White lifted his polystyrene cup and took a sip of reheated tea. He wondered briefly if he could push a conviction under the Trade Description Act but thought better of it. Sidney was too good a source of information to lose to a fit of pique.
Sergeant Peters carried two napkin-wrapped sandwiches over and put one in front of him. White watched him fold himself into a press-moulded chair. “What's this?”
“Bacon sammige.” Peters was speakeing though a half-masticated mouthful of grease and bacon rinds. He swallowed before finishing. “I remember the last time I bought a sandwich without you getting one. You went on about it for weeks.”
“That's an exaggeration.” White opened his own and peeled away the strips of flabby grey fat. The remaining bacon covered less than half the surface of the bread. He threw away one slice and folded the other over the meat. “It was a day or two at most.” He took a bite, wondering if he dared risk the 'mustard flavour topping' which looked yellow enough to be radioactive.
“A week at least.” Peters reached for the bottle of red sauce and opened the top of the sandwich. The sauce – White suspected the nearest it had come to a tomato was in the supermarket warehouse – sprayed a fine mist of red across the table.
“People would pay good money for that in an art gallery.” Peters grinned and stuffed the remainder of his breakfast in his mouth.
“Let's get on.” White drained his tea and stood, looking with distaste at the indiscriminate spattering of red sauce against the white plastic patio table. He'd seen too many crime scenes to appreciate it as art. “We have plenty of work to get on with and the only crime here is your table manners.”