05 February, 2008


Little things that oil the wheels

I was crossing a busy central London street at the lights, when I heard the shriek of a siren and saw the reflection of blue flashing lights a little distance away, their source hidden by traffic. The pedestrian lights changed in our favour. I and the other middle-aged geezer waiting to cross stood our ground, both of us clearly reasoning that either the waiting traffic would wish to move forward out of the way or the emergency vehicle would find a way through, or indeed both. Five seconds later the unmarked police or security car which was the cause of all the ruckus appeared, steaming through the junction. The officer in the passenger seat waved his thanks to us patiently waiting pedestrians.

Curiously, that little gesture was very welcome.

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