Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

I am so fucking pissed off right now and I wanted to make sure I captured my thoughts and (*shudder*) feelings while they were still raw and uncensored. My ordeal started today as I was out with my daughter at the park. We went by bicycle today because the sun was shining brightly and the cool, summer breeze carried with it the scent of unbridled innocence and unwaivering democracy. It turns out that it was really just the scent of fascism and bullshit. But I'm coming to that. So I was out with my daughter at the park, as I am wont to do, and the preferred mode of transportation in the summer is the bicycle. So we went to the park, had a good time, swang on some swings, played ring around the rosie, had some raisins and water then proceeded to return home for some lunch, potty, then nap time. So there I was biking home with my infant daughter, the bright shining light of my life, sitting behind me in her child seat. We got to the end of the designated and dedicated bicycle path here in North Bay when a police officer standing near a bicycle asked me to stop for a second. I thought that perhaps the city police were perhaps running an awareness campaign on bike safety so I stopped and pulled over to the side of the path. And that is when the bullshit started.

So this fucking pig starts off asking me what I need when I go biking. I thought perhaps this was a gentle chastisement on my part because I don't like to wear a helmet and while technically not illegal for someone of my age might set a bad example for my daughter. I was thoroughly surprised then when the correct response was -wait for it- a bell. Just let that sink in for a moment... And we're back. Yes, yes, this agent of fascism stopped me because my bike was not equipped with a fucking bell. A small metal device with absolutely no bearing on the health or safety of the rider of the bicycle and that makes little ringing sounds. Now aparently the lawmakers of this great land of ours known as Ontario thought that this was important enough to include as part of our official laws, much to my growing anger.

So now this fucking cop starts writing me a ticket. Yes, a ticket. For not having a stupid fucking bell on my bicycle. Apparently this was in direct contravention to that most sacred and ancient of laws known as the Highway Act of Ontario. For a fucking bell you might ask? Well when he told me he was writing me a ticket I asked that exact same question: "For a fucking bell?" For some reason it felt good swearing at, or at least in the vicinity of, a police officer. So now I could feel my blood start to boil at the whole absurdity of the thing. A $110 fine for not having a bell on my bicycle.

Let me say that again: $110 for NOT HAVING A BELL on my fucking bicycle.

Then he asks for my name and address, the usual bullshit I suppose. Asks for my driver's liscence too, because apparently if you drive you get doubly fucked because not only do you have to pay the fine but you get demerit points on your driver's liscence. This, of course, caused me to wonder: what in the name of zombie Jesus does a BICYCLE infraction have to do with my AUTOMOBILE liscence? The sheer lack of logic completely overwhelmed me and I found my blood starting to boil. So I asked the pathetic bike cop "Are you guys having a slow week or something?" implying of course (and with good reason) that he had better things to do that ticket me for not having a GODDAMN BELL ON MY FUCKING BICYCLE. This seemed to get his attention.

To put this into perspective the cop was in the middle of writing me the ticket. He had already explained to me that instead of issuing the ticket outright he used his police officer voodoo magic to somehow give me a 72 hour grace period whereby I could buy a bell, take it along with the ticket to the cop shop and forego the monetary fine and the demerit points. So instead of merely accepting this and going about my day here I was antagonizing this guy, who according to him was graciously giving me the 72 hours when most of his companions would have just given me the ticket straight up, because aparently he works in a precinct full of assholes. So I guess it's the good cop/bad cop routine with only one cop.

Then he starts with the propaganda, like how he was under orders to be there and he's rather be somewhere else. Well I was going to say (and in retrospect I'm kind of glad I didn't) "You know who else used the excuse 'We were just following orders?' The Nazi's." Then he tells me how it's better that I buy a $5 bell than pay a $110 fine. This is all well and good, but why the fuck should I have to pay anything? You think a stupid fucking bell is really going to save my life? Well apparently this cop did. The next thing he tells me is that he "believes" in the bell. You what? "Believe in the bell?!" Like you worship it like some kind of old, unexploded nuclear bomb hidden deep under ground? What, does he attend the Church of the Sacred Bell every Sunday and pray to the Great Bell? He also tells me that hopefully I'll impart the importance of the bell to my daughter. What, like I'm not fucking raising my daughter correctly? What the fuck man? No don't warn her about the dangers of sharing needles and unprotected sex, just make sure she gets that bell on her bike. Then she'll be alright. See if it was a ticket for a helmet or some other kind of actual life-saving device then I wouldn't have been so pissed off because then he would actually have been Serving and Protecting me instead of Annoying and Harassing me.

After all this bullshit and the cop threatening to just give me the ticket for all my back talk I was on my way, just fucking steaming. I got home and told my wife what happened and it all came pouring out. I went on a twenty-minute rant. And not my usual good-natured ranting, but full-out-red-hot-anger-righteous-indignation-oppression-of-the-people-by-a-corrupt-and-arrogant-government ranting. I told her the whole thing including my backtalk to Johnny Law and she told me that I shouldn't talk back to the cops because I could have made the situation a lot worse and gotten into some real trouble. She was probably right, but I didn't fucking care I was wound up with the conviction of the Working Class Hero. Thankfully it faded after driving around with the music really loud and the windows down, scoping out some BluRays, buying the bell and driving down to the cop shop enough so that I didn't make the scene I so desperately wanted to make. It felt like such a waste of time and resources to walk into the police station to play show and tell with my shiny new bell ($6.40, by the way).

It was just the absurdity of the whole thing that got to me. I mean, of all the problems that the cops could be dealing with and they decide to spend their time and money to enforce bells on bicycles. You have got to be shitting me. What about all the drug dealers? Apparently cocaine is really big in this city, so why not look into that? Why not check for drunk drivers? Or people driving while on their cellphones, which is now illegal here in Ontario and which I still see on a daily basis? I mean if you're going to crack down, why not crack down on all the terrible drivers of motorized vehicles who would rather endanger my life and the lives of my wife and daughter with dangerous driving practices than arrive at their destination five minutes later. The point is why, when there are so many more important issues that the police could be tackling, are they having a blitz on bicycle bells? Especially when I'm out, biking safely with my two-year old daughter, trying to get a little exercise and model a moderately healthy lifestyle, you know taking the bike instead of the car.

That's the whole fucking thing, though. I felt violated. I felt like I was being accused of some terible crime and being lumped in with drug dealers and violent sex offenders. I mean I got bent over the barrel and fucked twice. Not only is the government taxing me every chance it gets, it then uses those very same tax dollars to pay police officers to harass me while on my bike trying keep myself and my daughter more active and get some fresh air. And the cop was right about one thing, I mean he was under orders (presumably) to be there. The problem isn't with the fascist police force per se, but with the system in general. Therefore I am officially announcing my candidacy for the Prime Minister of Canada. I am already working on my platform and will be making it public very soon. It looks like I'm going to have to clean up this town.

Alright I'm done venting for now. The whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth and all I can do is sit here wishing for a better world where I wasn't taxed half to death and then harassed by a Nazi police force enforcing esoteric and irrelevant laws. Hurray for democracy.

My Tax Dollars At Work


  1. c'mon, everyone knows that the bell is the most important aspect of bicycling. I never leave home without one. I for one applaud the efforts of such a bold and courageous police officer. Kudos.