"So, tell us, constable Quigley
"— Please call me 'Colin,' ma'am."
"So, tell us, Colin —"
"Colin, ma'am, not 'coalin'. Coalin' is what steam engines do;
the vowel is soft, as in 'colander."
"I do beg your pardon. So, tell us, er 'Colin',
how do you go about spotting an illegal alien? Is it something in the
gait, a guilty look in the eye or simply a shockingly bad haircut?"
"Nothing like that, ma'am. It's the language they uses. Gives 'em
away every time."
"Ah, yes, of course, how stupid of us, constable. The illegal alien's
command of our post-Norman mother tongue must be tenuous at best."
"I dunno about 'tongue', ma'am, nor any geezer called Norman. Sounds
a bit saucy, if you ask me. I don't 'old with tonguing whether it's
fashionable or no."
"We meant the alien's grasp of English," we explained. "It
can't be up to much."
"Oh I see ma'am. Well, that's where you're wrong because it's bleedin'
"I don't follow you, constable?"
"Your genuine illegal alien speaks perfect English, ma'am, much
as yourself, but with an even posher accent, if you'll forgive the impertinence."
"You don't say. Well, that will be a surprise to our readers, Colin."
"Colin, ma'am, not 'colon'. 'Colon' is what the missus 'as irrigated
on Tuesdays on account o' 'er piles, ma'am."
"I do beg your pardon, constable. Does it hurt?"
"The irrigation you mean, ma'am?
"No, the piles."
"I couldn't rightly say ma'am 'as the missus is not one to complain
about 'er 'ealth, not about 'er ' appiness come to that; even when she's
bent double and gasping for breath."
"My goodness!" we replied, "Is it that bad?"
"I was referring to our monthly conjugals, ma'am,
not the weekly irrigation, though, now I come to think of it, the missus
seems to enjoy the irrigation rather more than the conjugals."
"She's not alone in that, constable. So, you were telling our readers
that illegal aliens give themselves away by their perfect command of
"And how do you account for that?"
"I don't rightly know ma'am, but the word on the beat is they learns
it on account of 'ow they've been monitoring our TV and Radio for so
"Why should they do that?"
"To learn to speak like Jeremy Paxman—you know, that posh
newsreader on the Telly. Rotweiler Paxman they call's 'im in the station
canteen on account of 'ow he allus savages the politicians with his
barbed rhetoric, like."
"Even the women?"
"Dunno about the wimmin, Paxman's too much of a gent to be rude
to the lady politicians, ma'am."
"We meant do even female aliens speak perfect English, constable?"
"Oh, sorry! Well, I've not rightly seen no female aliens, only
males. And when I say they speak like Jeremy Paxman I mean they speak
exactly like 'im, not just a bit posh like you do."
"This is bizarre, constable."
"Not really ma'am. My guess is they think it'll 'elp 'em to blend
in inconspicuously like with the locals."
"But it doesn't?"
"Well it might, if their feet didn't trip them up, so to speak."
"Yes ma'am, on account of the toes."
"They have seven of 'em, ma'am, sometimes eight."
"Good gracious, constable!" we exclaimed. "Are you sure?"
"Sure as my name's Colin and not 'colon' or 'coalin', ma'am."
"How odd; why have we not heard this before?"
The policeman drew his chair nearer and tapped his magnificent proboscis
in a thoroughly conspirational manner: "National security, ma'am."
"But what possible threat could a few penniless, uneducated Albanians
hold for this country?"
"Well, Iraqis then, or Turks, or whatever they are."
"They don't come from Turkey, ma'am, that's for damn sure as mustard."
"Well, where do they come from then?"
"I don't rightly know," replied the policeman, stroking his
chin thoughtfully. Sergeant Entwhistle says they comes from Peckam,
but I think he's just pulling my plonker, if you'll forgive the indelicacy.
The word from the lady wot runs the police canteen is they're from some
place called 'Thargh', or 'Dhargh."
"Thargh?" we asked, "Where on earth is that?"
"Well, that's just the point, ma'am," said constable Quigley,
lowering his voice to a conspirational whisper. "It ain't."
"Isn't what, constable?"
"On earth, ma'am."
"Isn't on earth?" we repeated, dumfounded, "Well, where
is it then?"
"Search me," said the policeman. "Millions of millions
of miles away accordin' to Mrs Gussett.
"The, er, canteen manageress, ma'am."
"How would she know?"
"Well, I don't know as I should be tellin' you seein' as you're
a lady and all that..."
"Never mind that!" we snapped, "Out with it, man!"
"Well—on your head be it, ma'am. Mrs Gussett says 'er daughter
Sharon was sucked right out
of 'er knickers while she was walking back from the Cockwell Inn
one very 'ot evenin' last summer."
"Yes, sucked; that's the word she used, sucked right out of 'er
knickers without so much as a by your leave by — by—"
"Yes? By what? Spit it out, man!"
"An illegal alien with seven toes who talked like Jeremy Paxman
with two, two, er—"
"Er, male private parts, ma'am; penises, cocks, dicks, todgers,
hugely empurpled, throbbin' great—"
"I think we may safely conclude that our readers know what a 'willy'
is, thank you constable, though they may not share Sharon Gussett's
definition of 'enormous."
"Oh, I think they would, ma'am."
"What makes you say that, constable?"
"Ms Gussett is a senior clerical officer in the County Council
Weights and Measures department, ma'am."
"I see. We appear to be at cross purposes, constable. We were under
the distinct impression that you were going to talk to us about illegal
immigrants but it would appear that this entire discussion has been
about little green men—"
"— Off-pink men, actually, ma'am, with an impeccable grasp
of English and two enormous—"
—I don't think our readers wish to dwell upon that particular
part of their anatomy, constable."
"Ms Gussett did."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Well, not so much 'dwelt', as knelt. The poor girl was sexually
assaulted by the alien."
"I'm sorry to hear it."
"Not as sorry as the members of the Purley Tiny Tots Club."
"Tiny Tots Club?"
"Well, the other mums are not exactly looking forward to having
their crèche overrun with eight little aliens all taking like
"Eight little aliens?"
"Sharon Gussett is pregnant, ma'am. Octuplets I'm told."
"Oh dear, dear oh dear. I can see how that might be a trifle
awkward in a small town like Purley. Well, thank you for your time,
er, Colin. It's been most interesting talking to you."
"Not at all, ma'am. We in the force like to feel that we make a
valuable contribution to the local community. Policing is not just about
arresting Teddy Boys for slashing bicycle saddles and helping little
old Ladies across the road, you know."
"I can see that now, constable. I'm sure our readers are keenly
looking forward to your next talk. Do you know what it will be about?"
"Lion taming without tears."
"Fascinating, I'm sure the ladies will find it immensely useful."