Friday, July 31, 2009

Daily Report: Even Eagles Should Wear Helmets

Tyson ate our motorcycle helmets. Well... he chewed all the padding out of them. I guess he was lonely one night (he stays outside at night) and found comfort in gnawing something soaked in my head sweat and Epril's hair spray.

Epril's helmet was completely unusable, as all the padding was almost completely gone and the inside now smelled like Tyson's breath after a huge bowl of rice and pig liver. My helmet was a bit torn but without the stink and could still be worn. (We weren't too upset since the helmets were older and needed to be replaced anyway.)

So it was off to Cagayan De Oro tonight with the plan to buy some new helmets. We took my helmet along, and I let Epril wear it while I went without.

As we came into Puerto, the last town on the highway before entering CDO proper, two police officers standing duty on the side of the road saw me coming and pulled me over for not wearing a helmet. I explained the situation, explained that I gave my wife my helmet out of concern for her safety, and how we were on our way to buy new helmets. They still told me to pull over to the side of the road, basically indicating that it was ticket time.

It was at this point that I realized that I had taken the envelope containing all of the motorcycle's registration information out from under the seat during the last bit of repairs, and hadn't put it back.

"Please kuya, we're on our way to buy new helmets right now," I said.

Kuya means older brother in Tagalog, but it is also the honorific that members of The Philippine Eagles fraternity (mostly composed of police officers, of which I became a member last month) use to address each other. The police officer looked a little confused. I said, "Don't I always see you at The Eagles meetings?" He looked thoughtful for a second and then said, "Do you mean Kuya Reynaldo? I look like him." From the back of the motorcycle, Epril said, "Yes... that's him."

The police officer and his friend then let us continue on our way.

I did feel a little guilty after the fact about "name dropping" like that to get out of a ticket. In all honesty, if I hadn't been faced with the prospect of leaving my bike parked in Puerto (or having it impounded), or if my traffic infraction had been more willful or serious, I might have tried a little more talking first, or just taken the ticket. But (based on the fact that Epril was obviously wearing my helmet, and we had fancy rain ponchos on, and I was wearing nice driving gloves, the police could see that I am the kind of guy who would normally be wearing a helmet if I could) the officers could see that I was most likely telling the truth that we were really going to buy helmets, and that also helped. I think they also appreciated the fact that I put Epril's safety before my own, and that generated a little compassion too. They even said as much when, as we were getting ready to pull away, as I asked Epril to give me back my helmet, the officers told me to let Epril keep it. "We love our wives too. We understand," they said. Nice guys, in the end.

Anyway, Epril and I did go straight to Limketkai mall, and after a nice dinner of sushi, we went and bought two new helmets. After that, it was off to Spooks to hang out with everyone.


Anonymous said...

Glad it all worked out in the end. You meant well and I think they knew it. Right?

Jil Wrinkle said...

I'm not sure what it was in the end that helped most... but I suspect the name dropping was probably it.