This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Man in the Black Suit

Somewhere in Blandmore right now, a man is sleeping.  He sleeps well, he does not dream.

Before the man went to bed, he hand-washed and waxed his van, and parked it carefully on the driveway at work.  He drove home, he ate a square meal of meat and vegetables, brushed his teeth and shaved.  He checked his hair, and cut away any stray locks.  He polished his leather shoes, then carefully pressed a black suit, and hung it from his wardrobe door.  He closed his eyes.

At some point tonight, or tomorrow night, an alarm will sound.  The man will rise and silence it.  He will step into the shower and carefully soap and scrub himself.  He will dry every inch of skin with a clean towel.  He will slide his arms and legs into his black suit, and do up his black tie.  The man will check himself in a mirror, from every angle.

Outside the door of his workplace, waits another man in another black suit.  They collect the keys, they climb into their pristine van, they produce a map and drive to a location.

Inside, could be desolation.  There could be hysteria, disbelief, anger or remorse.  There might be silence and loneliness.  Whichever awaits, the man in the black suit is the same.

Blood, vomit, bloated flesh and rotted skin, are all one to the man in the black suit.  His handshake never falters; his words are soothing and low.  I am sorry to meet you under such circumstances.  My condolences on your loss.  Perhaps you would prefer to wait over here, madam.  We'll take it from here, sir, don't worry about a thing.

Tha man in the black suit can cope with narrow stairwells and soiled carpets.  He can navigate a decade of phone bills, a generation of ornaments.  He has strength and pride and compassion.

No one asks the man's name.  No one remembers his face, nor wonders what he thinks, where he lives, whom he loves.  He is just a man, in a suit, who answers the phone when you call.  He will come to witness your darkest hour and fill it with quietness and dignity.

Thank you, to the men in the black suits, who undertake the duty of which no one speaks.

 


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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Gary said...

well said

02 December, 2011 00:50

 
Blogger MPS (not!) Probbie said...

Excellent point, well presented. I've never seen them be anything less than polite, respectful and helpful.

02 December, 2011 02:24

 
Anonymous DB said...

I couldn't do what they do. Not in one hundred lives.

02 December, 2011 03:15

 
Blogger Newcastle Geordie said...

What a beautiful post - thank you

02 December, 2011 09:07

 
Blogger DJ said...

Beautifully put - you made me cry.

02 December, 2011 12:20

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, pete didn't like it. What a pity.

02 December, 2011 13:24

 
OpenID tulipwednesday said...

Good words, good thoughts, thank you for reminding me.

02 December, 2011 13:29

 
Anonymous Si said...

Hmm.

The poor punctuation and grammar aside, you do make some very strange usage mistakes.(Is English your second language, PC Bloggs)?

Why not get someone (maybe your boyfriend - do you have one?) to check your work for you. The long term solution of course would be to do lots more reading in English.

02 December, 2011 14:07

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really nice post. Possibly the best I've read out of a couple of thousand from all over in the last few weeks.

02 December, 2011 14:49

 
Blogger Mark said...

It's a great article Ellie, and you've made the trolls jealous!

02 December, 2011 15:00

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete and Si - You seem to be two bollocks in the same sweaty Y-fronts. It's just constructive observation that's all. Don't take it personally.

02 December, 2011 15:22

 
Blogger TonyF said...

Excellent post Ellie.

02 December, 2011 16:03

 
Anonymous Martin T said...

Great Post. Ellie. Very thought provoking.

02 December, 2011 17:55

 
OpenID inspectorgadget said...

On-call DI?

In Ruralshire, ours has a tweed suit.

Nice post.

02 December, 2011 18:42

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Mum told me never to lie to a police man, so I wont.
For once Pete is right. As a piece of creative writing it's awful.
It could of almost started "It was a dark and stormy night".
Still, I get your gist and you are right.
I could never do that job. Not in a zillion years. Not many could. The one's that do dont get the recognition they deserve, maybe they dont want it. That makes them all the more decent.

02 December, 2011 19:54

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am imagining Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer clutching handbags over the comments on this piece!!.
Jaded

02 December, 2011 20:17

 
Anonymous Not Long Now said...

Pete and Si.... two cheeks of the same arse methinks!

02 December, 2011 22:52

 
Anonymous Mrs Doughnut said...

Very good post and so true. Thank you.

03 December, 2011 09:40

 
Anonymous uniform said...

maybe she don't have a boyfriend.

could be a girlfriend, or two?

Indeed a profession hidden in plain sight.

03 December, 2011 20:24

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can tell from PC Bloggs comments that she’s a good copper and a kind, thoughtful person. It really doesn’t matter whether she has a boyfriend or girlfriend – unless you want to ask her out!

GU

05 December, 2011 17:51

 
Anonymous Tony Stamp said...

Superb post. People don't know or think about what is happening down the street, or round the corner.

The professionalism and compassion of these people cannot be overstated.

06 December, 2011 07:41

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Really well written, and even with a good few years in the job, I still heave a sigh of relief at a death when these boys ring at the door.

07 December, 2011 19:34

 
Anonymous policebodyarmor said...

very true, in deed!

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09 December, 2011 12:22

 
Anonymous bulletproofvest said...

I love this article! The men in black suits are real heroes!


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22 December, 2011 17:27

 
Blogger staghounds said...

Thank you for shining the light a little to the side, as you so often do.

24 January, 2012 18:14

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Who/what is she talking about?

04 February, 2012 21:20

 

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