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Can I Get a Witness? By Jamie J. Buchanan

I should have realised as I gave the hotel room key to my balding older work colleague that this was going to be a big mistake. The young lady I was chatting up was certainly very keen to come back to my room as we flirted strongly in the night-club.

Alarm bells should have rung when Brownie suggested he wait back in the closet of the room to watch the impending action, but alcohol and derring-do over-ruled my innate sense of propriety. His intention was only to watch - this was pre-1995, no phones, no cameras, no internet. What happened on the road, stayed on the road.

Half an hour later the lady was in my boudoir and our clothes were being flung with passionate disregard, when Brownie slowly slid open the closet door to watch. Neither of us heard his surreptitious movement but we both knew it had happened because the automatic light came on in the closet once the door was open by a few inches.

The glare of the 75 watt bulb flashed off his balding skull and illuminated the room – turning night into day.

The girl freaked and it was at this stage in proceedings she informed me of her occupation – a police constable in this country Victorian town.

She yelled abuse. She cried exploitation. She threatened “sexual assault”.

I froze with shock, sure that I was facing a lengthy spell in prison. But Brownie helped me out by decrying: “You can’t do him for assualt assault – I’m the witness!”

The girl fled and I haven’t ventured west of Ballarat in 25 years.


in Victoria, Australia

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