We’ve all had at least one. A run-in with the boys in blue.
In sunny South Africa this inevitably ends with the driver parting with about R200 – or in colloquial terms – a cooldrink.
I knew traffic officers were up for a bribe, but no-one ever told me the procedure so when a Metro cop asked me for a Coca Cola I happily obliged and gave him a can. He looked at me like I had crawled out of cheese.
When I told the tale to some friends they laughed uproariously and told me I was supposed say, “How much is a Coke?” whereupon he would name a price and I would drive off into the wide blue yonder a little lighter in pocket.
I’ve been pulled over as a suspected hijacker 8 months pregnant and had four heavily armed policemen point R4 rifles at me. When their superior officer finished his phone call he admonished them in-between guffaws of hysteria that I hardly fit the profile and they gave me an escort to work.
But, my latest interaction takes the cake.
I was sick. Really, really sick. I was driving home in a desperate attempt to make it to my own loo before heaving.
A traffic cop leapt directly in front of my car and waved me over to the side of the road.
My licence checked out, but I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. For good reason. My tummy was not a happy travelling companion.
I wasn’t in the mood to negotiate the price of cooldrinks I just wanted to go home. So, I asked for the fine.
He ummed and ahhed about the making of plans as I gazed in nausea induced misery at his face.
As I turned up the air-con and b lasted cold air at my face the wheels of justice turned exceedingly slowly.
I did ask him to step back so I could get out of the car, but he wouldn’t budge. In fact I asked him twice.
I said, “Excuse me, please may I get out of the car?” He refused.
I tried again, “Sir, please could you step back, I’m going to be sick.”
And then I was. Gloriously. Unapologetically. Violently. All over him.
His cohort chuckled and said, “She did warn you.”
He still gave me the fine.