「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


Never shave and drive

By Mike Dwane


My father is in his 70s and doesn't have a Facebook or a Twitter account. Nor does he own a mobile phone, and this makes him a bit of a caveman, even for a septuagenarian. Like a lot of men of his age, he enjoys golf and gardening.

His golf club, which is about 20 miles away from our house, recently ran a tournament in which Dad was one of the earliest to tee off. He carded a score which he thought respectable, but didn't think he'd get any prize. So he went back to the garden to dig potatoes.

Ireland is perched on the western edge of Europe and bears the brunt of the Atlantic weather systems. That means rain, rain and more rain.

As Dad worked in the garden, the heavens opened, which was bad news for his rivals at the golf course -- but not for Dad. A phone call came from the club to say that he should come back as quickly as possible to be presented with his prize.

I already explained that Dad doesn't have a mobile phone so it was my mother who took the call on the house phone. She had to put on her raincoat and Wellingtons, and tramp through the mud to give him the good news.

Dad had 30 minutes to clean up, change his clothes, get in the car and present himself at the clubhouse.

Halfway there and in a rush, he noticed flashing blue lights in his rearview mirror. He was being pulled over by a policeman — or as we say in Ireland, a "garda."

"Do you know why I stopped you?" the garda said in the cryptic manner of police officers worldwide.

"No," replied the golfing champion.

"You were on the mobile phone while driving."

"But I don't own a mobile phone," Dad protested.

"I saw you. You were holding it up to your face."

"No I wasn't. I was shaving myself," said Dad, producing his electric razor as evidence of his last-minute grooming.

"That's 10 times worse," said the policeman, who now had a choice.

Shaving and driving is not in Ireland's law books and not an offence that a policeman can give you a ticket for. In the same way, there is no specific offence for eating a club sandwich while driving or reading an encyclopedia while driving. Nobody would be crazy enough to do it, Irish law supposes.

The officer could still have brought Dad to court for careless driving, but I guess he saw the funny side and let him off with a warning.

"Don't let me catch you shaving and driving again," he said, before waving him on his way.



※2017年7月3日11時 一部訂正しました。

The Japan Times ST: October 25, 2013

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




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