Side-splittingly funny account of a Polish expat who returned to Warsaw and got (very incompetently) mugged, then flagged down a vanload of completely bonkers cops who ran around the city, stopping trams and pointing at nuns, businessmen and other improbables and saying, "are these the kids who mugged you?"
Not surprisingly, most people's reaction at seeing a huge police van swerving wildly behind them was to hunker down and gradually go slower and slower. The papers were full of stories about an incident the week before in Poznan, where police had followed a car and then shot the driver dead without warning, only later figuring out that they had staked out the wrong apartment block. Just two days before my adventure, riot police in Lodz had mixed up live ammunition with rubber bullets used for crowd control; they had opened fire into a crowd of students, killing three people. 'Lie low , and hope to God they don't open fire' seemed a prudent strategy, so gradually the traffic around us started to crawl slower and slower.
Fortunately the van was not equipped with any kind of forward-mounted cannon, or Elmer would have surely started blowing little Skodas and Fiats out of the road in frustration. Instead he had to content himself with higher and higher flights of profanity, while the other cops and I held on for dear life. I hoped fervently none of the shotguns were loaded.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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