Sunday, 4 March 2018

Polite Society

Rod wound down the window. 

“Good morning sir.” 

“Good morning, officer.” 

“I presume you know that you are driving without insurance?” 

Was he? The heck he was. He paid for it monthly on a direct debit. What was he on about?

“I pay for it every month.” 

“Well, perhaps there wasn’t enough in your bank account, sir.” 

Could that be it? It might be. Every month he would get letters from the bank telling him he’d spent money he hadn’t got and charging him £8.00 for the privilege. 

“Could I see your driving license, sir?” 

“I don’t have it with me.” 

“Well you’ll need to report to your nearest police station with it within ten days. Plus proof of insurance.” 

“I understand.” 

“Of course, I can’t let you drive the car away. I suggest you give your insurance company a quick call.” 

Rod found the details out of the glove box. The police car’s Stop sign mocked him as he waited for someone at the call centre to pick up. He only had to wait four minutes but it seemed a lot longer as the cars whizzed by on the motorway. 

“That’s right,” said the girl at the other end after he’d explained the situation. “Your last payment didn’t go through, even though we tried it twice. Could you make a payment now?” 

He managed to find a card that still had some credit on it. The next two minutes passed even more slowly than the previous four. 

“That’s all gone through. We’ve sent a text message to confirm. The police database is updated instantly.” 

The police man tapped the window again. “That’s all in order now, sir. We’ll let you off with a caution this time. You’ll still have to make that little trip to your local station, though. Just remember to keep an eye on your bank account in future. Rightio, I’ll help you get back on to the motorway. Have a good day now.” 

Rod wound his window back up and gave the officer the thumbs up sign. 

As he merged into the traffic he wondered why he’d been so damned polite. He wasn’t a criminal. He hadn’t deliberately avoided paying his insurance. He was just too busy earning not quite enough money to find the time to check what the bank was doing with it.      


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