Gun licences

26 05 2009

There was a  DVD in the computer of some sort of music video finalists. Some were in English, others in black languages – South African I guessed, judging by the video content. The camera kept on focusing on the unzipped shorts of the white girl dancers just when they did the pelvic thrusting bit. In fact there did not seem to be much else that they did. The singers were black males. The detective who was typing out my letter of recommendation to renew my lapsed firearms licences seemed to know when the more explicit footage was showing and kept leaning over from hammering away on his manual typewriter to have a look. I mentioned that it was quite explicit stuff that didn’t need a lot of translating; he grinned and turned back to hammering away, apparently unaware of the irony of using a computer to watch marginal music videos and a manual typewriter to type up documents. Well, I suppose there was no printer that I could see. There were more old typewriters under a pile of firewood in the corner and a bicycle parked behind the bench on which I was sitting. A number of sheets of paper were taped to a wall detailing Wanted Persons (blank), Riotous Disturbances By Political Parties (blank) and various other crimes (blank) month by month since the beginning of the year. It seems that Borrowdale is a quiet precinct.

I’d managed to let the licences lapse through nothing else than carlessness; for some reason I’d convinced myself that they expired November THIS year. Nobody was too phased and now after getting my fingerprints of both hands, individual fingers, all fingers at once and then each thumb in duplicate (what happens if I lose both hands – but he missed the joke entirely) and having to wipe off the ink on the grass for want of any other useful surface, I was going through the motions of renewal. The detective should have come with me to inspect the gun cabinet at work to see that it was secure but after a bit of pondering decided to just get on with the recommendation. Maybe the music DVD was more compelling.

The woman who took the payment for renewal and the fines for lapsing was very friendly and even went over to the shopping center across the road to get change because I could not pay for everything in one lump sum but each payment had to have the serial numbers of the notes for the EXACT amount on each receipt and I only had the TOTAL amount. Whatever. I put my mind into neutral and wondered about the beheaded soap stone sculpture in the someone unkempt garden and the empty disposable syringe with the needle attached lying on the desk opposite. After about half an hour it was all complete and getting the hint that “we are eating now” decided to go home and get my own lunch.

Tomorrow I’ll tackle the Central Firearms Registry in town.



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