Monday, April 16, 2007

Twenty years down the drain

I am, if I do say so myself, a not bad driver. Few people who have ever been in a car with me have freaked out by my driving skills. That cannot always be said of people I've driven with. I think Dups has scared me once or twice (his ability to stall a car in the middle of traffic was a touch disconcerting when we were in Edmonton) and I think I prayed to God one time when I was in a car with Chris St. Croix, who achieved the memorable feat of doing 110 km/h up Torbay Road in the middle of the afternoon.

So I'm a good driver. Aggressive, sure. But never stupid. I think that's back up by two facts. One, in 20 years of driving, I've had two accidents. Both of them were mild fender benders and both of them occurred within six weeks of getting my driver's licence (It's worth noting those accidents were a big deal at the time as my father was contemplating killing me).

I've also never had a moving violation. Never. Not a single speeding ticket, nada. In fact, I've only been pulled over by the police once in my life. That was during a routine enforcement by the RNC coming up from downtown one night. I wasn't drinking, but my friend Chris Myrick, sitting in the passenger seat, was. The conversation with the officer went something like this:

Officer: Good evening, sir. Have you been drinking?
Me: No, I haven't...
Chris: But I have, officer! Quite a bit really, which is why this nice man is giving me a ride home.
Me: Chris...
Officer: Because I can smell alcohol in the car...
Chris: That would be all me officer! I've drank quite a bit this evening, which is why this nice man...
Me: Chris, shut the fuck up...
Officer: Would you mind breathing on me, sir?
Chris: I would, sir, but I'm that drunk I think the fumes would make you drunk.
Me: Chris, for the love of God...

Anyway, other than my breath being less than minty fresh at 3 a.m., we escaped without harm. And so the streak continued.

Until Ottawa last Friday. When I failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In a fucking mall parking lot. That's right...20 years without a moving violation and it's down the train because of not just a cop, but a mall parking lot cop.

To say I was pissed off would be a mild understatement. I'm pretty sure I did come to a complete stop, because I spotted the cop a few seconds before. But really, I was hoping that he might just give me a warning and I figured I had a better chance if I didn't argue.

As it stands, I didn't get the $110 ticket and lose three points that such a violation normally carries (Nunavut has no points system, so I'm not sure how that would have worked) and instead got a $35 ticket.

It's only $35 and lord knows I spent enough money in Ottawa, still, not amused. Furthermore, between a stop at a store and a movie, he was still there when we left about three hours later, and had pulled over a couple more people. Jesus...

The car we rented the week in Ottawa was a Nissan Sentra. But although we rented it at the airport, it had Quebec plates. I was warned by a friend that might make me a bigger target by the cops. Apparently, he was right.

Oh, as for the car itself, not too bad. Nothing remarkable, but it was certainly good on gas. I figured we put about 600 km on that car in six days and it still had a quarter tank of gas in it just before we returned it. That's not bad, really. And the rental fee was reasonable.

That was until I had to pay the ticket on top of the rental fee.

Fucking parking lot mall cops.


Clare said...

Can I tell my favourite cop joke??

So a policeman pulls over a guy and tells him "I stopped you because you didn't stop at that stop sign". The guy replies "But I slowed down". The cop says, "But it's a STOP sign, you're supposed to stop."

"But I slowed down."
"You're supposed to stop!!"
and the guy replies "BUT I SLOWED DOWN".

Just then the cop takes out his stick, er defensive baton and begins hitting the guy in the head, and says "Now do you want me to stop, or slow down."

Sorry about your ticket.

NIN said...

Dang... I though I had the record.. 1 moving viloation after 16 years of driving. Craig, I am impressed. Of course, I've only been in one accident, where i was driving, and they rear-ended me.
Ooh, ooh, Whip-Cash!

Chris S. said...

I'm sure 110 is completely exaggerated Craig, 100 max. Tobay Road has too many lights to get up a good head of steam. Unless we were in the Prelude. Was it the Prelude? If it was that crappy Ford I don't see how it happened. I could barely get to 140 on the Parkway with no lights in that thing.