A Word Of Memory

There’s this police drama that is big in the UK. Line of Duty is now into its sixth series and has a tremendous reputation. One thing it doesn’t do is treat its audience as unintelligent so you have to stay alert if you want to keep up.

Last night was episode one of the new series and two things struck me. One it was grindingly slow. Bit worrying that cos one thing you don’t do with a Line of Duty episode is expect the twists to be telegraphed. In fact, it’s best not to get attached to character as they’ll probably be bumped off in the next frame.

The second were the bloody acronyms. In one piece of dialogue we had ‘We can keep it on the DL only if we have a CHIS on the MIT.’ Yep, that beat me too.

But and here’s the thing, when ‘CHIS’ was first used, I didn’t think ‘WTF’? – in this context it stands for Covert Human Intelligence Source – a sort of undercover operator. Rather my mind spun backwards to the nine year old me and a wonderful set of subversive children’s books I fell in love with written by Geoffrey Willans (gotta like the name) and illustrated by the glorious Ronald Searle that featured Nigel Molesworth and St Custards prep school. Molesworth was everything you weren’t supposed to be back then and wonderful as a result. And when things weren’t fair Molesworth would exclaim ‘chiz, chiz, chiz’.

Chiz is a real word meaning an exclamation expressing deception or inconvenience. Somehow I couldn’t quite shake off the idea that Molesworth, now grown and nearing retirement was in one of these police stations, a bumbling, largely incompetent jobsworth who knew how to do the minimum to stay employed, a character so far from those portrayed as to be an almost alien species. But how much better would this glacial first episode have been if Desk Sergeant Molesworth was involved? Corruption, organized crime, tortured souls under intolerable stress are all very well, but whatever happened to everyday incompetence, ducking and diving and being a lazy sod? Okay, it might not be commissioned for a seventh series but that would have been a twist no one saw coming.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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21 Responses to A Word Of Memory

  1. Excellent, Geoff. I would watch something with Desk Sergeant Molesworth was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 says:

    I am trying to wait until I have all episodes recorded so I can binge ! …Molseworth would fit in well he could be the elusive H?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. George says:

    Marvellous idea. We had a taste of “incompetence, ducking and diving, and being a lazy sod” a few series back with Nige and Dot, but they ruined it by turning Dot into an evil genius. One of my favourite scenes, though, closed the series and showed Nige in retirement, mowing his lawn, walking stick casually lying on the wall. As the camera panned back, you saw just how big Morton’s garden was.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A splendid link with Molesworth. I turned on iPllayer last night and started episode 1. We soon realised we were watching series 1, leading us to learn that we had started at series 3 way back. So we have a bit of catching up to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. M. L. Kappa says:

    I haven’t watched this series before. Should I start at the beginning? Season One?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see bloggers using acronyms all the time, many of whom do not put in brackets what the acronym stands for. I don’t mind if we’re told what they stand for at least once, but when they use them all the time without any mention of what it means, it can spoil what could be a good read. Like you mentioned, the same goes for TV shows.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. trifflepudling says:

    I thought they were saying Cheese at first!
    Molesworth 2 and Peason could be the junior cops and would probably be playing Minecraft on their work computers.
    Nice piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved Molesworth. Seem to think I was about 11 or 12 when I read the books. Down Wiv Skool seems to ring a bell. It certainly reflected my own attitudes to educational institutions – and I’m not so sure my attitudes have changed!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I confess to having a Molesworth omnibus on my shelves. St Custard’s rools!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. noelleg44 says:

    Desk Sergeant Molesworth reminds me of the classic Czech character Good Soldier Schweik. One of my favorite characters – and with a conniving brain.

    Liked by 1 person

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