The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Stopped by the Police

“Have you ever noticed that you’re never pleasantly surprised at a Little Chef?”

Maggie’s laughing at that slightly more than it deserves. Actually, it’s not a bad line.

“Actually, that’s not a bad phrase is it? ‘You’re Never Pleasantly Surprised at a Little Chef!’ Hardly one the advertisers are ever likely to use though. Don’t let me forget that one. Perhaps I could use it on my blog or something.”

I wonder why I’m suddenly slowing down.

Because that policeman’s looking at me and my foot has come off the accelerator automatically.

“That policeman was looking straight at me.”

“What policeman?” says Maggie.

Shit. The police car is pulling out.

“He’s pulled out behind us.”

Am I speeding? No. Was I speeding as I came over the brow of the hill? I don’t think so. Maybe he’s after a different car.

“He’s not overtaking us.”

“Have you done anything wrong?” asks Maggie.

Maybe he’s noticed Meg’s not in a booster seat.

“Meg’s not in a booster seat, and with the new child safety law that’s just come in…”

“But we’re on the waiting list to get one,” protests Maggie.

It’s true. There’s been such a rush on child booster seats that Halfords reckons they can’t supply us for another 2 weeks.

Crap. He’s flashing his blue lights. He must have been waiting until we got to this lay-by on the left. I’d better pull in.

“How fascist is that? Surely they’ve got better things to do with their time than hassle parents who can’t obey the law because market forces in this capitalist society of ours can’t keep up with supply and demand?”

I’ve heard somewhere that it’s better to get out of your car and walk back to meet the policeman if you’re pulled over, as it shows willing.

Unless you’re in America, where it’s seen as a threat and you’re more likely to be shot by trigger-happy cops.

“How can I help you officer?”

Christ. They look younger and younger these days. This one looks like he’s only just out grown his own booster seat.

“Just a routine stop, sir. Have you been in any recent traffic incidents – overtaking, cutting someone up, for example, sir?”

Now I’m not averse to overtaking idiots who insist on doing 35mph on roads where you can do 60mph. And I’ve been involved in more than a few incidents where the said idiot decided to speed up as soon as he realised he was being overtaken, leading me to have to dangerously accelerate and swerve back in to avoid oncoming traffic.

“Since when?”

“Probably in the last half an hour, sir”

Why isn’t he out there catching real criminals instead of bothering motorists?

“Not that I’m aware of.”

“Would you mind stepping round to the back of the car and letting me take a few details, sir?”

I haven’t done anything wrong. Maybe I should tell this tool of the fascist state that the oppression of the innocent will only lead to an inevitable uprising and the likes of him will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes!

“Sure, OK.”

He’s closed the door! Not only is the child lock on, but the lever you wind the window down with has been removed. I’m trapped!

Calm down, Kim. He’s just asking for your address and making a note of the number plate.

“Someone has reported that you’ve been driving dangerously, possibly swigging a bottle of beer, sir”

What? This is getting ridiculous.

“I am going to request that you breathe into this breathalyser, sir. Do you, have any objections, sir?”

When did I last drink anything? A glass of wine with my dinner 2 days ago. Just as well I’ve never been tempted to put whisky on my muesli.

“No, none at all.”

“You’ll see that this tube was sealed and hasn’t been tampered with, sir”

But what if these things are sterilised in surgical spirit?

“Now sir, if you would just like to blow into this end as though you were inflating a balloon until I say stop.”

What if this B12 deficiency thing I’ve got produces alcoholic enzymes in my breath? What if I…

“Stop there now, sir”

The digital readout says ‘processing’…



Zero! Yes! Who’s the daddy? Maybe I shouldn’t punch the air

“Well I’m sorry to have bothered you, sir”

“Not at all.”

“I couldn’t smell anything on your breath, sir, but it was reported so I have to follow these things up.”

“I quite understand.”

“Not everyone does, sir. We’re often told we shouldn’t be bothering motorists but be using our time to ‘catch real criminals.’

“Well if there was a dangerous, drunken driver out there, I’d rather you stopped him than have him run me off the road.”

“Exactly sir. I’ll need to undo that door for you from the outside sir.”

What a nice young man. He’s not asked for my driving licence; he’s not gone round my car, inspecting the tax disc and tyre wear; and he’s not demanded I take my vehicle registration documents to the local police station within 7 days.

