Even though my entire life is an exercise in awkwardness and social discomfort, there is a silver lining. Whenever I find myself thrust (sometimes literally…) into the middle of an embarrassing scenario, I think to myself “I can’t wait to blog about this.” So, you see, it’s not all bad.
Today I decided that I wanted, nay NEEDED, croissants in my life. Possibly chocolate filled, my inner fat kid mused…fattily. So I decided to drive (my inner fat kid doesn’t like when I walk) to the local shop. Since it’s a five minute drive through multiple speed bumps, I decided against wearing my seatbelt. I also wanted to air-guitar/air-drum my way through “In Bloom” by Nirvana and my seat belt restricts my mojo slightly. Okay, that’s stupid. You should ALWAYS wear a seatbelt. ALWAYS. And I always* do. Except today.
I drive to the shop. I buy croissants (not chocolate-filled, because diabetes) and I drive home, again sans seatbelt. My iPod is on shuffle. I’ve got pastry. Life is good….
If you’re offended by this, sorry. I’ll go pose with a leprechaun or something.
…Until I notice a Garda checkpoint directly in front of my house. For my dear foreign friends, a Garda checkpoint is basically a police blockade where they check things like tax, insurance, licence, NCT (the Irish equivalent of the MOT, basically that your car has been certified road-safe) and of course, that you are wearing your seat belt. It is enough to strike fear into any person’s heart, never mind a person who is eating a croissant, air-keyboarding (to The Doors, FYI) and definitely not wearing a seatbelt. Needless to say I panic slightly.
The male Garda** motions for me to stop. I’m in a state of panic. I have to indicate, I have to change gears, I have to roll down the window, I have to reach for my licence but most of all, I have to try to smoothly and subtly put on my seatbelt without him noticing, which is pretty much impossible since he has been maintaining ice-cold eye contact with me the entire time.
Now I want you to picture this, reader. I want you to visualise this scenario because I promise you, you will have all the LOLs. And I won’t ever say that again.
I nervously pull over. I have four croissants on my lap (don’t be silly, there’ll not all for me. Jack will have one). One is in my mouth and I’m chewing furiously, frowning at the flaky pastry stuck to my chest. Dignity? Nope, never heard of it. I’m trying to veeerrrrry slowly put on my seatbelt while also reaching for my licence. I’m also rolling down the window. My iPod is still blaring out songs on shuffle, but I don’t think to turn the dial down, and also, I’m not an octopus (…yet, it depends how the surgery goes).
Are you with me, reader? Are you picturing all of this? A panicked girl with a seatbelt half on, half off, covered in pastry being approached by a very stern looking man? Okay, good.
Just as the guard gets to my window,
I’m about to explain that I only travelled to the local shop and that I’m sorry and he’s probably about to ask my for my licence. It could of all been very simple. A deserved slap on the wrist for me, a pretty forgettable encounter for him. But no. My life is never that simple.
Before either of us could utter a word, my iPod shuffle decides “hey, you know what would be hilarious? To play the most awkward and inappropriate song at the exact moment that you don’t want to hear it. Har hat har. I may be a robot but I’m hilarious.”
So just as both of us are about to speak, this song plays. I want you to picture the scenario. An already awkward encounter between two strangers, and before anyone speaks, this. Blaring through my stereo.
I’m not sure if the thumbnail of this song is appearing or not but I think it’s more hilarious if it doesn’t. So, surprise!
There’s a moment where I have no reaction, but to just freeze. As the iconic intro begins, we both turn to each other and make the most awkward eye contact ever. Garda’s mouth twitches slightly. He’s going to laugh. He clears his throat.
I reach for the dial and manage to turn the song down just before the titular line is sung and I actually die of awkwardness.
“Am, you’re grand. You’re grand. Drive on there.” He motions me forward. I understand, Garda. Any extension of this encounter may result in us both dying from awkwardness. I complete the fifteen second drive to my door where I decide that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Ever.
*I may need to revise the definition of the word “always”
**Member of the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána