We did actually lock Matthew in the slammer. I give him a little bit of credit for playing his part, he knew Nick had a gun. (I’m kidding!) He knew Nick and I could easily over power him and that fighting the two of us was pointless. I’m sure he also knew he hadn’t done anything wrong, other than be rude to me, and that we were just being a little silly at his expense.
What he didn’t know was that we were serious, well temporarily serious anyway. It wasn’t the first time we’d played such a game on someone, Nick’s city friends had copped our witty sense of humour on more than one occasion.
It wasn’t like Matthew was in a bad place, Nick’s cells are not hardened prison cells, they are not the kind of place where long term criminals go to die. They aren’t Club Med either but even out in the middle of almost nowhere Occupational Health and Safety come to visit and bite us on the arse, therefore Nick’s cells are quite reasonable despite rarely having inhabitants.
Gone are the days where people are thrown in a room with bars for a door and a little square cut out in the wall with bars on it that acts as a window. No longer are the cops allowed to just throw a person in cell with a bed made from half a dozen bricks and a plank of bending wood. These days the fuzz can’t even dump a person in a room with a bucket to piss in, things have to be done differently.
So instead of having it hard dear Matthew, had it quite good, not only did he know we weren’t serious but he had a working toilet and wash basin, room to move around, he could even do star jumps if he wanted to and on top of all that luxury he even had a mattress on the four post bed. Actually when I say four post I actually mean four relatively even legs, but as you can see from the picture I paint Matthew had it easy.
In fact the only thing Matthew had going against him was that he hadn’t actually broken any laws. He would have if my proposal for a local law change had gone through but apparently not everyone in town thought the act of disagreeing with me should be an offence worthy of jail. I’m not an unfair person I wasn’t asking for a life sentence, six months max, twelve for a multiple offence.
Actually there was one other thing Matthew had going against him. Us! Nick and myself, because we forgot he was there. When I say we ‘forgot him’ I don’t mean we went home and forgot he was there, oh no we aren’t that silly and forgetful. We went to the pub and forgot he was locked in there. However it did only take us three rounds for our memories to be jogged.
After we finished our drinks, we might be in a quiet country town but you still don’t leave a half empty beer on the table, it might go warm before you get back.
“Hey Barry, we’ve gotta go. We’ll be back in a few minutes. Gonna need three beers when we get back!” I called as we stepped away from the bar, turned and headed for the door.
Barry was standing at the other end of the bar acting like a movie cliche by wiping glasses with a tea towel. “You left Matthew in the cell didn’t you?”
News of my brother’s arrival had gotten around obviously, It was lucky there was no one else in the pub at the time or they might have thought less about the local cop after hearing Barry’s outrageous outburst, which we both chose not to respond to.
“You’re opening the bloody cell when we get there.” Nick said to me as we stepped onto the road and casually walked across. Even us country folk listen to our parents and we don’t run across the road!
“You’re the cop!” I replied.
“You put him there!”
“Well if you’re not going to do it, I’m not going in there.”
To emphasise my point I stopped at the rear of the Beast and rested my arm on the tray, after all you shouldn’t stop in the middle of the road, that’s not safe.
“Then neither shall I!” Nick replied stopping next to me and mirroring my pose.
“You can’t leave him there.”
“Neither can you.”
There is nothing like a bit of maturity injected into a discussion as it’s needed to calm the situation.
“It’s your cell.”
“He’s your brother.”
Nick had a point. It wasn’t that I was scared of Matthew, I’d had his number since we were teenagers, but he had been locked in a cell for over half an hour and we weren’t even in there to hear his pleas for release.
“Shall we toss for it? I’m sure there will be a coin in the ashtray of the Beast.” I said.
“Yeah right, if it’s your coin it will be a two headed coin.”
“Then chose heads, you twit!” Honestly sometimes I don’t think Nick thinks before he speaks.
“You’d let me pick the toss?”
“Of course not.” See I told you he doesn’t think!
As we stepped up to the door of the station house we were laughing and giggling, I lightly punched Nick on the left arm and told he we better straighten ourselves up given what we were going inside to do. He agreed that such behaviour might be taken out of context should it be heard by a certain somebody that was inside the station.
Nick unlocked the front door and we made our way into the station. We knew unlocking and opening the door would have been heard from the cells so being silent was not something we were trying for.
We walked past the counter, down the hall, past Nick’s office and past the two interview rooms. At the end of the hallway we turned right and headed to the two cells.
We stepped in front of the first cell, Nick was ready to unlock the barred door, it was at that moment we were both stunned rigid by what we saw.
Previous Desert Rescue Story here.