This humourous account of police harassment first appeared on Belviderean, Mike Wood’s personal blog.
There I was thinking that having at last reached pensionable age, I could look forward to putting my feet up, drinking endless cups of tea, smoking the old clay pipe, not to mention having regular ‘Swedish massages’ in the Nekkies Safari Ethnic Guess House and financing my wicked ways with a guaranteed Blair level pension generated by investments in the opium trade. But, crivens, jings, help ma boab! I hadn’t realised that the Knysna cops would so quickly discover my true identity (Mike ‘El Capo’ Du Bois). They’d somehow sussed that I’m the kingpin in the Knysna drugs underworld. My god! What am I going to do now?
I’ve been having a bit of repair work done around the house by someone who’s been helping me on and off for the last five years. He’s reliable, thorough, and puts unexpected emphasis on going out of his way to do a brilliant job. He’s not well off and drives a beaten up old British car. Oh, and did I mention he has a long beard?
On Tuesday morning he sent me an SMS to say that his car had broken down (again) and he was in the process of walking around the lagoon to come to work in Belvidere as promised. Gordon Bennett! So I called him back, told him he was an idiot for not asking me to pick him up in town, and arranged to lift him a few hundred metres down from White Bridge, opposite where Cheeseman and other artisans made a living before the new road swept them out of existence. When I parked momentarily, a couple of police vehicles pulled up behind me. Meanwhile, my handyman jumped into the car and we headed back towards Belvidere.
You know how you get that creepy feeling at the back of your neck when you’re walking through a darkened street and you just know someone is about to spring at you from the shadows? I felt a bit like that as the cop cars started to follow. We didn’t get far. By the time we reached Crabs Creek the game was up. We were surrounded. There was no escape, dammit!
Inspector Titus greeted us thus: ‘We have you at last El Capo, for we have reason to believe there are drugs in your polished little Nissan Micra.’
‘But don’t drugs barons transport themselves in dark-windowed Range Rovers? I replied. ‘Where is your ID?’
Inspector Titus shuffled uncomfortably through a stack of plastic in his wallet and finally produced a grubby form of identification. The disguise he and his colleagues had employed was pretty brilliant because if it hadn’t been for the SAPS vehicles I would have sworn they were a bunch of football hooligans.
They searched the polished little Nissan for twenty minutes including under the spare wheel in the boot. One beanie-clan ‘officer’ seemed incredibly preoccupied with the dog cushion on the back seat. He even sniffed it.
‘Shouldn’t you be devoting your two police vehicles and six policemen to chasing Nigerian and Chinese drugs overlords?’ I suggested to Titus.
‘We’ve got a difficult job,’ he replied.
Sure. Chasing OAPs must be in the job description. They left us and the little Nissan, in a cloud of dust, refusing a requested apology.