The Yo-Yo

By Len A.Hynds

I had promised my small daughter Pat, that I would take her and Tilly my wife, to the seaside at Little Hampton in Sussex the following day. But I had the whole night in front of me on duty, walking the beat along the Old Kent Road.

I knew that I would have to avoid if possible making any arrests that night, to avoid having to go to court in the morning, and not being able to keep my promise to young Pat, who already had her sand bucket and spade ready. We were going to the coast in my ancient, battered old car.

Quite early on in the night, I had waved to the PC on the other side of the Old Kent Road, who was from Tower Bridge Station, that main road being our boundary. It was about midnight when I saw a drunk staggering along on the other side of the road, and he collapsed in a shop doorway. I went across the road, to make sure he was alright, and left him there, knowing that the Tower Bridge PC would be along shortly, and would have to arrest him for his own safety, as being “Drunk and Incapable”. I continued my patrol, and shortly afterwards found the same drunk, but in a shop doorway on my side of the road. That crafty PC had carried him across the road and deposited him on my beat. I promptly lifted him up and carried him back again.

I later found the same drunk on my second beat, further along the Old Kent Road, and that PC could not possibly know that I was covering two beats. I got the poor chap to his feet again, and half carried him to the canal bridge, which was the boundary with yet another station at Peckham. After carefully looking round for any inquisitive Sergeants or Inspectors I carried him over the boundary onto Peckham’s manor, and gently lowered him into yet another shop doorway.

As I did so, he looked up at me despairingly, saying, "I wish you two would make up your mind. I feel like a bleedin’ yo-yo."