The coppers are having their annual meeting at my local. There’s some big wigs from the hood. I say hello to them. And introduce them to my fictitious friend from Planet Kryptonite.
The copper smoking a cigarette looks like the big wig in the office. He tells me something fell out of my pocket. I’m looking around, under my chair, and around the general area. Then the copper points under his table, where my e-cigarette is under the feet of four coppers. Vaporizers are banned in Johor.
Nothing was said. I pull out a cigarette from my packet of contraband Canyon that were on the table next to another unopened packet – in full fucking view of the coppers. Fuck, I could get instant 1000 Ringgit fine. They saw the cigarettes but nothing was said.
What other fuck ups can they can get me for? I’m not carrying my passport.
Fuck, could they be monitoring the foreigner writing all those promotional pieces on Johor. I fucking hope not.
I’m fucking paranoid.
I smuggle out a cigarette from my bag and consider the implications. You can never be too careful. Now I’m drawing suspicion for sure. Nope, just paranoia. The police are now tucking into their food. They have better things to think about than targeting poor tourists in the open. They aren’t that stupid.
Maybe it’s their pay day. Otherwise they could have taken me to the bank.
Pineapple Man appears, and does the rounds. “You have one ringgit for eating?” He’s wise enough to avoid the copper table. It’s his beat and I love that look of self congratulation every time he gets a one Ringgit note. Not on this visit.
Then a seedy emaciated Indian goes up to the copper table.He’s always hanging around, looking seedy,with a fag in his mouth. He’s probably a very nice guy. But I suspect he’s the local snitch or carrier. He’s in thick with the plain clothes copper and having a quiet deep and meaningful. He gives his report and continues on his seedy way, carrying his life’s possession in a shopping bag. Could this be the Yogi Bear from Starksy & Hutch? Actually I think it’s Snoop Dog down and out on his luck.
Meldrum Street is paved in gold and I’m wondering if the coppers lavish banquet is on the house. I don’t wonder too long.
They leave without paying for the bill. It’s been their lucky day and mine. The table is full of empty plates and glasses. The coppers run a tight ship on Meldrum Street. Maybe they are showing their good side to the weekend Singaporeans. It’s been a great PR exercise and I’m duly impressed. You never see them during the week.
The Malay waiter is cleaning up the copper table. I ask him if it was free. He’s in no position to answer and he knows what I mean by it. Of course it’s fucking free you moron. I wasn’t born yesterday. Wait, he can’t speak English.
Deep breath as I write and publish this piece. Another deep draw on my contraband cigarette I mean. It’s illegal to smoke e-cigarettes in public. I wasn’t smoking it, only the tax free cigarettes smuggled over from Indonesia. And like the guy on the next table, I have my Canyon cigarettes back on the table where they belong.
I’m glad the coppers have gone back to the station. Now Planet Kryptonite can get back on with its life.
For some contextual background, read Fucked.