Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's A Fair Cop

A Very Nice Mountie

Dearest Friends, our family's downward slide into criminality continues. You may recall Dearest Father-Out-Law's brush with the Mounties back in October. Well, it is with a heavy heart that I must report my own descent into lawlessness. Yes, in one brief, fleeting moment I was transformed from a staid, respectable, family man into Gangsta FiL. Here is my sorry tale...

I had just dropped off Little Man at home after his regular Saturday swimming lesson. My intention had been to run a few errands on the way, but his sporadic breakfast cough was becoming increasingly persistent cough and told me that he was probably not up to the task. I also felt a wee bit of guilt begin to gnaw away, asking me whether sending him off to swim today had been wise. So with Dearest Wife's imperative to return in less than an hour so she could take Darling Daughter off to ballet, I jumped into the Golden Pimpwagon and took off.

As I tooled down the road, I mulled over all I needed to do: pick up an ink cartridge, find a Chrimbo prezzie for my mother, order a ham at the butcher for Christmas dinner, and fill up the car with petrol. A quick glance at the clock told me I could do it all, if I hurried. Then I got a bit annoyed - hurry, hurry hurry. I hate hurrying. I hate hurrying particularly on the weekend. And doubly so during the holiday season. Hadn't I told myself that I wasn't going to let myself be forced to hurry this year? Irritation grew, and to top it all off that nasty provocateur Julian Cope was egging me on with his popular beat combo music on the stereo. My foot grew heavy on the accelerator, and then, off the the right...

A policeman. Waving me down. Telling me to pull over.

"Good morning sir, you were doing over 100 kilometers in an 80 kilometer zone. May I please see your driver's license and registration?"

I waited on the shoulder while the cop checked my details back in his squad car. I sweated, thinking about the five keys of blow I had in the spare tire, the unlicensed Glock 9mm in the glove compartment, and the endangered Golden Lion Tamarin under the front seat. But I really started to tremble when I thought of my mp3 player - that unauthorized Yo La Tengo track alone would get me five years in maximum security...

Alright, so yet again I exaggerate. No blow, no Glock, no protected, tiny monkeys, and no Yo la Tengo (whew!). Just an embarrassed, mad-at-himself FiL.

The cop returned. He was ever so nice about it all; he gave me the lowest fine he could ($138, reduced by $25 if paid within 30 days), and didn't even feel the need to lecture me. As I pulled away nice and slow, he bagged another miscreant with his radar gun.

Sitting in the Staples carpark, I spent a few minutes trying to stop feeling so stupid. I asked myself what was I supposed to learn from this episode, apart from the obvious "Obey the speed limit." What it came down to was that despite my self-entreaties to chill out, I had become caught up in the hectic frenzy of the season. I had let myself get frazzled and irritated, and had paid for it. Indeed, I thought, this was a lesson that went beyond Christmas.

Having somewhat regained my equilibrium, I proceeded with my errands. Though I didn't manage to fill up the car or get a present for Mum, I did stick to the speed limit.

And I felt a whole lot calmer for it.

Lightnin' Hopkins - You're Too Fast (buy here or e-here)
Nouvelle Vague - Guns of Brixton (buy here )
Grandmaster Flash - White Lines (buy here)
Clinic - Monkey on My Back (buy here )
Classix Nouveaux - Guilty (buy here)

And as a bonus, here's the sublime Copey track that I tried to blame for pushing me over the edge: Julian Cope - An Elegant Chaos (buy here)

In this elegant chaos / I stand to one side / Shouting 'Ha!'

12 comments:

mjrc said...

ooh, fil, that sucks. altho you had me going for a minute there with visions of the blow and the glock, i have to say. ;-)

just how fast were you going, anyway? 100?? oh, that's kph, not mph. whew!

well, all i can say is no more julian cope for you! only calm, soothing tunes, like kenny g . . .

Andy said...

Sorry to hear about your brush with the law. Course I would probably be speeding to that Julian Cope track too.

Bishakh said...

Mr. Larch: Well... I'd just like to say, m'lud, I've got a family... a wife and six kids... and I hope very much you don't have to take away my freedom... because... well, because m'lud freedom is a state much prized within the realm of civilized society. It is a bond wherewith the savage man may charm the outward hatchments of his soul, and soothe the troubled breast into a magnitude of quiet. It is most precious as a blessed balm, the saviour of princes, the harbinger of happiness, yea, the very stuff and pith of all we hold most dear. What frees the prisoner in his lonely cell, chained within the bondage of rude walls, far from the owl of Thebes? What fires and stirs the woodcock in his springe or wakes the drowsy apricot betides? What goddess doth the storm toss'd mariner offer her most tempestuous prayers to? Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

Judge: It's only a bloody parking offence!

Anonymous said...

We are shocked and dismayed to see you balming the festive season for your naughtiness - we have been in a car with you! With love Uncle D & S

FiL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
T&F@tlh said...

This is the FiL that stops at roundabouts (your "traffic circles" or some such name?) even when there is no traffic coming (we give way to traffic already on the roundabout....when its there) Now look, a few years from our shores and he's SPEEDING! Surely this can not be the FiL that we know and love...

And what about the classic "I fought the law and the law won"?

mjrc said...

fil--i'm trying out my newest adventure. i created an avatar. hope it works! oops, it worked but it doesn't look like much, does it? shit! well, i've spent too much time messing with it today. i'll see if i can find a better picture some other time.

Mentok the Mind-taker said...

They used to tell us in poli-sci class that "the state is the agency in society that claims a monopoly on theft and violence" (don't ask me who said that...I forget).

So whaddaya figger here ... were you being punished for infringing on their monopoly on violent driving, or were they just looking for another excuse to steal your money?

Anonymous said...

I asked myself what was I supposed to learn from this episode, apart from the obvious "Obey the speed limit." What it came down to was that despite my self-entreaties to chill out, I had become caught up in the hectic frenzy of the season.

This is why you are the best damn Armadillo around. It sucks learning lessons this way (I know this very well) so for that I am sorry. :) But I am glad you realized you got nibbled on by the holiday frenzy bug before you ran over any armadillos.

And Grandmaster Flash?? You are so f'ing awesome.

marcy, I love the new avatar, it is lovely, you (I assume) meeting the crystal blue ocean. :) It is peaceful.

FiL said...

Dearest Marcy: Kenny G would likely have made me puke, pass out, and swerve across the central divider and into oncoming traffic.

And as for your avatar, it is indeed lovely! Looking forward to seeing a frontward-looking photo one of these days...

Dear Andy: Thanks for the understanding!

Dearest Beesh: Actually, I threw myself at the officer's feet and licked the soles of his feet, bawling all the while. I think it saved me from doing porridge...

Dearest Uncle D & S: Are you implying that I'm a speed demon at all times of the year?? Pah, that's gratitude. Should've fed you both to the orcas when I had the chance... ;-)

Dearest T: Well, I know I can never win with you... ;-)

Dearest Mentok: You anarchist, you!! Actually, I'm a firm supporter of speed limits, so I don't begrudge them the monopoly. But yes, I'm sure I helped fill a pecuniary quota. I call it "paying the Stupid Tax," i.e. I was stupid, so I gotta pay for it...

WankelRotaryEngine said...

FiL, poor Marcy doesn't understand that Kenny G is even more illegal than blow and endangered monkeys... or at least he should be! I got nabbed a few times in my younger, rowdier days, and have since been accused of driving like a grandpa - the funny part is that I usually get there just as fast. You canna change the laws of physics.

Thanks for the Nouvelle Vague - I love that sort of French cafe sound they have. I guess I'd just like to be in a French cafe about now...

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