Monday, September 18, 2006

Cop This

Having been stopped twice in one week by the local traffic cops , I've racked up three fines totalling more than I used to earn in a month not long ago. The last was the most expensive. I was pulled over for a random breath test. I ended up getting done for driving a vehicle with an expired registration.
It's strange that I've never been stopped, let alone fined, before. I used to drive a car that would have given the cops an opportunity to fill their yearly quota of revenue-generating traffic violations. But maybe they could tell from looking it that I wouldn't have been able to pay a dime.
It was a 30-year-old, canary yellow, Triumph TR7. Wedge-shaped and low to the ground, it stuck to the road like glue as I sped round corners. I used to go out for long drives in it, alone, to unwind – to the beach when I lived in Queensland, or the country when I lived in Victoria. I struggled to maintain it, and in the last couple of years I owned it, I just couldn't afford to. The starter motor let out a screeching grind before it finally turned over. I had to top up the radiator with coolant at the beginning of every journey, no matter how short. It leaked badly in the rain, and the electronics and indicators often failed. I am pretty sure its so-called sports exhaust was illegal.
But the cops never stopped me, just waved me on with a smile. Maybe it was because I was younger and prettier then.
I drive a red VW Transporter van now. It's relatively new, clean, and conforms to all the road standards - as do I, most of the time. I don't mind the police, per se. I just hate rules. Even more, I hate being punished for breaking them. Ironically, in every other area of my life, when I break a rule, I am rewarded. Maybe I shouldn't try to obey any of them, on the road or off.

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