Our provincial traffic officers have undergone metamorphosis.
For starters, they’re looking as if they’ve just had a workout at the gym. On our trip to and from the Mother City, we were stopped at roadblocks and these guys and dolls in uniform were slim and efficient.
And, perhaps more importantly, extremely polite.
We are told upfront, clearly and forthrightly, it was a roadblock and we needed to produce our driver’s licence and “unfortunately, sir, we need to check your boot”.
Oh dear, hope they don’t smell the boerebeskuit my Heidi baked for our daughter and confiscate it (for their roadside tea break).
But you are subtly questioned about your comings and goings, all the while near enough for them to detect any alcohol fumes.
The poor lady who does me has to put up with a breath ponging of padkos consisting of two hardboiled eggs, gone-off garlic and full-blown cheddar.
A distinct flaring of the nostrils, followed by a little cough, but she holds her pose as if intoxicated on a whiff of Avroy Shlain.
And just in case some alcohol is hidden in the malodorous mixture, she asks me to accompany her to the boot.
Hearing my creaking bones and gasping for air on exiting the driver’s seat, she apologises for the inconvenience (more like pain) caused by the exercise.
Seeing my wife’s luggage overload brings a sympathetic and understanding smile to our slick officer’s face.
Thankfully, we didn’t take up son-in-law’s offer of crayfish and perlemoen, otherwise we might’ve joined the poachers behind bars.
Seeing this new-look force in action, I couldn’t help putting it down to our new president with a penchant for good health – expecting the same from the ground force.
As opposed to a prezzy dancing on stage (now doing pyjama drill in Nkandla), we have one walking briskly with the plebs.
If the roadblocks are anything to go by, we can take heart.
Evidently, the officers have been taught how to deal with drunks and bad drivers at the wheel. And to treat the good ones with civility.
Hopefully, local cops will follow suit, giving up trapping innocents for rather tracking the real speedsters. Seated behind trees for hours ain’t healthy.