Thursday, 13 November 2008

This morning's traffic was an interesting experience. It usually is in the rain, but today all the traffic lights in the major road I take to work were off. Nothing strange about that - they've been off for three weeks now. But this morning there were no OUTsurance pointsmen, so traffic was crawling.

I don't think I realised until today how awesome those pointsmen are. OUTsurance is an insurance company in South Africa, and instead of spending money on another big ad campaign, they trained a whole bunch of people to be pointsmen. Now you see them around Jo'burg at all the out-of-order traffic lights, in their luminous OUTsurance shirts, making our lives a bit easier by directing the flow of traffic. That, my friends, is true brand value-add. Everyone loves them and it's really boosted OUTsurance's image with the SA public.
In other news traffic related, there was a MASSIVE road block on my way home yesterday. There were about 10 cop cars pulling people over on both sides of the road, so the traffic was backed up for miles. All those cops made me think of this one time (not at band camp) in Cape Town...
It was my 20th birthday and I was in 1st year at varsity. I had a big birthday bash at Cool Runnings in Observatory that went on quite late. Eventually, everyone went home, but TSC and I weren't tired. He'd arrived in the Cape only a few days before and I wanted to spend a little time with just him. We were in the very early days of our relationship back then. So off we headed to Rhodes Memorial (pic below), which is one of Cape Town's lesser known tourist attractions, in TSC's bakkie (the South African word for a pick-up truck or light delivery vehicle).

We dragged one of his beanbags out of the back and sat on the memorial steps under the stars and chatted for ages. Then it got really cold, so we went and sat in the back of the bakkie (which had a canopy top). It must've been around 3.30am and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I fell asleep on the one beanbag and TSC on the other. Completely innocent - nothing dodgey going on.

We awoke to the sound of tyres on gravel, voices and a torch being shone through the window. It was the police! "Open up! Step out of the vehicle!"

So we did. Me with my bed-head hair and mascara smudges under my eyes. You can imagine what they were thinking - "Kids today!" They obviously thought we'd come to this lonely spot to do the deed. I was mortified. We got a serious dressing down that went something along the lines of:

"Don't you know this is a hijacking hotspot?"

"No, officer."

"This place is closed after 6pm. You shouldn't be in here."

"Sorry, sir. The gate was open. We didn't know."

"Blah blah blah... get the hell out of here."

"Yes, sir." *blush furiously*

Off we went with our tails between our legs - too embarrassed to even look back. We stopped at a filling station to get something to eat and then TSC took me back to the varsity residence to drop me off. But, as we rounded the corner, we saw there was a roadblock. We got pulled over, so we stopped and wound down the window, only to discover... the cops from Roads Memorial! They each gave us a knowing smile, and one asked if we hadn't had enough trouble for one evening. TSC gave a weak laugh, showed them his driver's licence and got me home as quickly as possible before we could meet up with our new friends again.


boldly benny said...

What a cute story ;-)

31337 said...

too scared to go out hanging in strange places in the middle of the night, cops here too meddlesome to let you off with a warning and ask for a bribe. SMH.

that moment asleep in the back of the bakkie, precious moments those, innocent clean, pure. :-)

Being Brazen said...

Thats a classic story..I havent been to rhodes memorial in sooooo long

Gill said...

LOL! Love this post :-) The "band camp thing" had me giggling too ;-)

Arkwife said...

Hahaha....that must've been soooo embarrassing!! At least you know that you didn't do anything, no matter what they thought. :-)

po said...

hehe, what a night. you two seem to attract the police?

I never knew about the OUTsurance thing, that is brilliant, so South African!

dizzblnd said...

That's hysterical. Imagine if they had wanted to call your parents! Even though you are adults, it still would have been funny if you let them... although that would be more scorn and ridicule. Thanks for the early morning laugh

Dash said...

shocker..... how embarrassing.

Ookami Snow said...

OUTsurance is a great idea! That is a good example of a company using good will to gain business.

Also you spell tires with a "y"? Strange. :)

Sass said...

I love posts like these.

So sweet. ;)

Anonymous said...

What a cute story and an awesome memory!!!

enc said...

Sorry to say it, but that's a funny story!

Thanks for sharing it.

Tamara said...

Benny: thanks, lady.

31337: Ja, I wouldn't recommend doing something like that in Joburg either. I've acquired a little sense since then.

Brazen: Me neither :-(

Gill: Thanks ;-)

Arkwife: It was!

Po: Ja, I think OUTsurance really hit on a good idea there.

dizzblnd: Glad I could be of use.

dash: I know!

ookami: YEp - that's how you spell tyres in British English (you know, the proper way).

Sass: Thanks :-)

HMR: Yep - I can look back and laugh now.

enc: It's a pleasure.

angel said...

heh heh, thats very funny, i'm glad it worked out well for you two!