This week the #writephoto prompt is
Ambrose Porcelain rubbed the dirt off his fingers and stood back, admiring his handiwork. The subtle metalwork, the discreet plumbing, the sheer chutzpah, the…
Ambrose spun round. The dawn light was barely making shadows across the neatly trimmed park grass yet the figure running… no, barrelling given its spherical nature… toward him was both as unexpected as it was familiar. Constable Risible Erratique had an impressive girth, if you were auditioning to play one of Holst’s planets but not if you were aiming to arrest the Toilet Terrorist, the Peter Pan of Pissoires.
Ambrose bent to his trolley and turned to where he’d left his van. He knew he could get away; he’d outrun Erratique at least three times but now he hesitated. After all this was his last commission, his final creation. The Banksy of Bogs was about to unannonymise himself and why shouldn’t the Persistently Perspiring Policeman be the first to know. He put his tool bag down and waited.
When, finally Erratique arrived at Ambrose’s side he was both red in the face and blue in the gills. To say he was breathing heavily would be as unnecessary as saying politicians oozed insincerity. Ambrose waited for the Bobby to regain a semblance of composure. And he waited. In the end he led Erratique to a nearby bench and offered him a somewhat moist hobnob and swig of water.
Erratique looked up at the unprepossessing youngster. ‘I thought you’d be taller.’
Ambrose shrugged. ‘I thought you’d understand.’
‘They’re for you.’
‘Me?’ he squeaked again.
‘Not just you, people like you. Outdoors people.’
‘How does building…’ Erratique fumbled for his notebook, ‘twenty seven illegal urinals…’
‘Twenty-eight. There’s one in the gardens to Buckingham Palace. I imagine their security people didn’t want it known, but by all accounts the gardening staff are grateful.’
‘Right,’ Erratique made a hurried note, ‘twenty eight obscene…’
Ambrose half stood. ‘They’re beautiful.’
Erratique stilled him with a restraining hand, looking at the neoclassical structure. ‘As a bandstand, yes, but as a place where any Tom, Dick or Harry… maybe Tom or Harry is better… where they can expose themselves to delicate sensibilities…’
‘In South London?’
‘I’m quoting the Tabloids. This ain’t France. You can’t take the piss out in the open like you can over there, you know.’ He scratched his chin, mumbling, ‘one minute you’re decapitating royalty, the next and every bloke is expected wave his wand for the world to gawp.’
‘The Tabloids said that’s exactly what I’m doing, taking the piss by building these under your noses.’
‘Figure of speech. Look, there’s laws on bog building, you know. Committees and wotnot. I agree they look fine but if you want to protect, why not do something useful? Like throw eggs at your MP.’
‘This is my preferred method. It’s satisfying and a relief, to be honest. Do you know how many times my mother made me pee behind a bush because either there was no toilet or she decided it was too dangerous because she couldn’t see who was inside it?’
‘I haven’t a…’
‘That was rhetorical. These open sided facilities mean mothers like my mother can allow their little jonnies to perform both discreetly and openly.’
‘Have you tried?’
‘I’ll show you. Hang on.’
Before PC Erratique could move, Ambrose was halfway to the new building. He slipped inside. Calling over his shoulder, he said, ‘you can still see me?’
‘But not what I’m doing.’
‘You’re not doing anything obscene?’
‘You’d not know, would you…’
A hand on his shoulder made him jump. Ambrose met Erratique’s sympathetic gaze. ‘You’d probably get away with this if you’d made it more…’
‘British. You’re nicked, sonny. Come on, pop him away and we’ll get the bus to the Nick.’