Crime walks the streets of Brisbane

THE police got me. I could have run but they looked young enough to be keen. And I wasn’t armed, except with a briefcase, and it wasn’t loaded.

I must say you have to admire them. Terrorism is knocking on the door of our daily lives, the kids are shooting up heroin at kindy, illegal immigrants are swarming over our borders like lemmings without the death wish, but that doesn’t stop the boys in blue from caring for the welfare of respectable citizens.

I was touched. I even said thank you. I think he wanted to arrest me again for being smart, but that’s not an offence in Queensland. Yet.

I add hastily that this didn’t happen in Townsville where, by my observation, the police have better things to do. It happened in Brisbane.

Crossing the road. Before the little red man had changed to green.

Do yourself a favour if you ever go there, and avoid the traffic lights at the junction of Charlotte and Albert Street, just up the road from the CBD police station.

Policemen lurk at this junction. Could it be because it’s the only junction in the entire city where citizens swarm across the lights before the little green man has winked on?

Or because it’s handy to the office?

Or maybe it’s where they practise. I was probably lucky they didn’t make me lie spreadeagled face down on the floor. I was carrying a briefcase, after all; and it might have been loaded. Nowadays you never can tell.

Do I sound irritated? Are you surprised?

Look… I am a good citizen. If there is a child at the lights I always wait for the little man to go green, to set a good example. But if there are no children and – more importantly – no traffic, why shouldn’t I cross the road?

How can they make an offence out of crossing the road! Because it’s not the pedestrians they’re protecting – it’s the cars.

Jack (the bloke who arrested me) disagreed. He said it was because dead pedestrians caused grief and social degradation throughout the community. He was a very philosophical policeman. He said it was particularly important to police jaywalking for citizens of my age who didn’t see nor hear as well as they used to.

If my briefcase had been armed I would have detonated it then, and taken him with me.

Doesn’t he know that’s why we have traffic lights? It’s part of the natural selection process. The bible knew all about traffic lights, even before they were invented. That’s why it talks about the quick and the dead.

If the police are going to protect every octogenarian from obliteration by fining them $30 every time they step off the curb, population ageing will go into overdrive.

And naturally the quick ones, who don’t end up flatter than hedgehog in a British country lane, will be improving the gene pool with their increased speed and agility.

Except of course that they are probably beyond even the remotest interest in the gene pool. They are standing permanently at the traffic lights of life, so to speak, waiting for them to go red forever.

And the bloke lurking on the other side will not be a policeman. He’ll have horns, and a barbed tail, and a little trident.

But it’ll be hard to tell the difference.