What you shouldn't tell a cop
There is plenty to be gloomy about regarding our roads and the behaviour of South African drivers, and there are times when poking fun at these situations is the only way to maintain our sanity.
Take traffic officers, for instance, and consider what you would say to them if there were no consequences.
The list below should be viewed in a light-hearted manner. It is not intended to indicate insensitivity regarding reckless driving. Neither is it designed to encourage road users to disrespect the law or undermine traffic officers or the police.
Do not try any of this anywhere, at any time.
1. Never tell a traffic officer why you were speeding:
"I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, there aren't any other cars around, but that's how far behind I am."
"Wow! The adverts are true; this car's top speed really is 200km/h."
"I wanted to race you, officer."
"I was on my way to your sister's house."
"Okay, I was speeding, but I let you catch me, didn't I?"
When asked if you know how fast you were going, say: "Yes, don't you?"
2. Things you should never do or say to a traffic officer when you get pulled over:
Point at his flashing lights and say: "Oooh, such pretty colours."
Wait until the officer gets to your car, point and say: "I have a badge just like yours."
"You must have been doing about 190km/h just to keep up with me. You're a good driver."
When he gets to your window, instead of waiting for him to ask if you know why he pulled you over, ask: "Do you know why you pulled me over?"
When he says you were speeding: "Sorry, I didn't realise - my radar detector wasn't plugged in."
When asked why you did not stop sooner: "I saw your flashing lights, but you didn't seem able catch up to me, so I thought you must have been chasing someone else."
If he asks you to get out of the car, throw yourself onto the bonnet, kicking your legs and wailing.
When you do get out of the car leave it in "drive" with the handbrake disengaged so it slowly rolls away. With any luck, the officer will go after it while you laugh.
Tell him you like men in uniform (even if you are a man), and ask if you can borrow it for a fancy-dress party. The same if the officer is a woman (works best if you are a man).
3. Things you should never say about guns:
"Mine is bigger than yours."
"I bet you wish you had my AK-47 instead."
Ask to see his gun. When he says he isn't allowed to show it to you, ask if he'd like to see yours.
4. Things you should never say to a traffic officer about to search your car:
"Whatever you do, don't look in the boot!"
"There is nothing hidden in the cubbyhole."
"Don't bother searching - the drugs have been sold already."
5. Something you should never say about your broken tail light:
"I broke it and sold the pieces off as precious jewels in an online scam."
6. Things you should never say about:
Your non-existent brake-lights: "I am hoping someone hits me from behind so I can get the insurance money."
The live goat strapped to the roof of your car: "We are having a braai. Should I save you a leg?"
7. Things you should never do/say regarding alcohol and driving:
When you get pulled over, lean out the window and say: "What's wrong, ossifier?" Then burp loudly.
"Excuse me, officer, but what is legally drunk?"
Ask him to hold your beer so you can get out of the car.
Ask him if he knows there are two of him, but that the second one is much cuter.
8. Things you should never do/say when trying to avoid getting a ticket:
"If I were you I would let me go."
Threaten to tell on him to your friend, Horatio.
Ask him where he bought his cool shoes because you'd like to get a pair for your mother-in-law.
9. When it comes to police documents, never do/say:
"What do you mean I can't be fingerprinted with melted chocolate?"
say "Oops! That's my alias." if you have to sign for anything.
Before signing, chew vigorously on his pen, then clean your ear with it.
Ask if he has a daughter. If he says yes, say "hmmmmm ... thought the name sounded familiar."
The best thing for you to say to any traffic officer, is nothing and, if you stick to the rules of the road, you're likely never to have to talk to one.