This title is a cliche. It reminds me of cheap American dramas. In 1998, I declared that there will never be American accents on my TV. That means I rejected such classics as Friends or ER. I even ignored Frasier. Thankfully I’d seen all the episodes of MASH before my ludicrous decision.
At the same time, I never bothered with the majority of British TV either. (I still don’t). I cannot bear it when drama eats itself through its own perceived seriousness. So what do I watch? Sport and satire? Errr….no. Most of the satire on TV is a bunch of smug foot lighters assuming to be funny by dint of their own brilliance.
And why on earth would I want to watch golf? My only secret vice is cookery. But I’ll not bore you with that. (Again) Oh, I do like a bit of traffic police and the sheriffs as well. Don’t ever accuse me of watching bargain hunt. As you see, I do not even deem that title worthy of capital letters. Why am I going on about TV habits? What’s it got to do with the title? I have no idea. But it does lead me to a bit of bad cop. To cop is to see and take in: “Cop that ” is to look at and digest.
One of my bad cops is a tendency for tangential cruising. It takes less than a nano second to distract me from the task in hand and send me bouncing around the room on a wave of vaguely connected disjointed frippery. I’m talking about putting a tea bag in the cup, placing the caddy in the fridge and wondering where the milk is. Every time I turn round in my chair I have to think hard about what I’m meant to be doing. It’s such a bad cop.
I can spend a whole day in a circle of dysfunctional activities which have no necessary form of connection other than being jobs I do around the house. The simple act of making a cup of tea may well involve putting some washing on, checking the post, refilling the pepper mill, ignoring the cat baying for his food and deciding to get the Dyson out before I defrost the chicken thighs. I try not to swear too much as I boil the kettle once more. Yes, it’s definitely the bad cop side of things.
I know a lot of us may be exasperated by a tendency to be absent minded but it takes a chronic condition like MS to be blighted by it every minute of the day. Strangely enough, I always return to square one. It’s like a random circle of fifths or a Shostakovitch prelude. Each visits a multitude of keys before returning to the home key; think Pachelbel’s canon or The Streets of London. These two pieces use the circle technique.
You’d think I’d be a liability once placed outside the walls of my confused little home. Strangely enough I’m not. Being outside calls for focus and concentration. I can do that; hello good cop.
Recently I completely messed up my prescription renewals. It left me missing my anti-depressants for a few days. The withdrawal symptoms were left me all over the place. The worst thing was the almost instant deterioration of my eye sight. The other bad cops of MS are widely experienced and well documented so I won’t go on about my life with diminishing control punctuated by the occasional moments of epiphany when we may discover something that actually gives us a better hold on the reins of power.
Wheelchairs, wet rooms, chairs in strategic places, grabbers and adult social car are all good cops. Did I mention pads?
We see the adverts for ladies of a certain age regaining their freedom by the discreet use of incontinence pads. Hence, these amazing, slim young at heart grandmothers can tire out their grandchildren and laugh like a drain without the embarrassment of little damp patches forming in certain regions of their hipster trousers. Well let me tell you, Tena men’s products are equally valuable.
I may no longer have the energy to leave children fractious and exhausted as I hand them back to nervous parents but Tena is definitely good cop. Oh how the streets used to be awash with the dampness of my desperate indiscretions:
“Where’s Steve been? Oh I know put a sniffer dog on the trail.” Once at Lakeside services on the M25 I was returning post pee to my car as a man, obviously in need of relief struggled up the slope to the min entrance:
“You have to be desperate to stop here,” I shouted. He man remained stern faced but his wife roared with laughter. (Hope she was wearing Tena ladies.) It’s funny how the good cop can rise from the bad cop.
The best cop of all is friendship. I have friends who just don’t see the chair. They call me a wimp for finding excuses not to do things. You should see some of the places I’ve been lifted into. Favours are given to me without being patronised and I’m not watched like a hawk lest I fall, so unleashing the wailings and lamentations of those who purport to “care”.
Friends don’t pussyfoot around for fear of offending me. I’m still open to the usual hefty levels of abuse I’ve always received. And long may it continue.
Thank you for reading.