It’s the policeman’s boots that I recall, an image of two shiny black boots viewed from ground level; that and the pain from various scuffs and bangs I had suffered whilst headbutting the road.
Some hours earlier my best chum, Lizard (G. Lister) and I had been on a pub crawl around the Wetherby, Tadcaster and Selby area. The rules for our pub crawls were fairly simple, no John Smiths and no lager. Allowable ales included Tetleys, Websters, Whitbread and Bass whilst Samuel Smiths was allowed as a last resort. There will have been others but Tetleys was always the favoured one.
We had driven about in my Clan Crusader and had consumed around 12 pints of beer in around 12 different pubs, and although it was my car, Lizard was driving because for some reason I was too pissed and he always seemed to handle his ale better. In those days pubs closed at 10:30 and although there were several that did ‘late tastes’ (The Pax at Thorpe Arch or the Fox & Hounds at Walton among others) we had a last pint at one of the many Tadcaster pubs, I forget which, and made our way back to Boston Spa and home. It was a ‘school night’, work in the morning!
Now the Clan was a little 2 seater sports car but it did have a sunroof, a rather cheap fabric one but it opened a reasonable amount. I decided in my iniebriated state that it would be a good idea to stand on the seat with my body out of the roof whilst driving through the village. As we passed down the High Street Lizard spotted a police car further ahead outside Millies Fish & Chip shop so he put the brakes on, an automatic reaction. My automatic reaction was to slump over the windscreen. Lizard’s forward vision was now impaired by his drunken passenger so he pressed the brake even harder, another automatic reaction. The laws of physics then propelled me out of the roof, down the windscreen and then the bonnet, where I finally made contact with the road just as the car came to a stop, conveniently next to the police car. The police car door opened and two boots placed themselves near my face into which a torch was shone. I jumped to my feet and muttered ‘Evening officer’ and clambered back in the car. Lizard shot off like a startled rabbit round the corner up Church Street and just up on the right into my mother’s driveway.
My mother was in the kitchen preparing a nightcap of whisky when I burst in through the door, some blood on my face and a general dishevelled appearance. Lizard was seconds behind me saying loudly ‘I hope the police haven’t followed us!’ Mother dropped the glass…..