14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 34

Crime Wave

SPECTATOR COMPETITION No 454: Report by Allan 0. Waith On the first of September, one Sunday morn, I shot a hen pheasant in standing corn Without a licence. Contrive who can Such a cluster of crimes against God and Man!

Competitors were asked to devise a comparable criminal record for a publican,' a landlord (or tenant), a Btfirish Railways passenger, a parent, a motorist, a theatre manager or an MP.

JP the only criterion had been the number of offences which could be packed into four lines this would have been an easy one to judge. Ann Eastgate's motorist would have headed the list with the remarkable total of ten offences com- mitted with a stationary car. Close behind would be Barbara Smoker's railway passenger, with nine infringements of the BR bye-laws. On the whole both motorists and railway passengers proved to be a very conventionally criminal class. The motorists' most regular refrain was 'untaxed, unlicensed, uninsured.' The passengers confined themselves to the somewhat obvious offences of travelling without a ticket, pulling the com- munication cord, and disregarding the various injunctions displayed in the toilets. No one seriously set out on the career of esoteric and improbable crime ,so considerately sketched out on the bye-laws Oster in revery station : using engines without the approval of the Commission, sending aquafortis, vitriol, gunpowder and lucifer matches, performing on any musical instrument . . . to the annoyance of any other person, or (best of all) 'failing . . . to take up a position in the rear of a queue established by the Commis- sion' (Bye-law 26).

These two targets accounted for the great majority of the entries. Of the others, the publican and the parent produced a few inspired verses, but the MP, the landlord and the tenant lacked interest—except A. Crowden's council tenant who, amongst other things, kept a tiger in the garden shed.

It was difficult to distinguish between the first few entries and after much chopping and changing I have recommended a first prize of four guineas shared equally between John Sweetman and A. M. B., and a second prize of two guineas shared between R. Kennard Davis and Heather Back. Others whose entries ranked closely behind these four are also printed below—for them their crimes, like virtues, will have to be their own reward.


The copper said, and he may be right, I was doing sixty-five And the bloke with the `children crossing' sign is lucky to be alive.

'Drunk in charge,' and a stolen car; I wonder how long I'll get.

But they can't endorse my licence, I'm too young to

hold one yet. (JOHN SWEETMAN.)

I sold a short measure of watered beer To a drunken child after hours, I fear, And overcharged him. In this brief .spa

Sixcrinlies made agai/st God'and man. A. M. B.)

At ninety m.p.h. without a light I hit a bus in Birmingham last night; Was ever driver more completely sunk, Brakeless, unlicensed, uninsured and drunk?


Smoking in Non-Smoker, spitting on de floor, Pinching soap and toilet rolls, scratching name on door; Ilia 1st Class carriage, I only 3rd Class dame,

I pull de cord and slip away—don' that beat shootin' game? (HEATHER BACK.)



I bilked, seduced and sacked my barmaid, Min; Fiddled the change, took bets and watered gin, Served under-agers after time and stayed Drunk in my bar, the brewers' bill unpaid.

(w. G. DAISH.)

Whisky labels I change and I water the beer But the busiest time is the Off time. Back here The Coppers are quenching their thirst like dry pods While in front all the Bookies are shouting the odds.


Across a Zebra recklessly I sped At eighty, with my view by fog obscured, Old ladies crossing, traffic signals red, And I untaxed, unlicensed, uninsured.

(H. A. C. EVANS.)

I admit I drove at fifty on the wrong side of the road, I admit ll juinped a light or two and disobeyed the code, I admit I had no lights on and had just been in a bar, But, Officer, how did you drive, your first time in a car? (B. L. LEVISON.)


My ten-year-old doesn't go to school (you should hear him cheer I);

I send him to the shops instead, fcir matches, fags and beer.

He carries all my betting slips. And when his pools go

. down •

It cheers him if we go to see the X-est film in town. ,


Sue rubbed a blowfly on her scratches; The twins were eating pins with zest; Pat had the petrol-tin and matches . .

I watched with static interest. (GLORIA PRIMO.)


Inside a First non-smoker, quite unseen, I taste the ecstacies of nicotine, ' Stol'n from a kiosk (stolen joys are sweet), Without a ticket, underneath the seat.

(DONALD .HUGH FS-) I forge, my season ticket and it lasts the whole Yell'

through - , And in principle I spit upon the ffdor, I pull the chain fill. pleasure when there's nothing else to do For the State and me, Sir Brian, we're at war. (simuNd Bare feet on one seat, boots and bags on the rest, I puffed at cigars (wearing only my vest)

In a Non-Smoker (ladies), RESERVED (not for me!) While a roaring camp-fire boiled my kettle for tea.

( , MP

I rose uncovered to order while Mr. Speaker stood: t LOIONd17

I then named Mr. Bevan with epithets of blood; I stepped across the carpet and lit a Craven A. What more could man devise against the shade of,

Erskine May? (B. N. JACOBSEN',