In the Line of Duty

By Bryan • china • 26 Feb 2006

The ever mysterious and ever so annoying “M” character (through Google, as I might have imagined) has re-discovered my new domain. If you’ve tried posting comments, you’ve probably realized that doing so requires authentication on my end. Sorry guys, but I already get too much shit from this creature in my inbox; I don’t need it polluting this place. If, by popular demand (ie. your entertainment at the expense of my bandwidth) I am required to post more daily antics from the crazy Philippines, I could possibly be persuaded to post ‘classic’ M entries. However, I stress the word possibly. I feel that I should also inform my readers that I have received “M” photographs. The likes of which (fake or entirely genuine” Only the 13th letter knows for sure) should be destroyed in a public burning.

From the Shanghai Daily:

The ministry said 414 Chinese police officers died on duty in 2005, and 4,134 were injured, mostly from violent conflicts or working too hard. The average age of death was only 44.8 years.

“Many young officers died from working too much overtime,” Fan said.

Among the 154 who succumbed to the heavy workload, 115 were killed by cardiovascular diseases.

I can sympathize with the cardiovascular issues among China’s finest. For example. Tonight. Zhongshan Bei Lu and Yunnan Lu intersection. 3am China Coast Time. What would, on any normal night (is there such a thing in the Middle Kingdom?) be a random fender bender involving an exchange of cigarettes and mobile numbers, was instead the scene of a mini community gathering as upwards of 30 people converged upon the accident site. Found at the epicenter of this after-hours street pow wow were three incredibly bewildered boys in blue. Armed with nothing but their VW patty wagon, the coppers were engaged in intense mediation between two belligerent parties (and their associated entourages…a result of the mobile chain phenomenon) over what, upon closer inspection, appeared to be a rear ending of a VW Santana taxi cab.

From a western perspective, such a collection of citizens in one place (at 3am) would have resulted in the immediate dispatch of several patrol cars full of armed officers ready to take out the trash. Trash, being curious and most likely intoxicated bystanders. Refusal to disperse and return to residence dwellings of individual choice would result in immediate incarnation, and in the presence of Saskatoon fuzz, expulsion to city limits.

However, in a city where police (the local, unarmed variety) are viewed with as about as much respect as you would hold for Google and their overlords, blue intimidation, as it were, was not influencing the crowd in any way. 3am. Three cops. No respect. No back-up and four pissed off citizens and thirty plus curious and in-the-way bystanders. And this was only Zhongshan Bei Lu. Kung pao heart attack…with a bowl of rice.

These poor dudes (and dudettes) also have to deal with the ever so friendly domestic disturbance, which is more often than not is actually a gambling dispute regarding chess games played on the street (which is, somewhat ironically, illegal to do in the first place). Unlike western domestic disturbances, which are rather ugly on their own, these gems draw out the entire neighborhood. Even the vendors set up shop to capitalize on high concentration of customers. Face it, arguing makes one hungry. About a month ago, I had the opportunity to witness such an event outside my area of residence. Again, upwards of thirty people convoluting around two police officers who were separating two very angry gambling participants. Three cruisers present. I observed a sleeping officer in the front seat of one of the cruisers. Obviously this guy had inside information on the cardiovascular risks involved with gambling conflicts.

“No sir, I ain’t going to be a statistic…leave it for the rookies”.

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One Response

  1. Fraser

    We want M!! Heh heh, just kidding, although the “classic” posts are always good for a laugh…

    I like the new layout but the comment section still looks all white to me…

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