Going through the village of Ballineen the other night, I was stopped by the guards.
Naturally enough, I was asked to blow the bag.
I happily agreed, for I had nothing to fear, but fear itself. I passed with flying colours, confusing the guard no end.
“I don’t understand it,” says he, “surely you are after drink.”
“Indeed I am not,” I said, “I haven’t touched a drop since Shrove Tuesday.”
“Well, I never. And what has you worn out and beat up so?” he asked, tilting back his cap before examining the breathalyser a further time, for he was distraught with confusion.
“That may be true,” I replied, “but alas and alack for you, and you out here on a cold night, you won’t be earning any sergeant’s stripes from the likes of me.”.
“Sure ’tis the farming,” I explained to him.
“Hours of toil, days of torturous work, and nights of sleepless anxiety.
“That’s what has me looking bedraggled.”
“Too little money and too much work has me as wretched as any drunk.
“Farming is my addiction,” I said, in a matter-of-fact way.
And I went on talking to the guard for another half an hour, about farming and the difficulties attached to it, for ’twas a quiet night on the beat, and I had little else to be doing.
In the finish, a more likely candidate for the bag pulled up, with all his windows rolled down.
He had a brazen head on his shoulders, that had all the hallmarks of a man who enjoyed a tipple. The guard’s attention went from me and to the new arrival like a fox to a chicken.
He waved me on, wishing me a good night.
And as I drove off, I was truly glad to see the back of the man in blue.
For while I had nothing to fear from the bag, I had everything to fear regarding my jeep.
If he had bothered to look under my jeep, instead of being focused on the bag, he would have spotted that I was resting on four of the baldest tyres that ever free-wheeled down the Geata Ban (which is one of our main thoroughfares out here in mid-Cork).
The front tyres were nothing short of an embarrassment, while one tyre in particular on my rear had all the tread-bearing quality of a balloon.
It should have been fines, penalty points and a day in front of a magistrate for me, instead I was relieved to be going home.
The following morning, with my tail between my legs, and little else to boast about, I struck back for Rosscarbery, to my friend Kenneth and his tyres-by-the-coast business.
Ken has tyres with tread a-plenty, and prices that won’t leave you flat either. My only problem with Ken is that I don’t go back to him half often enough.
Anyhow, he hoisted on four tyres with tread the likes of which you’d only see on a jeep being driven by Vladimir Putin on a hunting safari in Siberia.
They’d take a fellow up the side of Kilimanjaro.
I was like the king of the road once again, the new tyres providing me with all the safety I needed, and the height of extra tread had me sitting two inches taller on the journey home, giving me the pleasure of seeing over ditches and into fields long hidden from view.
The Rosscarbery tyres will keep me on the right side of the law and between the two ditches for many years to come.