Banana at the wheel 26 September 2014
I confess: I’m a multiple fruit offender.
I still can’t believe it happened.
I’m not the kind of guy who normally speeds. Or swerves. Or runs reds. Or hits traffic islands.
And yet, here I am … only three demerit points away from losing my licence, after committing all of the above offences.
It was a wet and windy afternoon, and I guess I should have seen that as a sign.
I drove south to visit my mum. I can never leave her place empty-handed. Not only is she overly generous, but her house is just filled with so much stuff.
A couple hours later, I walked out with two plastic containers not sure my kitchen really needed, some twine, a bag of lemons from her back-garden and a handful of souvenir fridge magnets.
She had also plied me with food, but amongst the toasted cheese sandwiches, fizzy drinks and chocolate biscuits, I felt brimming with carbs and sugar.
I headed home, needing something fresh and simple to eat. I looked around the car and found a banana on the back-seat. How it got there I have no idea. I should have taken this mysterious Warhol-esque object as some sort of sign.
At the next red light, I reached back for it. The light turned green and I started the unpeel.
Doesn’t sound too tricky, until you give it a try. It’s worse than texting behind the wheel. I peeled, I skidded. I peeled, I braked suddenly. I peeled, I swerved.
I was heading for a traffic island, and then it just got worse. I tried to hit the brake but something blocked the pedal. I glanced down but couldn’t see – or even imagine – what could be blocking my attempt to stop.
I reached down with my right hand and felt something hard, round and bumpy. Then I saw it: a lemon.
I had placed the bag of lemons on the passenger floor behind me. The bag must have opened during my bad banana swerving, and a stray lemon must have rolled all the way under my seat.
I looked up. And then I hit the traffic island.
A minute later a police car turned up. Six demerit points and a $580 fine later, I was on my way. Not before the police officer, tempted to be a wise-crack, opined with a grin: “Not safe to peel at the wheel”.
My car was undamaged. I couldn’t say the same of my ego or pride.
That was a day I’ll never forget. The day fruit got the better of me. Curse you fleshy seed-disseminators!
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