Friday, 19 November 2010

Children in Need - A Cautionary Tale (Take Two)

On Monday I told you of a fake charity stunt that I was suckered into one Children in Need night. Well just four days later I have fallen victim to the curse of Pudsey again.

This time I wasn't persuaded to part with cash, personal belongings or even my dignity. In fact it made me laugh. A lot.

I have been driving for over twenty years now and although I wouldn't claim to be a perfect driver, I am proud that in that period I have only ever been stopped by the police once. That was about three months after I passed my test, whilst driving my step mum's car, with her and my dad in it. and it was because one of the brake light bulbs wasn't working. Since then, nothing, nada, nil. Well except for one parking ticket and I had overstayed my presence in the space by nearly four minutes.

So tonight I had been to pick up Mrs S from work. I had both mini me's in the car and we were approaching the second of two mini roundabouts about a minutes drive from home when out of the dark behind me I felt the cutting blue lights that signal an emergency vehicle trying to get past. This wasn't unusual as we live on the main road leading to an A&E department so often have ambulances dashing past with their icy blue warning flashing to clear the road.

I pulled over but the vehicle didn't overtake. In fact it pulled up behind me. At this point I realised that the lights weren't asking me to get out of the way, but were instructing me to stop the vehicle. As I'm sure everyone does at this point, I rack my brains trying to think of why I might have been stopped. My insurance is due for renewal in the next couple of weeks but I have already paid the deposit for my next period of insurance. My tyres may be slightly flatter than they should be. My electronic pump's gauge was a little erratic last time I used it but it seemed to be driving all right. My interior mirror was missing but I was using my wing mirrors appropriately. I mean I had stopped as soon as I had seen the light

I was at a loss to what it could be. Other than a minor defect I had no other inkling as to why I was going to be spoken to by an authority figure. I rolled down the drivers window of the car and waited. Then I noticed someone approaching the passenger side. Fair enough, I thought, I can understand him not wanting to be standing on the traffic side. The passenger side window was lowered and a peaked cap entered.

"I'm sorry," he said immediately. "I thought you had a baby on your knee." Cue relieved laughter from myself and Mrs S and embarrassed chuckling from Dixon of Dock Green. Mrs S had been to work and as is usual at her place of work, they all went in fancy dress. This year she was in her pyjamas and had taken her cuddly teddy that she had recently procured from Build-a-Bear. Dressed as Axl Rose from Guns n Roses, it was this that was sat on her knee and that, in the dark, had been mistaken for a young Strommy. It was the quickest stop the police have ever made. A couple of quick apologies and excuses about it being a pet hate of his (must be a common occurrence round our way) and he was off before I could get my seat belt back on.

So next time you hear a Jamie Theakston voice over tell you that "The driver of the family hatchback, cacked himself laughing at the incompetent copper" at the end of another episode of Traffic Cops then they are talking about me.

Don't forget, if you do want to donate to Children in need, you can do so on line here.

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