The police flagged down our driver,
who ran a red light on the flyover
one cloudy December afternoon.
"Didn't you see the STOP sign?"
one of them yelled, as soon as
the driver rolled down the window.
"Are you rowing a boat or driving
a car?" The driver begged, "Forgive
me, Brother. It was a blunder." Irate,
the portly cop jerked his head in my
direction in the back seat, "The boy
could have been killed, or you could
have hit someone." The ungainly
driver slapped the palms of his
hands together, breaking into a flurry
of entreaties, "Last time, Brother. It
won't happen again. I will lose my
job if my sir learns of it. Please!
I have a family to feed." But his words
met with a stern glance as the cop
cried out for his license. "Come
with us for a talk, bumpkin," he
trailed his partner back to their station.
When he returned minutes later, I asked
as the driver fired up the engine, if he
would be charged for his infraction.
"I've bought them a light meal," he said,
looking straight at the road ahead, "You
know, a little baksheesh for tea-biscuits."
The writer is an English professor and educator at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA.