Last night I finished Karate and went out to meet some friends at a bar. I parked my car in the bar’s car park and spent the rest of the evening there. When it came time to leave we decided to go back to one guy’s house just round the corner, literally 200 meters away. I didn’t want to leave my car in the car park at closing time so I drove it out of the car park, turned left on to the main road and instantly turned right at some traffic lights and that’s when I noticed a police car behind me with it’s lights flashing. I pulled up, right outside my mates house, got out of the car and walked towards the police car (we’re allowed to do that in the UK 🙂 , at which point a Woman Police Constable (WPC) got out of the car and this is the conversation I had:
Me: Hi dude! (not the best opening line on reflection…)
Me: Is it OK to park on these double yellow lines while we do this?
WPC: That’s OK for now. What’s your name?
Me: Tim Hall.
Me: Tim Hall.
She wrote down my name and the registration of the car.
WPC: Are you the registered owner of this car?
WPC: Do you know why I’ve pulled you over?
Me: I don’t have a clue, but I’m guessing you’re going to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to turn right at that junction.
WPC: That’s right!
Me: If that’s the case why isn’t there a sign?
WPC: There is, do you want to see it?
Me: Yes. It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I can’t believe I missed it if it was there.
We walk back to the junction, passing my friends who burst out laughing when they see I’ve been pulled over by the police.
WPC: See that sign?
Me: OK. Your right. Fair enough.
We walk back to the car. My friends are standing on the other side of the road watching the events, all still laughing and obviously drunk.
WPC: Have you had a drink tonight?
WPC: Not one?
Me: No. I don’t drink. Do you want to test me?
WPC: No, that’s OK.
Mat (a friend): Do you want to come inside for a cup of tea love?
WPC: Do you live round here?
Me: Yes, I live at …
WPC: I guess you normally turn left at that junction then.
WPC: Well, you did an illegal right turn and you drove through a read light!
Me: Wait a minute, there was no way I went through a red light.
WPC: OK, it just turned amber, but amber means stop unless it’s dangerous to do so.
Me: Fair play, but give me a break on that one.
A male officer gets out of the car.
Me: Hi dude! (Not a great line the second time round either!)
MPC: Smiles, but says nothing.
WPC: OK, be careful in future and have a good night.
Me: Aren’t you going to give me a ticket for the right turn?
Me: Nice one. Cheers. Have a good one.
Both police officers get back in the car and drive off, I wave as they go by and pull my car into my friends drive. When I get in the house nobody can believe I didn’t get a ticket, or at least a caution!
Am I the luckiest guy alive or what?
I taught a couple of Yoga classes today and recounted the story at the end of the lessons because my reaction to the situation interested me. I’ve been driving cars for about 19 years and in that time I’ve never had a parking ticket, speeding fine or any sort of legal issue along those lines. When the police car pulled me over I wasn’t sure how I should feel about the situation. I knew I didn’t want a ticket, but I also knew there was nothing I could do to stop it, so I just thought, “relax and go with the flow!”, which I did. The whole encounter was very pleasant. Although I knew I didn’t have any control over the situation, the lack of control didn’t phase me. Maybe the calm nature of the encounter helped me avoid the ticket, maybe they just had “bigger fish to fry” on a Friday night at closing time.
One of the ladies at Yoga has recently had stomach cancer and today was here first session back since an extensive operation to remove it. At the end of the lesson she came to me and said, “Your right. Sometimes you just have to admit to yourself that you can’t control everything that happens in your life. Once you understand that, things are much easier to cope with.”
A valuable lesson. I hope I remember it next time something happens to me.