Nothing attracts a crowd quite like a wailing police siren and the skid of tyres. Couple those two deliciously enticing excuses to rubber-neck, add about 40 schools boys and you've got a party.
Lamentably, on this most recent ocassion, the sirens and skidding tyres were for my own benefit, or lack thereof. The crime, it appears, was not coming to a complete and sustained stop at the Stop sign directly outside the Young Man's school.
The police car, populated by a pair of asinine boofheads, witnessed a hoon (see previous post) making a flagrant and calculated left-hand turn into a cul-de-sac (one could make an excellent, if somewhat tenuous, allusion to this natty French term for dead-end and the constabulary themselves, however one will refrain) with absolutely no traffic in it, near it or around it due mainly to the fact that it was 7.43 A.M.
In the final stages of executing the move, I admit, I did see the police car, but by then the fat lady had done her work, so I continued and did what any good parent would do. Uttered a few expletives, banged the steering wheel into submission and drove off into the cul-de-sac...of death.
That's when the screeching of tyres began. Theirs, not mine. And the sirens, oh, the sirens. They were like a clarion call for every boy in the playground to down tools and get to the front gates tout de suite.
"Ohhhhhh, Mum," cried the Youth from the back seat. "Quickly," I said, "Get out now before they come." Leaping from the car with a certain amount of, as it turned out, misplaced alacrity, I ushered the young man inside with a bum's rush, thus ameliorating the chance of utter shame at the hands of his recalcitrant mother. He knew what was good for him, and took off like a thoroughbred in a knacker's yard.
The other two were not so lucky. "Stay here, Lovelies," I sang as the cop car pulled up behind. Suspecting me of fleeing the scene of the CRIME, the officer was out of his souped up Toyota in a trice.
"Do you know what you've just done?" he drawled.
Now, I could have played dumb, but there was something about having such a large and attentive audience that gave the man a sense of majesty and gravitas. Today was not going to be my lucky day.
I admitted my transgression, decided not to beg leniency or mitigating circumstances (mostly because I couldn't think of any fast enough) and amused myself by entertaining the early morning audience with my repertoire of eye rolls and pursed lips while he took my licence back to his car to check my catalogue of felonies.
However, the fact was, there were still Youth to get to another school three suburbs away. When he returned I asked in my most dulcet of tones, "Could you write me the ticket and I'll go. I have two girls to get to school and they're going to be late."
Well. That was Satan's knell. He gave me the death stare, closed his notepad and whispered these words: "Don't rush me." At which point he strolled to his rice-rocket, sat inside, closed the door and didn't emerge for another 15 minutes, brandishing my licence and a fine for $258.
My only assuagement was that after I cruised away from life's cul-de-sac I was still able to get the ladies to class on time by breaking the land-speed record to the suburbs beyond.
The drug-addled and decrepit, yet infinitely wise Keith Richards, hit the nail on the head when he said, "If you're going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.”