Cops and donuts in the U.S. and Britain

There’s no limit to the ways that Britain isn’t like the U.S. and I’ve just found a new one. But the story starts back a step or two. Mine always do.

In my most recent post, which wasn’t one of my best, I mentioned that in Britain cops and donuts aren’t fused together in the public mind the way they are in the U.S. That led Dan Antion to ask how on earth British cops managed to waste time if they don’t hang out in donut shops. Dan always finds something inspired to drop in the comment box, even when I’m not at my best.

As it happens, I thought I was well placed to answer that and I asked a friend who’s a retired cop and who will remain anonymous even though he’s retired and anyone who knows him could figure out who he  is. But never mind. It adds to the mystique. Let’s call him–oh, let’s say his name is Anon.

Anon, I asked, how do British cops waste their time if they don’t eat donuts?

Well, he said, looking as if he’d been waiting all his life for someone to ask him exactly that question, his team had a rule: Anyone who was late had to buy donuts for, so they did eat donuts. Lots of donuts, because someone was almost always late. That led to a competition over whether they could eat a donut without licking their lips, and the only way to do it, he said, since donuts always leave sugar on your lips, is to stuff the entire donut in your mouth in one bite.

Yes, but how did they waste time? Did they hang out in cafes with all-day breakfasts?

He ignored the second question, which I took as a no, and launched into this story:

Back before CCTV was everywhere, between 3 and 5 a.m., when the streets were empty, they could close off a stretch of street with a police van at each end, set a line of traffic cones down the middle of the street, and take one of the small cop cars at they used at the time, which had a choke, and they’d set the choke so it would drive slowly, then stand on top of the car and use two dog leashes attached to the steering wheel to slalom the car through the traffic cones.

Is that even physically possible? Did he make it up? All I can tell you is that if it isn’t the truth he made it up  in record time. 

Can any American cop top that?

30 thoughts on “Cops and donuts in the U.S. and Britain

    • I feel the same way. And I just this afternoon talked to another retired cop (who’d have ever thought I k new so many) who also told me about the if-you’re-late-you-buy-the-donuts rule. They both worked in London. I wonder if it’s the whole country.

      When I asked about wasting time, though, he looked kind of blank and said, well, if there really was nothing going on, they could go back to the station and have a cup of tea.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wow! Dan’s question really set up a terrific challenge. Who could ever beat being on top of a car with the clutch in gear and moving slowly…. well, that’s pretty tough to beat. I love this! The UK is in good hands. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, but I have mixed feelings about them. As far as I know, they’re not misused at the moment, but if the political winds start blowing from some truly horrifying direction, the infrastructure to make life all the more horrifying is already in place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I enjoyed most of the post, although not a peeps fan, I must take issue about the US being civilized. One does not have to look long or hard to see it has become anything but civilized. I see no evidence that it will change soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could argue with you.

      Actually, if we have to define civilized, we probably could argue. I could argue with myself over what a workable definition is, so I’m almost guaranteed to be able to disagree with anyone else on it.

      Liked by 1 person

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