Christmas generally comes with a crash and goes out with a bang. There is a direct relationship between the season of goodwill towards all men and an increase in vehicular traffic, congestion and accidents. Had the nativity taken place this year, the three wise men may never have arrived in Bethlehem safe and on time with their gold, frankincense, myrrh and tempers intact. What compounds the problem is that the spirit of Christmas is generally plural and consumed in large quantities, and that the designated driver, confident of his ability to simultaneously hold his end and his liquour, has generally consumed more than the other passengers.
On the other hand there are some drivers who have no such problem. After an accident, the two drivers got out of their cars to survey the damage. One took a flask from his pocket and said to the other, "You look shaken. You better take a drink to calm your nerves."
"Thanks," he said, and took a big drink from the bottle. He then said to the other one, "Here, you have one, too."
"I don't think so," said the first man. "At least not until after the police arrive and check out what happened."
There is the story of the policeman who, just before Christmas, stopped a driver and observed, "Sir, I couldn't help noticing that your eyes look bloodshot. Have you been drinking?" The man got really angry and asked, "Officer, I couldn't help noticing that your eyes are glazed. Have you been eating doughnuts?"
Some drivers think really quickly. One man who had stayed too long at the office Christmas party decided to make up the time by speeding home to his anxiously waiting wife. When he noticed a police car behind him he figured he could outrun it. However, even with his car flat out the police car remained on his tail. He finally gave up and pulled to the side of the road. Even though angry, the policeman told him, "Listen mister, this has been a really bad day and I just want to go home. Give me a good excuse and I'll let you go." The man thought for a moment and said, "Three weeks ago, my wife ran off with a police officer. When I saw your car behind me, I thought that you were the officer and that you were trying to give her back to me!"
Sometimes when the driver gets into trouble, the passengers make it worse. One Christmas, a police officer stopped a car for dangerous driving. When he walked up to the car the driver asked him, "What's the problem officer?" The policeman responded, "I stopped you because you just broke a red light at the last intersection." Just then the man's wife, who was glowering in the seat next to him, said angrily, "Officer, I told him to stop at that red light but he refused to listen and he just kept on speeding." The man then turned to his wife and yelled at her loudly to shut her mouth. The policeman continued, "And just after the light you almost ran down a pedestrian because of way you were speeding." The wife added, "Yes, Officer, I told him to slow down. I begged him to slow down. But he never listens to me. He is too stubborn and stupid." The man, getting increasingly angry, screamed loudly at his wife to shut her mouth, saying that she talked too much and threatening that if she did not shut up he would shut her up himself. The policeman then looked at the woman and asked, "Does he always talk to you like this?" To which the woman replied, "Only when he has taken a few drinks officer."
Even more quick-witted was a woman who was travelling in a taxi through Port-of-Spain with her little daughter. The woman, a Trinidadian living in New York and back home for her first Christmas in many years, had decided to show her daughter what the city was like, having boasted about how totally unlike New York it was. As they passed Charlotte Street the daughter asked, "Mummy, what are all those ladies doing standing around dressed like that?"
The mother, thinking quickly, explained, "I believe that they might be waiting for their friends or might even be part of a street fashion parade." The taxi-driver, hearing this explanation, interrupted, "Madam, that is not true. Those people are prostitutes." The little girl was anxious for more information and, with a sigh, the mother explained. The little girl was very interested and commented, "But mummy, don't they sometimes have babies?"
"Well yes dear," explained the mother, "I'm afraid they do." The little girl continued, "But mummy, what happens to the babies?" The mother thought for a second and then said, "Well, dear, that's the most interesting thing about it. The babies all become taxi-drivers."
* Tony Deyal was last seen on Charlotte Street dressed like Santa Claus and driving very slowly. He kept saying, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
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