8 Rules to Surviving Roadblocks and Police Encounters
Are you fed up of roadblocks, and sitting in traffic for hours, hoping that the police won’t stop and search you for illegal contraband? Does the thought of being pulled over and questioned about what’s inside your stuffed Sponge Bob rearview mirror thingy make you quiver in fear? Then you need “Surviving Road Blocks for Dummies”. Yes, you may have watched Chris Rock’s video (which inspired me to write this in the first place), but what you need is something that fits our local context.
In this limited time offer, I’m giving you the entire guide, for the whopping price of $Free.95. These simple tips give you a 95-percent chance of not being stopped for a random search, and you will be out of the roadblock and on your journey in no time (sorry, can’t do anything about the hours you spend in the actual roadblock).
We all know that T&T’s police and army men are known for their level-headed thinking, empathy, and refusal to let power ‘go to their heads’, and resort to barbarian tactics. Still, though police are the most understanding people on earth, you need to know these rules by heart, and abide by them, because you never know what might trigger Mr/Ms Officer to be out of character and go crazy on you.
It’s just common sense. Before going anywhere, prepare your roadblock survival kit, which must consist of your ID card, driver’s permit, car insurance, and curfew pass. Please ensure they are not expired. The number one cause of hard ‘calpat’ from police officers in a roadblock is expired documents.
2. Dress to impress
For those who love to look like a gangsta by wearing sleeveless jerseys, wife beaters, ‘buss up’ pants, and belt buckles with the word GAZA, that’s a ‘no no’. Blending in is the key here. Telling the officer you have on your ‘home clothes’ is not going to fly. If you don’t want to be treated like a criminal, don’t look like a criminal. And don’t bother to complain that the state of emergency is taking away your right to urban fashion. Acknowledge the reality of roadblock stereotyping.
Oh, and no tight, bright clothing either fellas. Females are excluded from this, for obvious reasons. Yes, I love it when you wear tight, bright clothing. And so do the police officers.
3. Drive a law-abiding vehicle
What’s a law-abiding vehicle? One with no dark tint, for a start. Dark tint = definite stop and search. This rule is especially for those who drive a B (insert number between 10-15 here).
Fix broken headlights, or anything else that will cause an officer to do their due diligence, and pull you over. And for you messy people, who still have beer bottles from liming last Carnival, shoes for every occasion, and every HiLo, drug store, or KFC bag you ever received, clean your car. The officers should be able to view your entire vehicle without wondering about those items on your car seat or mat.
4. Be a smart DJ
When approaching a roadblock, switch your radio station to 97.1 FM, or put on some Elton John. Blasting Marlon Asher’s “Ganja Farmer”, Shal and Screws’ “Police” (aka Police in de session), or gangsta rap is just stupid, and will guarantee you a proper ‘cut skin’ from the authorities. What’s that? Yes I know I said our police officers are peaceful creatures, but they pull triggers for a living. That means it’s easy to trigger them too.
5. Display broughtupcy
Use words like sir and madam. And don’t start the conversation with “Steups, why allyuh doh go after de big fish”. This will definitely lead to you becoming a practice dummy for some new Shaolin techniques. Silence is your greatest weapon, and this goes for everyone in the vehicle. The goal is for the authorities to think you are an upstanding citizen, who is well respected in your community.
Always admit small faults too. For example, if you get caught on the Bus Route, admit to the officer that you are wrong, and sound very humble in doing so. This is to try an appeal to the inner bligh giver within him or her. Remember. Disrespect = jail time.
6. Watch your body language
Don’t stare at the officer, and only look the officer in the eye, when you are answering a question; otherwise refrain from making any eye contact. Don’t smile with the officer, no matter how friendly he/she may seem, either. And while I’d advise you to look serious, don’t look vex. Some officers may retain the calm disposition of Yoda, but under the surface, waiting they are to punish someone, because they missed a bess curfew lime by their pardner’s house the night before.
7. Rum is not yuh lovah
Even though it is illegal and stupid to drink and drive, we all know what really happens after a two-for-one, after-work lime on Fridays. If you are ‘tight’, use all your brainpower to act sober, and follow all rules above to a ‘T’. It is your last hope for not spending time in jail, and paying large quantities of money that aren’t tax related to the Government. And if you were thinking of gargling Listerine to beat the breathalyser, rethink that strategy.
8. Play dead
Lastly, no sudden movements. Honestly, a roadblock is a tense situation, and reaching down to scratch your toe might get you into trouble. So play dead. Your version of play dead will be to keep both hands on the steering wheel, at all times.
If all else fails, and you cannot follow the simple rules mentioned above, then get a reliable, high-level, armed forces associate to inform you as to where all the roadblocks are, so you never have to face them in the first place.
So there you have it, a wonderfully concocted list of tips that will help you to survive the torture of roadblock inspections. It goes without saying, and I quote, that if you are caught with illegal contraband, while following these tips, I am not responsible for your stupidity – especially in these times when being outside during curfew hours can land you an Orange Grove or Tarouba Stadium vacation.