Victor Poodle built the perfect society. Plentiful resources and equality. He knew there was no real need to infuse a concept like crimininality into a place like New Luddle. But he also knew a little something about human behaviour. He knew human behaviour wasn’t uniform.
So Victor created the provisional police.The provisional police consists of a fully-trained lieutenant and a trainee lieutenant who is prepared for the job upon the retirement or death of the serving lieutenant. It is worth noting that the provisional police have no authority or power. They are inactive. (some Ludlows call them the ‘sleeping police’ although this is unfair as sitting in a hut all day playing cards is enough to make anybody tired.) Technically, there is no police force in New Luddle. However, should a crime be committed the provisional police will be activated and become the official police with the power to arrest and detain and bring persons to justice etcetera. Each lieutenant and trainee has an NLPD badge kept in a drawer in the police hut. They are to be taken out and worn only when the concept of crime introduces itself to New Luddle. Until that day, the only authority in New Luddle is the Mayor.
The present lieutenant is the dashing Brett Dachshund. He’s been the lieutenant for ten years now and feels (despite the purported equality in New Luddle) that if you were to draw up some kind of hierarchy of New Luddle then he would be featuring somewhere near the top of the pyramid. A pretty important guy in other words. Secretly, he can’t wait for the day he becomes officially instated as a bona fide police lieutenant instead of this provisional nonsense. Until that day he keeps himself occupied in his role as mentor and tutor. His trainee is Bobby Hound. A keen sleuth himself, Bobby may not be the brightest star in the sky (more dark matter) but he is always the first to ask a question. He’s the sort of person who likes to know things. Although in fairness (irony) you couldn’t say he knew a whole lot.
‘Do you know something?’
‘I know lots of things Bobby, put down a card will you eh?’
‘Well, I heard that in Dupont they have thousands of real police officers walking the streets, solving crime – I mean like real crime, murders and stuff - all day every day.’
‘I’m sure they do Bobby, the place is a mess. What’s your point?’
‘What made you say it? Goodness me Bobby now where did you get that two of hearts from, give them here I’ll deal this time.’
‘Well, wouldn’t you like to do that Boss, you know, solve crimes all day long, wouldn’t that be better than playing gin rummy?’
‘Goodness me Bobby, have I not taught you anything? Better than gin rummy? Crime all day long? Have you suddenly become twisted?’
‘Why do you think there’s no crime in New Luddle, Bobby?’
‘Because Victor Poodle built and nurtured a perfect society, Boss.’
‘Well yes, there is that. But I’d say the chief reason is because of us.’
‘Yes, us Bobby. The (potential) law enforcement agency that governs this colonies moral and ethical requirements. There’s plenty of criminals in New Luddle alright.’
‘Oh yeah, a cornucopia of crims in this colony.’
‘How come they never commit any crime? I mean there has never been a crime committed here. What kind of criminals are we dealing with Boss?’
‘Well, I’d say the clever kind, Bobby.’
‘Clever? I think maybe they’re just lazy Boss, you know what this sun can do to you.’
‘(tut) They know not to commit any crime here because if they did, boy if they did (almost licks lips) … you know what would happen don’t you?.’
‘They’d be activating us Bobby. They’d be the ones to establish a real genuine N.L.P.D instead of this fiasco of a pretend type thing. We’d be on to them like a flash. And tell me Bobby, what kind of criminal brings about the existence of a police force when he or she (never forget the existence of women, Bobby) currently lives in a police-free criminal paradise?
‘Not sure Boss. A burglar?’
‘No, Bobby! Goodness me, I’m referring to the criminal’s mentality, not their genre.’
‘Oh, in that case a pretty stupid one Boss.’
‘Correct, a pretty stupid one, and as I said before Bobby the countless criminals in New Luddle are all pretty clever because they know… Goodness me Bobby is that another two of hearts? Do you never shuffle these cards properly?’
And so on and so forth. The New Luddle Police Department. The NLPD sit, play cards, discuss the job and wait. Wait for the day they become legitimized, called into action, the day they’ve been training for all their lives. No more imagined simulation. No more daydreams of wrestling weapons to safety or acted-out interrogations. The day everything becomes real. For real. So they sit. And wait. The NLPD sit. And wait. And play cards.