Friday, March 20, 2009
Almost locked up in Barbados Pt. 3
After taking all my particulars the officer walked to the front of the car to note my license plate and then checked the little circular tab on my windshield which showed whether or not I had paid the road tax for the year.
"It looks here like your road tax has not been paid," he said with a satisfied smirk. "Man, it looks like you're in real trouble now," the smirk seemed to say.
I was sure that I had paid the annual road tax so I got out of the car to join him in investigating the anomaly on the windshield. Sure enough, the circular tab showed no record of the tax for that year.
"But I always pay my road tax in March or April. I must have forgotten to put the receipt on the windshield but I am sure that I have it in my knapsack," I said with confidence.
I went back to the car and pulled out my accordion-like case where I kept my documents. I made a search that I am sure must have had all the hallmarks of desperation. The receipt was not there and I immediately realized that just before I had left for Canada, a month earlier, I had placed it in a second case which was probably now in my filing cabinet at home in St. Lucy, twenty one miles away. It also dawned on me that I had left my driver's license and all my registration papers in the second case at home. In my desire to get to the repair shop early that morning I had forgotten to transfer the documents to the accordion case that I normally kept with me.
My head started to hurt, an initial reaction to terrror. Lord, don't let him ask to see my driver's license was my fervent prayer. The prayer seemed to work and all he said was,
"Are you sure you've paid your road tax? Because I am going to check it when I get back to the station."
"Absolutely, officer," I replied. "I pay it faithfully every March or April or whenever," I repeated with a smile meant to convince him that I was trustworthy.
He seemed to accept my word and after making a few more notes on his writing pad indicated that I was free to go.
Before I did, I asked him what would happen next.
There was a momentary pause and then giving me a long look, he said, " Oh, nothing will probably happen."
Those were heartening words to both my ears and I contritely said to him, "I am sorry, officer, I admit it was my fault. I was wrong not to stop at the light."
I was about to do a bit more grovelling which could have gone as far as getting on my knees, even though traffic was now slowing down to take a look, when he said,
"Ok, I hear you," and gestured for me to go.
Part four next week....