The Car Park.

Knuckles rapping on a door.  Door opens.

Posh parker      Are you the car park attendant?

Attendant        Indeed I am, Madam.  It is my job, career and calling,
                   no less.  In persuant of which I have been advised with
                   this badge bearing the legend Chief Attendant.  Chief,
                   you will notice as by years of dedicated toil and career
                  development I have worked my way up from assistant
                  attendant, through Attendant to Chief Attendant.  If it’s
                  the Chief Attendant you’re after: I am he.

Posh parker      If you have quite finished drivelling, I require you to
                   come and look at my car immediately.  I have reversed
                   over some broken glass which has been left scattered 
                   about by some careless lout.  If you are the chief
                   attendant it’s your responsibility to clear it up, which I
                   require doing immediately.  Come with me please.

Attendant        Ah, no, well you see, unfortunately, Madam, most
                   unfortunately, I am unable to comprise at this juncture
                   in time.

Posh parker      What rubbish!  You are the attendant, this is the car 
                   park, I require you to attend at once!

Attendant        You may require me indeed, Madam.  Howevertheless,
                   I cannot be required by reason of having other duties.

Posh parker       Duties!  What other duties?  It is your duty to attend to
                    the car park.  I require you to do so.  I shall be unable 
                    to drive away until the glass is removed.  It may have
                    already punctured my tyre, in which case I shall hold
                    you liable.

Attendant         Ah!  Liability.  I would draw your attention, Madam to
                    the notice posted by the entrance, clearly visual for
                    up to twenty yards.

Posh parker       What notice?

Attendant         That notice there.  It is, exactly, Madam, nineteen 
                    yards, one foot, three inches, or, nineteen metres 
                    and a few millimetres, from the spot where I am 
                    standing, unless I am wearing wellingtons, which
                    are somewhat longer in the foot, in which case it
                    is exactly nineteen metres, measured to the toe.  It
                    states that cars are left at owner’s risk.  We, the car
                    park, are not liable.

Posh parker       Well!  I have never heard anything as ridiculous in
                     all my born days.  I would have you know, my man,
                    that I share a hairdresser with the lady mayoress.  I
                     could make life very uncomfortable for you.

Attendant         No you couldn’t.

Posh parker        Yes I could.  I know the mayoress.  I have drunk
                    coffee with her.  Under adjacent dryers.

Attendant         No you couldn’t.  She is elected, by whim of the
                    popular.  I am employed for my skill, by my employer
                    who is not the mayoress.

Posh parker       Well then I shall speak to your superior, whoever he is.

Attendant         I don’t have a superior.  I am the chief attendant.  It 
                    says so on my badge.  Chief Attendant.  That’s me.

Posh parker       Well why can’t you attend?

Attendant         I am attending, Madam.  It is my duty to be here, 
                    attending.  I am in attendance here.  That’s why it
                    says Chief Attendant on this door.  That’s me
                    Chief Attendant.  This is my office at which I

Posh parker       Are you telling me you just sit there in that little
                    cubby hole all day, drinking coffee, while the car park
                    goes to rack and ruin?  How typical!

Attendant        Most of my day is taken up with paperwork, Madam.
                   In my office as befits my senior position.  Without me
                   doing the paperwork the whole car park would grind
                   to a halt.  I do, howevertheless, leave my office every
                   hour and minutely inspect the entire premiss.  As is
                   required by my job description, a document which 
                   extrudes to no less than three pages.

Posh parker      So why can’t you leave your office now?

Attendant       If you are wearing a timepiece, Madam, I would draw
                 your attention to it.  By perusive of the same you will
                 note the time is exactly fifteen minutes and thirty 
                  seconds past the hour.  I am not due to minutely
                  inspect the car park for another three quarters of
                  an hour.  At which time, I shall do so.

Posh parker     Are you suggesting I have to wait three quarters of an
                 hour for you to come and remove the glass?

Attendant      Indeed no, Madam.  You are wrong on two counts.
                 Firstly it is now only forty four minutes before my
                 next inspection.  Secondly, if I discover broken glass
                 during the inspection I shall take action as required in my
                 job description.

Posh parker     So when you discover the glass, which you will do
                 because I have told you it is there, will you then remove

Attendant      If I discover broken glass I shall, upon return to my 
                 office, fill in form 102/b Detection of Foreign Objects
                 in the Environs of the Car Park.

Posh parker    And then, I trust, you will sweep up the glass?

Attendant      Indeed no, Madam.  I shall, as defined in regulations,
                 submit my report, correctly tabulated on form 102/b to
                 the reverent authorities.

Posh parker     So, when you have trotted over to the council offices  
                 with your squitty little form, you can finally come and 
                  sweep up the glass I take it?

Attendant       Wrong again on two counts, Madam.  Firstly, I shall
                  not sweep up the glass until I receive form 396 from the
                  reverent authorities instructing me to do so, if that is the
                  action they require.  Secondly, I shall not take form
                  102/b to the council offices as they are not the reverent 
                  authorities neither the owners of the car park.

Posh parker     Yes they are.

Attendant       Not since July, last year, Madam.  At which conjecture
                  of time the car park was sold off as a liquid asset.

Posh parker      Who owns the car park now?  I shall contact them.  
                   Give me their name and address at once and I shall go
                   there forthwith and tell them exactly what I think.

Attendant        Certainly, Madam.  I am required to furniture their
                   address to anyone who asks and have cards for the
                   purpose.  Here you are, you may keep this card.

Posh parker       Progress at last!  Wait a minute, this address is in

Attendant       Yes, Madam, I believe so.  This car park is owned by
                  a subsidence company of a toothpaste manufacturer. 
                  They are my employers.  And they’re very good
                  employers, if I may say so.  They pay me good wages
                  very promptly and I get vouchers off toothpaste.  My
                  teeth have never been cleaner.

Posh parker     Do you mean to tell me that I have to wait for a form to
                  be posted to Brussels and returned before some broken
                  glass can be swept up?

Attendant       I am only doing my job, Madam.  My job is to follow
                  procedures.  That is the procedure for dealing with
                  broken glass.

Posh parker     Well then I shall push the broken glass out of the way
                 with my foot and park elsewhere.

Attendant       You may do so, Madam, if you wish.

Posh parker      I do.  And I shall park somewhere else in future.

Sound of high heeled footsteps stalking off. Pause.  High heeled footsteps stalking back.

Posh parker      Have you got change for the ticket barrier?  I only
                   have a note.

Attendant       Certainly, Madam.  I’m here to help.

Sound of coins changing hands.

Posh parker      Thank you.  Wait a minute.  This isn’t proper
                   money.  What are these?

Attendant        They are Euros, Madam.  The ticket barrier has been
                   converted to accept Euros but it does also accept 
                   tokens which are not kept here but may be pertained
                   from the accounting office.

Posh parker      And where is that?

Attendant        Spain.  Do you want the address?

Posh parker       No.

High heeled footsteps walking away.

Posh parker       I shall henceforth park in the Baker Street car park.

Attendant         Where I shall be happy to be of service Tuesdays
                    and Thursdays.

Car door slams, screech of tyres.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888 – loving authority, very slightly.

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