Stories of my Zaporozhets – second story

(Continued from here and here).

The nice side of driving a Zaporozhets was that traffic police did not stop them. Ever (at least, not mine). The reason was that in those distant times – may this statement be forgiven by the honest hard-working traffic cops of today, who I believe exist … I also believe in tooth fairy, but that doesn’t mean anything … anyway, what was I talking about – ah, yes, in those distant times the traffic cops really liked bribes, and since the image of owner of Zaporozhets in their mind was not consistent with the image of someone with money, stopping them was a waste of time, no matter what traffic rules they broke.
I wasn’t the only one noticing this pecularity in traffic police behavior. Kiev yellow press ran several articles about criminals who used Zaporozhets cars to transport corpses to be buried in the forest … guaranteed not to be stopped and searched.

And here I am, driving to work one day. In a bit of a hurry, so I’m driving aggressively, overtaking on the right, cutting in front of cars, but not too dangerously – no reason to get on people’s nerves, they’ve got a whole workday ahead of them for this. And so do I.

Three-lane road. Left lane is hardly moving. I’m in the central lane, but the guy in Opel Kadet in front of me is really slow, with no one ahead of him. Right lane is empty, but I can see a trolley bus ahead, really crawling. Alright, I should be able to make it. Turning right, gas to the floor, catching up with Kadet and now Kadet’s driver decides to wake up – the unthinkable happened: some Zaporozhets dared overtake him! Him, with his miracle of outdated German junk construction. He accelerates. But I already got the speed … I add some more and almost three feet away from the bus I go left, cutting Kadet’s nose … he continues to accelerate and scratches his front bumper on my rear.
Damn, I’m really going to be late now. OK, right turn signal on, get my car to the side of the road. Kadet also gets off the road, stopping in front of me at an angle – he doesn’t want me to run away. Well, I’m not about to give him that pleasure, first let’s see what we did to each other’s cars and who is this guy. Man of uncertain age, track suit hangs real loose on him – either he runs “unofficial” taxi business, or he’s a low-rank criminal, or he dresses up to pass for either of those. First he runs to check his bumper, then walks towards me with the evil grin “well, I’ve got you now” expression on his face. I open the door and slowly get six feet of myself from the car … dressed in long black raincoat … black fedora … impeccably white silk scarf on my neck … and cell phone already next to my ear – I do need to call the office and let them know I’ll be late. Something strange is happening to that guy, though: no trace is left of his grin, his face is completely white and it’s as if he shrunk in size too. And judging by expression on his face now, he really wants to be somewhere else, somewhere very far from here, the farther the better. He gets closer to me:

“Are you ok?”

“I’m fine and as for the car – I’ll take a look in a second. Are you ok?”

“Yes, yes, I’m ok.”

So, I go and take a look at my bumper. Nothing major – light contact, just a bit of paint smear, it’s not even a scratch.

“This is nothing. It’s fine. How’s your car?”

“It’s fine too. So, can I go?”

“Sure, take care.”

“Thanks, bye.”

He practically ran to his car and started it so fast, as if he was afraid I might change my mind. He probably read those articles. Driving a Zaporozhets definitely had its nice sides.

Published in: on April 30, 2006 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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