Citizen’s Arrest

Posted: August 16, 2011 in Back To The Edge

I am carrying a baseball bat and a miniature helicopter.

Because Big Boots has got the keys. The keys to his new house. It’s five years since we moved into The Maynard and we have become warriors. Acclimatised to life in the violent lane.

Elaine Lane.

But I digress.

We’ve seen it all here. Pub brawls, Kyle-attracted car crashes and drive-by shootings. We’ve even seen a fox. But all that is coming to an end. As well as the N64 nights, the nightly mothocaust, the makeshift broccoli dinners, and the housemate marriage merry-go-round.


And now here we stand. We two. We happy two. We White Stripes of brothers. We know Norton. We know what to do in an emergency, for we have survived the British Bronx.

I place the bat and helicopter into Big Boots’ average size boot. This is the first load to go, and dismantling the house feels like killing a snowman by somehow infra-red lighting a match we’ve built into his pancreas. I wonder if the house will deflate when it’s empty. And if that would affect the deposit.

“You ready to go, Dan?”


I run back into the house to grab some emergency items.


I emerge two minutes later with a Fairtrade Dairy Milk and a not-Fairtrade chicken tikka pasty. I am ready.

I approach the car.

And hear a noise.

I turn round, and see a police car parked in the road by the shops. It’s stopped randomly, and a cop is approaching a young scally driving a car.

I sigh.

Soon I will escape the ghetto.

I get into the car, and Big Boots looks excited. He’s going to his new house. It’s exciting!

“Excited about your new house, eh?”

“Erm, well… yeah, but look at the copper!”

I look at the copper, whose attention has diverted to a random walking un-slyly away from a probable scene. He seems to have been doing nothing wrong, but feels guilty. The copper multiplies, and The Random shifts into a jaunty walk.

That some would call a run.

But I call a jaunty walk.

“He’s running away!”

“I’d call it more of a jaunty walk, myself.”

“What? Whatever, Dan.”

I smile. For I have won. The Random has jaunty walked down the road, turned left, and entered the field. The field of McManigan fame. The field where The Edge once played eyepatch football. Badly. The coppers are in jaunty pursuit.

“He wasn’t even doing anything!”

“As far as we know. He might have been planning another fox.”

I smile. And hope he was planning a fox.

“Quick Big Boots! Drive around the corner so we can get a better view!”

“Yes! I’m definitely gonna do that!”

Big Boots turns the ignition, but has a thought.

“Hang on though, if he ran into the McManigan field, won’t he just run out the other end in a second?”

Huh. Yes, he probably will. The other end; up the road directly behind us. I turn round in my seat.

And see The Random run out of the field.
Down my road. Chased by The Coppers. A thought hits me like a child bursting into a room and performing a clichéd martial arts parody to condescending applause.

They can’t catch him.

And he’s running this way.

Towards us.

Towards me.

A man! A 6 foot 8 man!

In shorts!

“Shall… shall I get out and intercept him?”


“I totally could! What would he do if a massive 6 foot 8 man steps in his way?”

Adrenaline knows that I am definitely going to do this, and floods my body, to try to self-fulfil its’ prediction that I am about to become a hero. A man of Britain! I am definitely a man of Britain. And I will show the world why we had an empire! It takes a special kind of man mountain to clothesline a small child!

And I am special!

“I’m gonna do it!”

“Don’t, Dan!”

“I have to! Think of the queen! She’ll give me a medal! And name my birthday a public holiday! And let me take photos with the corgis!”

My fingers are on the door handle. Adrenaline tries to pull my muscles, but realises that it isn’t ligaments, and that ligaments can’t be bribed.

The Random runs closer.

The moment….

Is now.

I breathe.

And watch him turn left suddenly into a car park.


I breathe out. Adrenaline pays up. And my brain replays the conversation.

Hang on!

“Why did you say I shouldn’t intercept him?”

Big Boots looks at me as he finds the bite.

“He’d have decked you.”



He’d definitely have decked me.


The Coppers march him back to the car as we drive past.

I lock my door.


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