Poetic Justice


As a young child this correspondent was a bit slow on the uptake. Your correspondent would demonstrate this by an inability to grasp that answering one’s parents back would lead to a belt (in school it was punishment work).

It took this correspondent a good few belts and a couple of apology notes to cop that not arguing back had its benefits i.e. pain and punishment-free living.

Your correspondent was reminded of his youthful self while reading about the travails of a Mr Lewis Shawcross from Plymouth, England.

Last August, Lewis (aged twenty) had an altercation with two local police officers over the speed he was doing on his motorcycle.

Lewis had been pulled over for doing 60 mph in a 30 mph area (and also for having no headlight). We are told Lewis did not take kindly to the accusation of speeding as he began to argue with the police officers over his breach of the speed limit.

We are further informed that while arguing over the speed he’d been doing, with the officers, one of them noticed a camera attached to the top of Lewis’s helmet. After taking the camera (to assist in the settlement of this argument), the police officers subsequently discovered Lewis had not only broken the speed limit, but also other various rules of the road; namely jumping and breaking red lights; overtaking at corners and pedestrian crossings; racing other motorcyclists and doing wheelies. He received an eighteen month driving ban and 250 hours community service for these collective breaches of the road bylaws.

One doesn’t need to be a quantum physicist to work out what Lewis would have received had he not tried to argue his way out of the speed limit breach? (be significantly less than eighteen months of enforced pedestrianism and considerably fewer months of compulsory voluntary work).

This tale reminds your correspondent of another incident (in his previous profession as a secondary school teacher).

Your correspondent had been teaching a rather difficult class. Half way through the class your correspondent was at the back of the class explaining something to a student when he noticed two students at his desk with one of them taking something from the desk. Upon observing this correspondent they quickly sat down. After examining the desk your correspondent discovered a book missing and requested it back from the guilty student. He denied taking the book. After a further request for the book back (with another denial), your correspondent called for the Vice-Principal. Upon his arrival the student again stated that he didn’t take the book and demanded that the Vice-Principal check the classroom camera. The Vice-Principal left the room and then returned ten-minutes later, instructing the student to leave the room. He told this correspondent that he was suspending the student (not for the theft of the book, which was unclear as the student’s backs blocked the camera’s view) but for the orange he’d thrown earlier, at the start of class in your correspondent’s direction (had been writing on the blackboard, with back to class, consequently not seeing who threw it).

Some advice to Lewis and my ex-student that may serve them well for the future (if they ever they get to read this article); if you’re caught speeding or thieving own up and take the slap on the wrists as (the alternative) of denying your actions and trying to argue a way out of your guilt can lead to something a lot more severe than a slap.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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