Brian has added another string to his bow, another arrow to his quiver. He is now a Litter Enforcement Officer. Hands on, not just behind a desk, that’s our Brian. He snags a receipt dropped on the street. Hmm, peruses its details – a salt and pepper mill.
Later, at Roy’s Rolls and needing sustenance, he spies on the counter a box for a salt and pepper mill. Aha! That’s Roy caught redhanded. Roy is grateful that Brian found the receipt he lost. He needs it for his VAT records. But Brian is having none of the accidental loss story. It was littering and there’s a fine for that. Oh, and I’ll have a butterfly bun when you’re ready.
Brian is such a silly, silly man. Roy is as far from silly as is possible to be. The two of them together are silliness gold. This little scene brings out the best in them, I think, both in the moment and in the character of them both.
To be in conflict with Roy Cropper over littering is the most absurd thing imaginable. The man sweeps and washes his front step and pavement and probably would like to clean all the way down the street. Because of his obsessive tendencies and his principles, he is the last man on earth who would litter.
But the rules are the rules, says Brian. He is probably so pleased to actually have the chance to fill out one of his forms in his little fine book that he doesn’t even attempt to actually think about what he’s doing, and to whom he’s doing it.
I’ve liked this story since it started. A roving Brian, armed with megaphone, a grabber and the authority to issue fines. All his Christmases have come at once. I especially like the grabber. It is not an efficient picker-upper of litter. It doesn’t have the fine control needed for thin items like paper. A stick with a pointed metal end is what street and park cleaning crews actually use. Much easier and more efficient.
A grabber is used by elderly or injured people for objects too high to reach without climbing or too low if you can’t bend over. I like to think that Brian’s tool of his trade came from a city council official who had one unused at home. With it and a megaphone that every council office would have in its storage closet, it’s an inexpensive way of keeping Brian, the Tsar/Czar of Recycling out of the office and away from employees who are actually trying to work.
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