The newly formed Special Assembly Squad of the Department of Health had only just completed its inaugural training exercises, when a sudden upsurge in grumpy elderly people congregating at supermarkets necessitated their early deployment.
The SAS is manned by elite members of the Flying Hygiene Squad, considered to be the most highly trained Environmental Health Officers on the planet. The identity of the individual squad members is known only to their close family and the boys at the pub.
We spoke to an officer of the Corps, anonymous under his blue surgical mask and impenetrable dark glasses. He told us that the squad has been training with non-lethal means of subjugating grumpy old bags and petulant old codgers, as well as a few stroppy young mothers with crappy little babies.
“Though the temptation to use lethal force can be overwhelming, especially when one sees the weeping remains of a checkout lady writhing and wailing on the floor, suffering extreme PTSD, we mostly stick to our aerosol cans of Glen-20 and clever blunted snake catcher hooks which are ideal for pulling a walking stick or walker out from under an assailant” he said.
“Mostly” he added.”Sometimes things can get a bit rough. Have you ever confronted an old lady who has been shopping here since before you were born young man? It can be pretty scary.”
He shivered at some remembered horror. Then pulled himself together.
“Apart from a few broken hips, which we consider acceptable collateral damage, there have been no casualties among the public” he told us.
Only one member of the squad has been injured, when struck by some loony old bat’s umbrella. He is recovering at a secret location.