There are a few things you need to know about me for this little tale:
1. I cycle (badly), but you already know that if you read my apology to Meryl Streep
2. I detest following rules, but you already know that from my disastrous baking attempts
3. I used to have big, crazy, curly blonde hair which is brand new information! (Unless you know me in person and ever had to sit behind me in the cinema)
4. I went to Cambridge University (but it took me two tries to be let in, so don’t go thinking I’m all lah-di-dah)
I’m not pretending I was this hot, but I was this deluded
Bikes are EVERYWHERE in Cambridge. I’m not volunteering to count either group but I reckon there are more bikes than ants. There are certainly at least as many as Katie Melua claims to be in Beijing.
One evening I was cycling home from something or other – something really COOL I’m CERTAIN – and was pulled over by a pair of policemen as I pedalled over Parker’s Piece. Well one policeman, one policewoman.
I didn’t have any bike lights (I either didn’t bother or – when I did bother to buy some – I’d forget to take them off and they’d get nicked) and had been stopped a few times before. I knew the drill well.
Bike gangster of Cambridge, outrunning police since 2003
I had two signature get-out moves.
- option 1: if there was no obvious bag on my person I’d say I had no ID on me, write a fake name and address on the form and dodge the fine
- option 2: if I did quite obviously have ID I’d show it but make up a story about the lights having been stolen just that evening so I had no choice but to get home before it got any darker
They’d always tell me to push my bike the rest of the way home but I was yet to actually have to fork out the £30 fine. With this regular scene-playing you could say my drama degree was already paying off.
But these coppers did NOT follow The Usual Script. Instead I was shocked to hear them ask:
“Do you know why we’ve stopped you? Can we see some identification? You look like a woman who is wanted for serious crimes in Cambridge.”
Now up until that moment I’d been ready to go with option 1 and give a fake name.
Maybe Geraldine Foghorn…Regina Phalange would raise suspicion
But it SUDDENLY dawned on me that – if I made up a random name – Geraldine Foghorn might actually BE the name of the curly-haired criminal they were after. I mean the chances were slim but, still, they loomed.
As I reached for my purse, curiosity overtook me and I blurted out: “What did she do? Is she a murderer?! And is her hair really as crazy as mine?!”
I knew I had crazy hair but I never realised it was SERIAL KILLER crazy.
They refused to tell me what “serious crimes” this woman had committed. I thought considering I was her official local doppelgänger I might be privy to some police secrets, but disappointingly they refused to see it that way.
After seeing from my ID that I wasn’t a known criminal, I was let off. They even forgot to fine me, what with all the “is this HER??” dramz.
So I managed to achieve one half of the Body of Baywatch/Face of Crimewatch combo…but not the one I’ve ever particularly aimed for.