Priority ticket

He pulled me up for speeding. Dude, I said. The waves are here, it’s the first time in weeks they’ve coincided with my family schedule. The kids are asleep, the dishes are done, I gotta go.

He said, one moment please. I watched in the side mirror as he strolled back to his car, did whatever it is that police officers do between the first conversation and the second. Came back with a ticket.

Two hundred and fifty dollars? I said.

For your wife, he said. Impeding valuable surf time – the dishes can always wait. And FYI, I’m the only patrol between here and the beach. If I see you driving under 80 I’ll ticket you for nuisance. Now get out of here.

Sir, I nodded, and floored it.


From my book Ministry of Ideas. First published in The Kiwi Diary.