Trapping the innocent
By Herman Labuschagne

Eden Express article, 16 April 2013


I caught this guy catching other guys near Klein Brakrivier. It reminded me of my grandmother, grand old lady that she was. When my parents were overseas we usually stayed with her in town. On weekends she would drive out to the farm so we could pick fruit and check on things. Then she would drive back slowly at 80km/h in mid-summer, with all the windows closed and the air vents open on the lowest setting. Grandmother believed a draught would make you sick. "If you tell yourself it's not hot, then you won't feel it," she used to say. 

She also used to say she doesn't perspire, which appeared to be almost true. But I think there were only two ladies on the planet who shared that distinction - my grandmother and the Queen of England. Both of them always looked cool, no matter how hot it was.

One Sunday afternoon we came to a junction where we noticed some traffic cops parked at their favourite trapping spot. Grandmother serenely put on her indicator, pulled off the road, and gracefully rolled the window down. 

When the puzzled cops came over to hear what the problem was, Grandmother pointed an accusing finger at them and said: "What are you boys doing out here on a Sunday trapping innocent motorists when you should be in church!" 

They didn't know what to say. Taking their startled expressions as an admission of guilt, she briskly rolled her window back up and pulled away - heavy on the clutch as always. Behind her the cops were still standing with open mouths, watching a smoking blue car with two little kiddie faces peering back through the rear window vanish into the distance.

That was Grandma for you. Always the lady. Everybody loved her.