. Very edgy it makes me".I promised never to take his number again with out first asking his permission. As I said before, you don't meet such a thing as a sensitive cop everyday. "I'm just watching these people like a shepherd tending his flock" C.P.007 told me at one stage in the conversation. How many such poets' hearts must beat beneath the blue serge pigskin?

"Names and numbers have been changed to protect their owners from possible embarrassment.

— Don Franks

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