The New Zealand Diaries: the story of Phil the policeman (08/01/16)

Once upon a time, there was a policeman called Phil. He lived on the West Coast of New Zealand and was a kind, down to earth family-man who carried out his job with pride and a professional attitude.

On the evening of 8 January 2016, a little tired after a long day, Phil was sitting in his police car in Greymouth, watching the traffic. He was a bit bored and the streets were all but empty as it was already 6pm, but he still observed. The speed limit rules in NZ had recently changed, allowing drivers a grace excess of only 4km/h, and so he, like many other police officers country-wide, were often called to patrol and ensure that the new rules were respected

Suddenly Phil became more alert…….a camper van had driven past at high speed, a female driver with a bright pink top behind the wheel. “Golly, who is that pink peril?” thought Phil and went into auto-pilot: engine and sirene on, he pursued the offending female who pretty quickly realised that he was sounding his sirens in her honour and pulled into a layby. Phil was even more surprised when he saw her emerge from the van….braids like Heidi, a slightly unwashed look typical of freedom campers and a girlie bright pink fleece were not, in his view, compatible with the speeding type.  ” I am so sorry” , said the braided lady, before Phil could get a word in edgeways, looking very guilty, ” I was speeding, wasn’t I?” “Well yes, actually, ” said Phil, trying to be as diplomatic as possible, ” you were doing 65 in a 50 zone”. “Oh no” , said the pink peril,
” I don’t usually speed but got so excited about seeing the fuel station that I was not paying attention. I dont suppose you can let me off?”. “Cheeky monkey”, thought Phil.
“Everyone knows that NZ is strict about about speeding”.  He asked the pink peril for her name and car registration, and having perused the look of guilt and the fearful eyes of the numbnut in front of him, he decided to do what he did not usually do. “I am going to give you a warning this time”, he said, trying to look very stern, “but don’t let me catch you again”. There was something quite moving about the gratitude of the pink peril-she even said “God bless you” to him. “That is a first”, thought Phil as he drove off, wondering why on earth he had let this daft speeder go.

And so they both lived happily ever after. I am sure that Phil scored brownie points with God who gave him an approving nod, and am comvinced that the pink peril, relieved at not having to pay a NZD 120 fine, prayed and thanked God for Phil and his kindness as she drove off to Hokitika. She has no doubt, since then, been watching her speed like a hawk.

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