|A fair cop|
One downside of living this side of town is that it's much further for me to get to the library. It also means I encounter peak traffic and the school run moms, as I start at 7.30 am. Last week, I tried one route - with a big hold-up at one critical point which made me late, so today I tried another way, approaching the same intersection from another side. Again a long queue of stationary cars. Then I saw a couple of cars passing us on the left, admittedly on the wrong side of the yellow line, but all, I reasoned, wishing to turn left as I did. I knew that an extra lane opened for this just a bit further on. The rest of the traffic was queuing to go to work in Cape Town straight ahead. How wrong can you be? I had picked a day when two traffic wardens were ticketing this very offence, because it's a prime spot for people to sidle up on the left and then expect to push into the right lane as the lights change. I switched off my engine, resigned to my fate and watched as the two officers wrote copious details on charge sheets for the 8 cars in front of me. I haven't paid a traffic fine in 38 years. I tried a friendly smile and explained the reason for my crime. "How old are you, lady?" asked the man, politely. "63", said I (after some hesitation - what does that have to do with the price of eggs?). Sighing mightily, he put away his pen and gave me a severe lecture about NEVER doing this again and let me go. Cheek! But I wasn't going to look gifthorse in the mouth, especially when he told me how much the fine should be, (about $100) Much relieved, I arrived at the library ready for work, only to be told that someone had found some free time the day before and there were no books to shelve! They might have phoned! I would have saved petrol and stress. I wasn't too cross however, as I had escaped the fine. Besides, I reasoned, I could now go and buy the winter boots I had been coveting for some time. I had just saved $100, so they would cost me nothing!