This morning I’ve debated a fascinating logical conundrum with the security guard. Nice fella, we’ve had a few chats, with him sharing amusing anecdotes of car park securitydum. I know his name and he knows mine; we’re not friends as such but more than nodding acquaintances.
This morning he’s run out of the security hut with a turn of speed belying his 40-a-day rollup habit and advancing years. This unexpected manoeuvre caused me some consternation due to a high approach speed and partially committed move to dodge the barrier now occupied by my portly yellow jacketed chum.
Sketchy stoppy completed with some panache, I assumed he was desperate to impart some choice missive on how the chefs create their special mayonnaise or some such but no:
“Pass pleasw sir”
“George, it’s me!”
“Yes sir, I know it is you. But I need to see your pass today”
“George, I’ve entered this car park on more than fifty occasions. You’ve waved me through every time. It’s me honest. I work here?”
“I know sir, new rules”
“Dont know sir, higher ups” (jabs dismissive finger skywards) insist”
“Hang on, you know its me and even if I had lost my pass, the worst I could do is roam the car park unmolested” (Pass required for building entry you see)
“No you couldn’t sir”
“Couldn’t roam sir, the CCTV’d pick you up”
“I was being Ironic George”
“Wouldn’t know about that sir, now may I see your pass?”
“Ok, but let me be absolutely clear here. You need to see my pass to check out who I am?”
“That’s right Alex”
“Doesn’t seem a bit pointless to you then?”
“Don’t know about that sir, just following orders”
(his foot’s twitching now and there’s some major tic action going on under the peaked cap. You can see he laments the loss of the duty truncheon that used to go with the job)
I insert a gloved hand in my shorts and have a rummage for my security pass before embarking on a breathless rant pointing out that such at attitude hadn’t helped the Germans in the last war, and enquiring if he’d hand out dead badgers to every tenth visitor if requested to by those in charge.
His foots stopped tapping and he’s stopped listening. Instead his attention is curiously diverted to a point just in front of my bike.
“Own a credit card sir?”
(I have to admit to being somewhat thrown by this schism in our previously one dimensional conversation)
“Purple is it?”
(Where’s he going with this?)
“Yes it is, why?”
“Floats does it?”
“I don’t know George, I don’t generally bath it what with being a normal sort of person y’know? Are you going all existential on me here and is this some metaphor for showing passes I don’t understand?”
“Wouldn’t know about that Sir. But when you pulled out your pass, your credit card fell out”
(Panics, looks down, sees nothing)
“Where is it then?”
“Fantastic it was sir, flipped sideways and disappeared down that drain cover without touching the sides”
“That one sir” points to large drain by my front wheel “goes straight into the old sewers”
(While peering down the rain swelled drain, I detect a note of ill conceived satisfaction at my plight from George, who goes on)
“Who’d have thought it eh Sir” (he adds with some jubilation) “pinged right out of your pocket and into the drain”
“Oh I don’t know sir, it’s all the rage nowadays Chip and PING?”
George descends into convulsions of silent mirth mouthing “Chip and Ping, bloody Chip and PING, get it sir, get it?”
Oh I get it alright. I just find it difficult to share the joke since some sewer rat is – right now – practising identify theft and augmenting his wardrobe with titanium whiskers and a nice smoking jacket.
Today I hate my life