It’s too fucking hot to be in a vehicle pound filling in forms. Way too hot. Don’t worry, I didn’t get towed. We are getting Brian’s bike back. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare in a horrible place that smells like feet. Nothing is working with his insurance documents. The guy in the window is treating him like a criminal.
First we had to drive up the westway in horrendous traffic. Some fuckwit inevitably back-bumpered me in his Range Rover and then drove off. I got his numberplate because he was just ahead of us in traffic for ages. No visible damage but while I was still fretting about it I ran a red light so it might turn out to be an expensive journey.
Now the guy in the pound is a horrorshow of a human being. Just down the corridor, another unfortunate is getting the fourth degree from another window person. They hang out behind glass being obstructive and contextually powerful. There’s noa culture of self-importance. Perivale Police Pound, aka The seventh circle of hell. It’s vile here. Unutterably dank. Grey walls and the buzzing of bad neon lights. People pretending not to shout at each other through windows. The polite power game. “I have you by the balls, sir, and I’m going to make your life as shitty as I can. But you have to be nice and call me sir and yes sir no sir three bags full sir me or I’ll just tighten this little thing here … aaahhh.” These people are monsters. They are The Demon Headmaster. Like the bike thieves they trade on misery, but this misery is government sanctioned.
Brian has moved to another window. Windowlady is using all her obstructive ingenuity now. She wants the receipt for his purchase of the bike. She is trying everything in her power to make this a wasted trip. She’s such a villain I’m going back to where I left the car to make sure what looks like a parking slot is not in fact a honey trap designed to lure the unwary and refill the pound so every time someone picks up a vehicle their friend’s vehicle goes in. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if, once Brian has successfully jumped through all the flaming hoops, they look at the clock and say “oh sorry sir. It’s too late to release your vehicle now. You’ll have to come back tomorrow.” And then slam the shutters down, kill a virgin goat and dance in its blood like they do in the hospitals, and laugh their way back to Gibboleth and the banquet of souls.
Now they’ve shut the door to stop me giving Brian his helmet. So they can say “Oh we can’t release the bike to someone with no helmet.” I hate them. I hate red tape generally. But this place. These people. These are the enemy.
The bike eventually comes out in the sunset. I take some great photos but here, in this little palace of evil, they do not allow such things. Twice I am told I can’t take photos. They make me delete them. Do I? Or do I just pretend to delete them? The guys waiting outside shout “You can’t stop him”. But I’m not posting anything I might not have deleted on social media. I know I wouldn’t be breaking the law. But these people in this pound? Of course they don’t want their photo displayed. And they are capable of making my life hell with the sheer depth of their spite. They’ve bypassed their misery receptors. I’m not risking it. I wait until nobody is in shot except for Brian.
The bike doesn’t start.
This is going to be a long night.