Verbatim Vs Verbatim: 99 Problems

Our hero is standing at the traffic lights having a chat with a traffic police officer at around eleven on Saturday night.

  • Hi Jake, what’s up?
  • Jake? Who’s Jake?
  • You know. Jake. Like slang for police. It comes from old cowboy westerns. The sheriff was always called Jake. If you don’t know that word, how about, um… Five-O? Po-po? One-Time? (Singing) Bad boys-bad boys whatchoogonnado?
  • Enough of this gibberish. You have committed a terrible traffic offence.
  • No, I haven’t. I have committed a stupid traffic mistake, granted, but the road was clear, no one was in danger, and it’s the guy in front of me who made me think…
  • Enough of that gibberish, too. I’m going to write you a ticket for a 40 thousand shillings.
  • Well, I’ve just been at the ATM looking at my bank balance. I’m rich as hell, son. I can pay your ticket.
  • And I’ll impound your car until you pay the ticket.
  • I wouldn’t like that so here, let me give you a long winding cock-and-bull story about how I am on my way to deliver milk and mineral water to a relative who has just been admitted to hospital. Munange, they just called me half an hour ago. I have to make it there immediately.
  • Yeah, like I haven’t heard that one before. That’s what they all say. I’m impounding the car!
  • Okay, but you will impound the car for like four seconds, cos I have the money in my back pocket right now. Did I mention my bank balance? It’s gigatintic.
  • Oh, you don’t pay here, tonight, on Saturday. You pay at Crane Bank on Monday, and then take the receipt to Central Police Station and THEN you get the car from the impound there.
  • Oh, well. I’m still rich. You stopped me right next to a Special Hire Taxi stage. I’ll just use this 40K to jump in a cab and head off on my way.
  • I am going to so write you a ticket, it’s going to be a ticket like you’ve never known tickets could be written.
  • Why aren’t you writing it then? Why is your hand just hovering over the paper? Why do you keep saying it and not doing it? Are you waiting for me to offer a bribe? Okay, let me cautiously probe your intentions by putting my hands in my pockets and shuffling them around.
  • I didn’t tell you to put your hands in your pockets! Harsh Tone!
  • I was just checking my phone. I thought I heard it vibrate.
  • Okay. That does it. I’m writing this ticket. I won’t impound your car, but I’ll hold onto your Driver’s Permit until you pay up.
  • It’s a fair cop. Snigger. I will pay the fine on Monday as agreed. I don’t condone corruption, at least not much, but I would much rather have bribed you. My misjudged action didn’t endanger anyone; it was an honest mistake, not a grievous felony act. Besides there are loads of reckless drivers out there and you traffic cops are our only defense against them and for that you get paid pathetically. I would rather have given the money to you so you can do something for your kids than give this money to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but hey, it’s your call. Let me go deal with the public sector. Later Jake.




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