A LONG TIME COMING.
I’m really excited about this one. I’ve been after Paul to let me share this story (and others like it) for over a year, now. In 1990, he left his home in the UK to join the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. In those days, Hong Kong was still a British Colony, so there were job prospects for UK residents. Paul took action.
In 2012, Paul helped us beta test the Penmanshift program, writing more than a couple pieces about life as a Hong Kong traffic cop. We were blown away. I’ve been gently giving him a hard time about keeping up his writing – memoirs, a piece of quasi-fiction, a series of screenplays, anything – to get these stories out. It is with great pleasure I announce that Paul has agreed to let me run an introduction in the next issue.
Here’s a couple excerpts from the piece:
“It was June 1990. I had majored in law about a year before that; and then watched as graduate after graduate wound up stacking shelves in supermarkets instead of working cases in legal practices. The job market was in the toilet. There were over three and a half million unemployed in the UK at the time. I took a postgraduate certificate in education because teaching was the only profession in demand at the time and it was a guaranteed job with a guaranteed paycheck. There was only one problem. I hated it.”
. . .
“I’m not sure when it all started to go pear shaped. Perhaps it was when we started doing shots and chasers. It might have been when the drinking games started. But the moment we all knew it had definitely gone a bit awry was when two very young Chinese Recruit Woman Police Constables entered the bar to find two very inebriated expats, shotgunning cans of lager with their trousers down.”
. . .
“Eventually, exhausted, disorientated and thoroughly confused we were told to form up again. The Senior Squad had long since disappeared and we were on our own. We were told that we would be put on the next plane back to the UK, that we had disgraced our Government and ourselves and that at least two of us we were lucky not to be going to prison. But before we were sent back to our barrack to pack our bags, the Commandant had something to say to us.”
WHAT DID THE COMMANDANT HAVE TO SAY?
You’ll have to subscribe to Gearbox Magazine to find out. I know. That’s harsh. But this is just one of at least TEN stories we’re working on for issue 1.06. You can get it for US$1.25 a month. A $15, 1-year digital subscription gets you the best we have to offer. Every month, we’ll spend about 60 hours tracking down fresh new stories like this that you absolutely will not find anywhere else. Then we’ll spend another 12-14 hours building digital issues, which we’ll email directly to you. And you can order up printed copies on demand if you like. (They’re pretty sharp.)
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