“It’s A Fair Cop You Dirty Rat!!” 2004
Did l ever tell you about the time that l got busted for smuggling cocaine? No? Really? Does that mean that l haven’t yet told you any of my ”’incidents”’ with the drugs market at all yet?
Wow, ok, well then they are to come, however this episode deals exclusively with a particular moment in my life which happened on a really damp, wet and foggy Sunday, in a Lincolnshire layby outside Grantham in between three arctic lorries! Well, what l mean is that our car was parked up in the middle of three lorries, not that l was in the middle lorry. But the end lorry was the lorry l was doing business with, as in he was my ‘seedy buyer’, and l was the dirty and shady rat selling!!
I guarantee that your confusion is nothing in consideration to the three police cars that turned up and the six officers who burst out of those cars and hot footed over to me, yelling “Drop it buddy!!”
Let me go back a bit …………. maybe that’ll help!
In 2004, one of the diversifications of my business was to supply frozen rats [l didn’t breed them] to reptile shops. I purchased the frozen stocks from a European seller, who brought them over and delivered them into my business and l stored them into my freezers. They were packed tightly in wrapped brown paper style packaging and all the rats were white, albino colouring.
I remember the first time l saw them, and commenting to the seller, they looked remarkably like bundles of drugs!? To which point he simply answered, “I know, but it is cheaper to pack them this way and better. If they look like drugs, not my proiblem. they are rats, not drugs!”
So, one Sunday every month, l used to meet with a distributor for several reptile shops up north, and he used to arrive in a small Luton van. We used to meet in the same layby every month and transfer these small brown packagaes between the two vehicles. Now our car was in fact a Range Rover 4×4 with the back seats down. It used to hold perhaps 500 of these small packages which considering each package held between 15 – 25 rats pending the size ordered, was a lot of weight and a lot of stock.
My wife [ex] was very tolerant, as a non driver myself, she used to drive me at to these locations that at times appeared more shady than they were, although that stopped after this particular incident and l had to find a new driver, as she NEVER drove me anywhere ever again!!
This Sunday we were running late, and having the quantity we did in the car, we were a little over weight, but still road worthy, but the car just looked heavy. To make matters worse there was a heavy fog, it was the onset of winter, the rains had been non-stop torrential style for most of the week, and it was cold, so we were togged up to the eyeballs in all manner of wierd looking fashion. I was wearing a furry hat for starters with a huge scarf wrapped around my face, a huge coat and a smaller one underneath that, so when l came out of the car l looked liked some kind of hoodlum, the ex was similiarly attired, we looked odd – it was that simple!
You couldn’t see our faces properly, and when we got out of the car, we didn’t walk, we sort of waddled over to the boot to meet with Larry. prior to arriving there had been a police car tailing us. My wife slowed down to let them pass, and all they did was sit backaways behind us, and yes we laughed about it.
We could see the layby up ahead, and see Larry’s van already parked up with the tailgate up, so we drove in, parked up in the only space available which was between his van and an arctic lorry and waddled out and went to the boot. The police car behind us, travelled on a bit, but turned into the layby on the other side of the carriageway and parked up. No one got out, although the driver’s window did wind down and these two officers were watching us. We joked, and l stupidly waved, with my ex scolding me severely for doing so!!
“Stop attracting attention to us, this is already embarassing enough!!”
“Why, we aren’t doing anything wrong?”
Anyway, we started to unload the packages. My ex kept looking over her shoulder at the police car on the other side of the road, and because of this she unnerved me, and l in turn unnerved Larry who meanwhile had been laughing with us. Within perhaps five minutes of us starting the unloading, suddenly we could hear sirens in the distance and making matters worse was the visual of the blue lights who sudden stopped on the road and with their headlights zoned in on us.
Have you ever experienced that or those moments of surreality when you just know that if shit could happen it would happen to you? Well l had about a hundred of those hit me at once. Larry was open mouthed in shock, and my ex starting hitting me and screaming!
“This is all your fault, l told you it wasn’t right, they are obviously illegal rats!!”
“What on earth are you on about woman, they are rats, they are dead and they are frozen dead rats, this isn’t a heist!!”
The police on the other side of the road, had also now swung into location. All the traffic on either side of the roads of the police cars had been stopped. Six burly coppers sprung out from the opened doors and all hell broke loose!
No, l am serious!
Well when l am nervous, l laugh! Which was not well met!
These police officers ran over to us as one blue block demanding that we drop the drugs! “Just drop it buddy, we have you surrounded!”
“I can explain!” l stammered “You are making a huge mistake, seriously, this is NOT something illegal, this is NOT what l think you think it is. i know it looks like it, but it really isn’t!”
“Just be quiet Sir, we’ll be the judge of that!!” The lead officer hollered at me. “Step away from the vehicle, and lay face down on the road!”
Well l laughed again, “Officer, you are really going to end up looking mighty foolish if you continue with this, this whatever this is!”
“Are you refusing to comply with our requests sir?”
“Well yeah, listen it’s not drugs it’s rats, frozen rats – you know, “It’s a fair cop you dirty rat!!” I joked.
I didn’t see the copper behind me, just felt his hands on the small of my back, as l was pushed down onto the road?
Larry was NOT finding this funny, my ex – well mm, how best to describe to her look, l don’t think there are words that do it justice! But she wasn’t happy, and l knew then that if she could have killed me, she might’ve done!
Meanwhile l heard voices around us and above us, examining the packages. Suddenly, there was a shocking exclamation made. “What the fuck is this??”
I whispered to both Larry and my ex, “Guess they are now seeing the frozen rats, you figure?” You see the thing is, l can usually see a funny side to things, no don’t misunderstand me, it’s not all the time, but most of the time l can. This was one such time. the ace in the pack was with me. “Err sir, may l get up now, may we get up now?”
We were all hoisted up and made to stand in front of the officers, who one especially looked very ruddy faced. “These are rats, frozen rats?”
“Yes, yes, and yes again, that’s exactly what they are, frozen dead rats, not small packages of coke.” I smiled.
“Do you think this is funny, that you have wasted police time?” he asked, his anger rising.
I smiled back, “Well a little bit, l mean all you had to do surely was stop us originally when you were following and ask us questions before this huge charade took place? Logically, that seems to have been something l would have done. Plus l didn’t waste your time, you did.”
The rest of the police found it funny, thankfully, but the perhaps ‘arresting officer’ did not. I figured he was sore about not making a huge drug bust. But l had to go to the police station anways and explain the situation. My ex and Larry were left to unpack and load up the frozen rats. Six hours later, l was given a lift back to my house by the police, because my ex refused to pick me up.
It’s a funny old world in which we live isn’t it? I was given a warning for saying “It’s a fair cop you dirty rat!” as this was considered lippy behaviour, l was also instructed to have more respect for the law. All it makes me think is this, l am always in the wrong place at the wrong time, and l need to stop laughing at stupidity!