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Grapevine : January 2011
was going to be the simple process of opening the doors to the court- house, setting up the banners, get- ting the water urn going, ensuring that there were enough biscuits, that the toilets were clean, and generally making the meeting go smoothly. How wrong I was to be. I left home early and got milk. My wife had baked a cake for the meeting because I was opening up for the first time, so I was excited. I turned up at the courthouse expect- ing it to be dark. We normally have to go around the corner to the police station to get the key to open up. Yet the courthouse was lit up brightly. Hmmm, I thought, someone else must have gotten here and opened up before me. As I walked toward the door I could see a small sand- wich board outside, but it wasn't the AA one. Instead it said "Police Station." What was going on? I entered the courthouse and, true enough, the police were all sta- tioned behind the counter. I went up and asked what was going on. They told me that the main police station was being renovated and in the meantime they were going to have to operate from the court- house. I told them that AA met here every week, in the actual courtroom, and they said go ahead and do what I needed to do, as they were not using the courtroom. There in the foyer to the police station I had to try and find all the banners, the AA sandwich board, the heaters, the water urn and ev- erything else I needed to set up the meeting. The only problem was that we kept all these articles in the part of the courthouse now occupied by the police. The banners and books were behind the counter, and the police were not keen for me to go rummaging around. The kitchen was back there, too, for water and cups. They did let me into the room at the back, now transformed into the lockup, where we kept the heat- ers, coffee, tea, biscuits and water urn. I found most of these things, but the urn was nowhere to be found. I also could not find the AA sandwich board to stick outside the building. I tried to describe it to the police, who looked everywhere for it but they could not find it. There we We managed to work things out and the police were very friendly. But we still couldn't find our water urn. When we asked the police if they had seen it, they said, "The big silver one? We are using it." 50 January 2011