Monday, March 27, 2006


So I’m pulling away on a green light at the corner of Kennedy and Mayfield this morning. This marks the end of the rural portion of my morning drive and the beginning of the brief urban stretch that takes me to the highway. It’s the end of the 80 km limits and the beginning of the 60-zone. It only lasts a few blocks before I hit the 410, then it’s 100 K.P.H. from there to the glorious horizon that is Mosaic Sales Solutions Canada.

One block into urbania I see a black Chev Impala sitting at the curb on a side street, fifteen feet from the intersection. It has no hubcaps. It does however have a couple extra aerials sticking out of it but I’m pretty sure it’s not a cat detector van.

And indeed there is a man behind the wheel with dark glasses and an official Star Trek Klingon Ray Gun in his hand. He’s aiming it at me. I’m about to be vaporized - or worse - about to be ticketed. I glance at the speedometer. Alas - it’s still in rural mode, pointing just over the 80 mark. I move to the brake pedal but far too late. Out of a dozen or so of the Impala’s nooks and crannies bursts a frenzy of flashing red lights. I pass the intersection and pull over. The Klingon pulls out, turns and parks behind me and approaches my door. As he nears I pop the door open a bit so I can talk to him.

“Sorry. This window doesn’t open,” I say.

“That’s okay,” he says. He opens my door more so that he can show me his toy. He holds it between the two of us, pointed at himself.

‘Go ahead. Vaporize yourself,’ I pray. No such luck. He’s only showing me the digital display which reads - in not so many words, ‘Three points, Sunshine. Game over. You lose.’ That’s the translation anyway. All it really says is ‘85’. Same thing. I’ve already earned 12 demerit points in the last 2 years, you see. And for that I got to go to the Ministry of Transportation School of Nice Driving for an afternoon. Luckily it was a Friday afternoon and the weather was really nice, so all the instructor made us do was sing the national anthem, promise we’d stop driving like ass holes and kiss his boots and then we were all out of there, getting an early start to the weekend. Hoo haw.

The ramifications from earning 15 points are quite another matter. At 15 points you get a free vacation - from driving, that is.

So I surrender the holy trinity of documents to the man in dark glasses and he takes them away to the Big Black Impala.

Oddly, All my speeding tickets en route to this illustrious 15-point milestone have been served to me in front of a Chev Impala. Two were silver, one was brown, this one black. None were white-and-blue or any of those other pulchritudinous two-tone police type motifs. I guess they want you to feel comfortable and at ease with the nice policeman. So they give him a car like the one your grandpa drove. Yeah. That must be it.

Ugh! Pardon me a moment. I’ll be back shortly.

Ee-gads. Sorry about that. Nature was calling in an ugly way. I had lunch at my favorite Indian buffet today and discovered an unsettling tinny flavor at a moment I shouldn’t have. Upon extrication of the offending morsel I discovered it to be a thoroughly bloody uncooked hunk o’ chicken. This of course, is India’s answer to the fortune cookie. Mine read ‘You shall spend the entire afternoon and evening running in and out of the loo.’ And lo and behold it was right. Them Indians are first-rate fortune tellers, I say.

Where were we? Ah yes. He goes back to the cruiser and I sit there feeling quite exhilarated. ‘This is it,’ I’m thinking. Time to face the dream! I shall lose my license and probably my job, having no other way to get to the office from god’s country. Time to take the leap. Time to shit or get off the pot as they say. I’ve always known there are better employment scenarios out there for would-be authors who take themselves seriously. There are jobs out there that pay peanuts but where - if you’re ready for the struggling artist lifestyle - you can get a whole lot of writing done on the job. Security Guard for instance. I used to be one. If only I’d figured out my purpose-in-life earlier! Before I accidentally fell into a real job. Stephen King worked in a laundromat for awhile. He wrote a book called Carrie. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

The man in dark glasses returns. He’s actually a very nice man. I hope I haven’t led you to believe otherwise.

“Sir, I’m giving you a ticket,” he says. “There are three options on the back -”

“It’s okay, officer. I know the routine. All too well I'm afraid”

“I’m sure you do. I urge you to choose option 3. Dispute the charge. Request a trial date.”

“Are you sure your gun is working right - and it was pointed at me?” I ask.

“Oh yeah!” he says, very keen suddenly. “It’s laser!”

I nod, of course, and purse my lips in a soundless ‘oooh’. The same reaction I give to a small child when she boasts that her dolly is anatomically correct.

“Then I have nothing to dispute,” I say. “I believe in owning up to my mistakes. It’s a matter of principle.”

“Okay,” he says, “but the reason is - you’re close to the anniversary of one of your prior offenses. By the time you go to trial, you’ll probably be down to 8 points. You can own up to your mistake at that time and not lose your license. Furthermore, I probably won’t show up. I rarely do. So you won’t even have to pay the ticket.”

“I see. Well thanks very much officer.”

“Have a good day.”

“You too.”

My principles are on vacation today. I’m taking the trial date. I’m not ready for a month of busses and the struggling artist lifestyle. Maybe later.


1 comment:

Dave said...

I think he wanted you.