Divorcee Jimmy Cartwright had just finished a day’s graft, working cash in hand for his old pal Chris. Just a bit of donkey work for his landscaping firm, although these days, Chris liked to avoid cashie labour less and less as the taxman had become shit-hot in recent years and he’d had enough disputes with Her Majesty’s revenue and customs to last a lifetime.

Chris handed him a £50 note for his efforts as he dropped him off in his white transit van outside the Three Horseshoes just before six. Every evening, rain or shine, Jimmy slammed six pints down in the 6 to 8 happy hour at the pub before he stopped off at the off-license next door for a six pack and a packet of Silk Cut. Then he would take the five-minute stroll beneath the underpass back onto his estate.

Meanwhile, crackheads Seeker and Davey smoked a pipe by the embankment of the canal.

“Shit man, that crack was weak,” said Seeker.

Davey nodded his head slightly in full agreement.

“We need some cash, Dave, and fast: I’m almost all out of my last JSA payment. We need to roll someone over; it’s getting tougher these days cause everyone uses contactless.”

“Well, there’s this old fucker who staggers out of the Horseshoes every evening around eight…goes in the offie next door for cans afterwards. Last night, I was in there and he hands over a 50 note.”

“A 50 note? Fucking hell man, I’ve never seen a 50 note.”

“Yeah, me either, until yesterday.” Dave snorted a huge greenie through his nasal passages into his mouth and gobbed it into the stagnant water of the canal.

“After that, he walks through the underpass back to his flat on the estate.”



Jimmy knocked back the last of his stale, slightly watered-down lager. He was tempted to purchase himself another because the Villa were playing Chelsea on Monday Night Football. The pub started to fill up in anticipation of kick-off as the revellers gathered around the LCD screen in the urine-and-vomit-drenched corner of the ancient boozer.

Jimmy hated crowds; that’s why he never bothered going to the football games anymore. He detested modern stadiums and resented pubs emulating them. He waved his good evenings and strolled out the front door and into the Booze Savers off-license adjacent to the main bar. He bought a six pack of Estrella Damm and made small talk with Mr. Khan the shopkeeper, mainly about the shitty weather.

Jimmy then made his way down the ramp of the underpass tunnel, which lay beneath the ever-congested dual carriageway, filled with the last of the evening’s commuters fleeing the decay of the city. He lit a cigarette and whistled the theme tune of Dad’s Army as the rain began to bucket down like a monsoon summer.

As he turned the corner entering the tunnel, he saw two figures stood in front of him, blocking his path. Both around five foot nine with hoods over their heads and scarfs over their mouths.

“Hey, old timer, spare some loose change, will ya!” one of them demanded rather than asked.

“Old timer? I’m 38! Go fuck yaself, ya little smack rat!” Jimmy answered indifferently as he carried on walking into the two young crackheads as if they weren’t stood there.

“I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation, old cunt,” said the other one as he pulled a hunting knife from the front pocket of his hooded top with his right hand.

Jimmy let out a smirk as he put his right hand into the arse pocket of his dirty, mud-stained work jeans.

“What the fuck you laughing at, you prick! Hand over your fucking wallet NOW! I’m not fucking messin’!” he screamed, becoming ever more unnerved as the seconds passed.

Jimmy swiped his left palm around and forcefully slapped the knife out of the crackhead’s hand, which was shaking like he’d drank a gallon of espresso, and hit him with a hammer blow on the bridge of his nose with his duster-covered knuckles. The other crackhead fled to safety through the dark, dimly-lit underpass as Jimmy stamped the skull of his partner in crime and crack pipes.

When Jim returned to his flat, he opened a bottle of scotch from the kitchen cupboard and proceeded to get inebriated to calm his nerves and adrenaline.

As he lay in his pit the next morning with a power drill headache and broken sleep, he was awoken by a loud knock at his door.

Jim stumbled to the door half-naked and bleary-eyed and opened it ajar.

A young, short, yet slightly portly man barely five foot tall and in his early twenties stood before him, dressed in the uniform of a Police Community Support Officer.

“What is it, Constable?” yawned Jimmy.

“Are you Mr. James Cartwright?” questioned the officer.

“Yeah, what is it?” asked Jim as he scratched his balls.

“A man has reported you for the actual bodily harm of his friend last night. Do you mind if I come in?”

“Sure, just remove your hat first.”


“Because you’re coming into my home and I asked you to.”

“Fine,” the young officer sighed as he stepped inside and took a seat in the front room.

“So what happened last night, Mr. Cartwright?”

“The little shits tried to mug me, so I defended myself.”

“That’s not the story I was given, Mr. Cartwright.”

“Well, that’s my story and it’s the truth, and it’s typical of you lot to take the side of the criminals. Right now, I’m busy. Don’t you have kiddy fiddlers to protect?”

“This isn’t the last you’ll hear from us about this incident, Mr. Cartwright.”

“Right, whatever. Now, either arrest me or get the fuck out my flat.”

“I can’t arrest you, Mr. Cartwright. I don’t have the power to because I’m only a Police Community Support Officer.”

“Yeah, okay, sure, now get the fuck out, I’ve said all I need to say.”

“No, I have more questions.”

“No, you don’t. Now, please leave, Constable, or I will arrest you for trespassing.”

“You can’t arrest me, I’m a police officer.”

“No, as you said yourself, you are only a Police Community Support Officer. You don’t have the power of arrest. But I, my good man, am a civilian and I am now making a citizen’s arrest under the powers of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.”

Jimmy lifted the young constable up by the scruff of his uniform’s collar and led him to the front door. The young PCSO looked terrified as Jimmy towered above him.

“You can’t do this! I am the law!” he yelped.

“Constable Smith, I am arresting you for trespassing in the home of one James Alan Cartwright. You have the right to remain silent and anything you do say may be used in evidence in a court of law.”

“WHAT? You’re crazy, you can’t do this!” he screamed as the door opened and he was thrown to the pavement.

“On second thought, Constable, I will let you off with a caution. Now, you have yourself a nice day!” Jimmy stated with a grin from ear to ear as he slammed the door behind him.

The young PCSO picked himself up off the concrete and dusted himself down.

Fuck this shit, he thought to himself. It’s just not worth the money it’s paid while all the commissioned officers are back at the station eating donuts and writing paperwork out of the rain and in a nice warm office, too…I hope Mother’s making me something delicious for lunch, he thought to himself as walked towards the underpass.