Anyway, we now have our very own police box. It's a 警察駐在所 keisatsuchuuzaisho or residential police box. The policeman and his family live in 3/4 of the house and one room downstairs is the police station. There's a noticeboard where he writes when he leaves the station to go somewhere and a phone that you just have to pick up to be put through to his mobile.
The arrival of the policeman was big news. He got a write up in the four page local newspaper and it was all gushing about how lucky we are and it's as a result of the population surge and, while many areas of the country are in population/ economic decline Azusagawa is on the up! (And so is crime. Otherwise we wouldn't need a policeman, right? Somehow the article left that bit out...)
My neighbours have been chortling and chuckling about how the police box is down in the town area as that's where all those new people are. The blow ins. The non-farmer types. The criminal element. We up here don't need a policeman. We look out for (and look in on and just plain look at) each other. Always have. Always will. Hrmph.
I have been wondering what the policeman does to fill his days... From my drives past on my way to and from work he does a lot of raking the gravel in front of the police box and wiping the counter inside. I can just imagine all the retired farmers popping in to say hello and find out the vital information: who is he, where's he from, eldest son? wife? kids? want to join the early morning baseball team?
But today the policeman got a bit of excitement and earned his lunch money.
About 10am a drunk, disoriented, incomprehensible and very angry man walked into K's work. K works in a factory. A factory in an industrial park (euphemism for a slab of rural land turned over to factories). The industrial park is on the outskirts of town. A long walk to anywhere let alone anywhere where you could get rotten drunk by 10am.
The man started yelling and throwing things and hitting out at people. Hearing this did not make me worried for K's safety. My only worry was that K did something that could lead to being charged with assault. He's not violent by any means but if he needed to defend himself he could do it. He's big, he's strong and if he hesitated it would be to decide which of the martial arts he knows he should try on the guy. He's a bit of a geek and he'd jump in to defend one of his ludicrously expensive precious CSI type machines he uses at work, too.
Luckily it didn't come to that but the boss called the police and they turned up. Yup, they. Our new Azusagawa policeman, reinforcements from the fancy police station next town over and plain clothes detectives from wherever they live- probably somewhere in Matsumoto.
I was all intrigued and excited about what sort of motive the drunk guy had- disgruntled ex-employee? Unlikely as they tend to keep the old men on until they fossilise... Customer who got stiffed on an order? Unlikely as they make O-rings. They don't sell retail and they make good o-rings so there'd be nothing to complain about anyway (shameless plug for K's company) Male relative of one of the female employees outraged at the ridiculous aqua plaid waistcoat and flared culotte uniform the women have to wear? (While the men wear a plain jacket and pants work wear outfit) Not likely as it seems I'm the only one who finds this sexist and in bad fashion taste to boot. Neighbour complaining about the noise of the factory? Unlikely as the only neighbours are other factories.... Ooooh, ancient tribal owner of the land the factory is built on furious at the commercialisation of his traditional lands... OK, highly unlikely around here...
Unable to figure it out myself I asked K.
"No idea. He was just drunk. It appears to have been random."
That's not very exciting now is it? I think I like my versions better.