“Drive safely now, sir”

He’s realised the report was just a malicious call and has been making the whole thing as painless as possible.

“Thank you. You… too…”

Isn’t it good that we live in a country where we can rely on our Boys in Blue to keep us all safe on the roads from drunken maniacs?

“I hate booster seats!”

Meg’s wailing in the back of the car; Maggie has spent the last 10 minutes trying to reassure her that she’s not responsible for her Daddy being taken away by the police; and Rogan appears faintly disappointed I wasn’t arrested, which would have boosted his street cred in the playground enormously.


Foot Eater said...

Funny, I thought you'd be taller.

Kim Ayres said...

Nope. I'm just a head and a bit of neck - 18 inches max. You're getting confused with my Blunt Cogs character.

Stella said...

Cool Kim, I really enjoyed that, not your predicament of course, the video.

As to your predicament, scarey, I wouldn't fancy being in the back of a police car, would panic me, you were very cool and collected. Makes me sick though, how police time is wasted by stupid prank/malicious calls.

Eva said...

Great editing.
Loved your cop face :-)

Rhonda said...

What a treat!

You did a great editing job. I loved it.

Dr Maroon said...

I too was most pleased with all the cutting.
I couldn't stop fuming at the cheek of PC Plod.
I hope he stopped you but realised he'd made a blunder and then went by the book to cover himself. And you're right, not only are they dead young now, they also seem totally unworldly.

There's a bit in the film where you look like Ming the Merciless, or am I having an acid flashback?

Kim Ayres said...

Stella - What I don't know is whether it was my number plate or just a description of my car that was given to the policeman. If it was the number plate then the person reporting it must have been in a car behind me making a note of the number and calling the police while driving, which is a dangerous activity in itself.

Eva - thanks :)

Do you have a blog site of your own?

Rhonda - thank you. I only have Windows Movie Maker, which was already on the computer, as an editor. It's very basic, but was fine for the editing style I wanted. A great deal of fun, too :)

Dr Maroon - Ming? Yes, I guess I can see that... Bwaa ha ha ha ha...

quinn said...

That was awesome KIM! Enjoyed the story, enjoyed getting to see you and hear you. You are a very good writer and story teller.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim, I found you via Dr Maroon and stopped by Blunt Cogs before ending up here. Excellent work.

I was recently driving up form England with a carload of stuff - so much stuff that I could not see out my rear-view mirror. At one point while overtaking a truck, I was in the outside lane for maybe 30 seconds. I happened to glance in my side mirror to see the full blue light regalia together with a dot matrix sign saying PULL OVER (written in reverse so I could see it, of course).

Of course I promptly shat myself and swung over towards the hard shoulder...only to see the police zoom past me. They were after someone else, and they caught him a could of miles further up the M6.

You always get that feeling, though, even when you know you've done nothing wrong - it's a weird kind of automatic guilt.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I could've sworn I gave that post the once-over for nonsense. Oh well.

happykat said...

hahahaha....I've had that same internal dialog! You're right about American police....NEVER got out of the car!!! Never, its seen as a sign of aggression.

My monkeys always figured out how to get out of their booster seats when no one was looking. I finally gave up and let them carry-on with a regular seatbelt. (its safer than them running amok and they actually keep them on)

BTW, You're quite handsome when you're animated, Kim!

Andraste said...

Nice work, Kim.

I think the combination of fear and righteous indignation comes through beautifully. I live in terror of being pulled over for anything... and it WILL happen one day, because my husband drives like an arsehole, and one of these days I'm sure someone will drop a dime, and I'll be using his car for some errand and...shit. I can't even think about it, I'm getting the fear!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Great stuff. Your voice and your face now make perfect sense together in the animated you, in a way they didn't before for some odd reason.

You'd make a very stern policeman, Kim. I, for one, wouldn't be yee-ha-ing it over the speed-bumps in Castle Douglas, if I thought you were out patrolling.

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - thank you - I shall enjoy a wee *smug* moment

Kav - welcome to my ramblings!

I remember once seeing a description of the various parts of a car dashboard, and at the bit pointing to the speedometer it said "automatically moves to the left on sight of a police car". I guess it's a universal experience to feel we must have done something wrong

HappyKat - handsome? moi? Why I shall allow myself yet another *smug* moment.

You can visit again, HK, I'm a sucker for flattery

Andraste - it's that feeling of not being in control - that what happens next is entirely down to the motivations and personality of a complete stranger with an agenda - that is so terrifying.

