16 Mar 2014

I Fought The Law (And The Law Won)


Usually at this hour, we'd be bouncing over by-roads and ghosting through residential lanes. Not today though. Today, I'm sober- and consequently, the designated driver- so we're taking the high road, both moral and physical. I'm quite looking forward to being stopped by one of the many policemen stationed on Cochin's roads to stop drunk drivers. It's not everyday I get to drive away from a cop without considerably lightening my wallet.

The guys have been drinking all evening, and are just as excited as I am. I encourage them to act as riotously as they please; for a change, we have the law on our side. We haven't been on MG Road five minutes when predictably, a couple of cops wave us down. I slow down, pull over to the side, and watch one of them approach my car in the mirror. He clocks the number plate, and visibly brightens up. I can't wait to wipe the grin off his face. I've been waiting for this moment for so long. 

I roll down my window and smile. The cop looks right through me, and inside the car: the usual suspects. By now, one of us would usually have stepped out of the car, muttering apologies and dropping names, pressing a five hundred rupee note into his palm. I can see he's a little shaken by our apparent stoicism. "Have you been drinking?" he asks. I want to answer calmly, gracefully, but my hand goes up like a first-bencher in school with all the answers. "I haven't been drinking, " I announce. "Suck-up," says one of the guys in the back and I admit to myself that he's probably right. A night without drink, and my inner nerd is in full swing. 

"You won't mind a breathalyzer test then," he says and gestures to the cop behind us. "Not at all," I say and struggle to keep the class-monitor out of my voice. I watch the other cop in the mirror; I haven't dealt with him before. He has a slow, meaningful gait, an almost-strut, and somehow inspires flashes of that old terror of the law in my mind as he plants heavy feet wide apart and comes to a standstill outside my window. He has some kind of apparatus strapped to his crotch, with a tube-like contraption sticking out of it like a surprised penis. "Blow it," he orders, and the guys cheer, despite themselves, like hypnotized Heartlanders at a Salman Khan movie.        

"I don't think you understand," I say, "I haven't been drinking. You can put that thing away now." The guys are really getting into the flow of things. "Blow it! Blow it!", they chant. "If you haven't been drinking, you won't have a problem," says the cop, "blow." Now sexual innuendos aside, I have a genuine problem with intimacy hygiene. Drunk driving is policed so comprehensively in Cochin that even by the most conservative of estimates, that apparatus must have kissed at least fifty mouths tonight. I can't even shake hands with strangers. There's no way that thing is going anywhere near my mouth. 

"You know what," I say, "I have been drinking. I'm really sorry, and I'll just pay whatever-"
But the guys have other plans. This is their moment too. "BLOW IT! BLOW IT!" they chant. "What are you waiting for?" yells one, "show them!" The old Us versus Them. I've been a man long enough to know that you can't back down in an Us versus Them situation. It's just not an option. I reach in the general direction of the apparatus and wipe its head clean. 

"Do it already!" mutters the first cop. So headlights in my eyes, the guys chanting pornographic war cries in my ears, I lower my face onto the cop's crotch and blow. Passing, less anarchic cars honk in approval. I think I can taste vomit, smell cigarettes and alcohol. I pull back and come up for air just as I realize the cop's hand is actually stroking my head in approval. The guys cheer and applaud. I don't wait for the policeman to check the meter. I roll up my window and drive straight home to wash my mouth clean of the sweet taste of victory.           

Icy Highs's Music Recco: The Drunken Whaler- Copilot



13 comments:

Katy Anders said...

Sometimes, being the good guy doesn't pay. You should drink next time and let someone else blow the cops.

Katy Anders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Icy Highs said...

That's what I'm going to tell my kids. Sound advice as always, Katy!

austere said...

Argh.
Next time, drink!

The last time (and the first time ever) I was stopped the cop was disgusted at the forty bucks I had in my purse....

austere

Icy Highs said...

Haha. Didn't take you for a drink-and-driverer, Austere. Most irresponsible, I must say. :)

goatman said...

Nice tune.
You have good music in taste . . . er, wha

Icy Highs said...

Heh what seems to be the Goatman, problem?

goatman said...


I have searched in vain for the lyrics to "The Drunken Whaler".
Song is either obscure or very new.

Sounds like a chanty by the shanty.

Its one of those that stick in a corner of my brain and refuse to lend space to anything else . . .

Icy Highs said...

it's not very new but it's the soundtrack to some video game. i don't indulge, personally, in said escapist exercise, but the industry has been doing amazing things musically.

Elephant's Child said...

Isn't it a shame when the moral highground smells and tastes sooooo bad.

Icy Highs said...

So bad. So sooo bad.

goatman said...

What will we do with the drunken whaler
What will we do with the drunken whaler
What will we do with the drunken whaler
Early in the Morning
Way hey and up she rises
Way hey and up she rises
Way hey and up she rises
Early in the morning
Stuff him in a sack and throw him over
Stuff him in a sack and throw him over
Stuff him in a sack and throw him over
Early in the morning
Feed him to the hungry rats for dinner
Feed him to the hungry rats for dinner
Feed him to the hungry rats for dinner
Early in the morning
Way hey and up she rises
Way hey and up she rises
Way hey and up she rises
Early in the morning
Shoot him through the heart with a loaded pistol
Shoot him through the heart with a loaded pistol
Shoot him through the heart with a loaded pistol
Early in the morning

Icy Highs said...

heh you done good, goatman!