for a breath test kit and within minutes big John arrived on the Noddy Bike. This was a lightweight motorcycle, a Velocette LE to be precise, and was ideal for central London what with its choking traffic and narrow Mews and alleyways, even though the rider looked slightly ridiculous in his Macintosh and slightly modified but outwardly standard police helmet. Although it was, in its day, a brilliantly innovative motorcycle, Iâ€™d made up my mind never to be seen dead or alive on a Noddy Bike. Unbeknown to me, that promise would only hold good for a few years.
The breath kit was prepared and I gave chummy his final instructions on what to do, when he suddenly started shaking and then collapsed on the pavement, twitching and convulsing. I was both gobsmacked and horrified as my first real live breath test, a pretty simple procedure, started to rapidly descend into a sort of theatrical farce. But Big John wasnâ€™t fooled and said what he thought of this `act` from the intoxicated detective in very uncomplimentary terms. In my naivety, I expressed my concern for his welfare and glanced at Ian who was looking decidedly unhappy with the whole situation. There were a couple of empty seconds where we both tried to think of our next move and a small crowd of people had started to gather round and stare, as they do, when Big The SAM Observer April 2013
The April 2013 edition of "The SAM Observer"