BTW, I'm impressed that you took the time to spell arsehole the British way :)

Sam - the stern policeman face I used in the video is the one I use for controlling the kids as we don't believe in smacking.

Screwing them up psychologically is far more effective...

Gyrobo said...

That wouldn't have happened if there was a giant hot dog welded to the top of your car.

They never finger the hot dog car.

sarah said...


i loved watching that, very tricky camera moves there, kind of like the gollum bit on LOTR.

you sound a bit like pierce brosnan. look a bit like him as well.

Kim Ayres said...

Gyrobo - you know, I'd never thought of that. I'll make a start on constructing one this weekend!

Sarah - Gollum or Brosnan?

sarah said...

brosnan.. you're not grey enough in colour to resemble gollum, nor do you have that throaty screaming quality to your voice.


Attila The Mom said...

This was brilliant!! I just got high-speed internet so I'm finally able to see videos.

Little Chef---hahaha! I've read about it in some detective novels and I didn't know if it was real or not. Sounds like it's as sad in real life as it is in fiction!

Kim Ayres said...

Sarah - well, perhaps if brosnan was about 30lbs overweight...

Atilla - thank you :)

Little Chef are a roadside cafe chain that never fail to disappoint with their hideously overpriced food and drink that has all the excitment of a cheap cafeteria.

On occasion I'll end up going back into one, certain that it can't be as bad as I remember. However, it is true: you're never pleasantly surprised at a Little Chef

Jupiter's Girl said...

I love my new DSL. I first read the entry and was very amused and then watched your video clip. Excellent, Kim. Very entertaining. I agree with HK, what a handsome man you are.

I have been ticketed many times. I hate that. One officer had no compassion for me as my kids were crying and screaming (which always unnerved me) in the back seat and I was driving fast to just get home and out of the car from hell. "My speedometer is broken", I explained. I got a ticket for going too fast, and one for operating faulty equipment. Like I could afford either one...

mollymcmommy said...

LMAO! loved that, and the accent too :)


Pendullum said...

Loved it...
Loved the angles and your wonderful voice...
I reread it and tried my best Kim impressions!
Great post Kim...

SafeTinspector said...

How many takes did you edit together there? I've done this sort of thing with audio only, but never video....not sure I'd know how to do it in any case.

I felt a bit stupid reading along with you, however. Isn't that odd? I could just listen, or just read. But instead I found myself reading in lock-step with your fancy-pants UK accent. *sigh*
I feel all stupid and stuff.

Oh, and what an unusual experience! "someone" was complaining about you? What's that about, then?

Kim Ayres said...

Jupiter's Girl - I know all about you American lasses - it's not how I look, it's the English Accent that really gives you the thrill ;)

Molly McMommy - welcome to my ramblings!

So the accent thrills the Canadians too then ;)

Pendullum - Kim impressions? You'll have to record them and put them on your blog :)

SafeTinspector - I used my digital camera (I don't have a video camera) whcih allows me 3 minutes of film, so I did it in about 3 parts.

I'm crap at remembering lines, so I let it run while I looked at the screen to read what was coming next, then edited all those bits out.

The constant editing was partly out of necessity but also the effect I wanted to achieve - I thought it gave a more dynamic aspect to the whole thing.

I wouldn't worry about the reading along - I do that kind of thing all the time :)

And I still have no idea why someone had complained about my driving.

Jupiter's Girl said...

True, the accent is very attractive, but you're cute too. And I love being called a Lass. Sounds so young and spirited.

It took me a while, and reading the comments, to figure out what a Little Chef was. That's funny. Is it fast food?

Kim Ayres said...

Jupiter's Lass - If you look at the first line in this post, you'll see that the words Little Chef are a link through to the official website.

Imagine a roadside diner chain where everything is reheated and low quality, but charging you restaurant prices.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Kim! I want some more please.

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks El-B. Next time I write something I think it could work with I'll definitely have another go

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Kim for making my last moment of blog reading tonight such a pleasant one.

Did I mention---I LOVE IT!

Áine Tierney said...

Ha! Your fear is you were going too fast - I was trying to hard to be careful! I'm afraid I'm the 35 mph driver in the 60 mph zone! Guard took one luck at me and just thought 'lady driver'. Enjoying your blog. This post is brilliantly written.

Kim Ayres said...

Áine - thank you - glad you're enjoying the blog :)

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