A police officer came round to my home for a chat yesterday. These things happen.
A very nice young man, bright-eyed and amiable.
At a random point, I asked him if he wanted a cup of tea, but then I suddenly thought and said:
“Oh! I suppose maybe you can’t. That would count as attempting to bribe a police officer…”
He said no, he didn’t want a cup of tea but… “No, offering a cup of tea would not really be bribery…
There was a slight pause.
“…but offering me a bar of chocolate might be.”
“Really?” I replied, surprised. “Why?”
“Well,” the nice young police officer said, “I think that would count as a gift, but a cup of tea would be just…”
He paused, not quite sure what the next words should be.
“…being British?” I suggested.
He smiled and shrugged.
Thinking about it afterwards, maybe I should have suggested: “…taking a drink.”
Rather than smiling, he might have laughed.
As I said in yesterday’s blog, English can sometimes – sometimes – be a subtle language.
One response to “What it takes to bribe a police officer”
The only time I quoted John Finnemore to the police was when I was living at home in a room completely full of stuff. A young policewoman asked whether she could come in to my bedroom. I looked shifty, and she tensed up. So I said “I’m not saying you’re not allowed to, I’m just saying I don’t think you’ll be able”. She opened the door and looked at the waist-high piles of things and got the point.