Express News Service
HYDERABAD: It was a regular Tuesday night. I was driving back home from work and all of a sudden, I ran into a traffic jam at a place where there usually isn’t any. This could only mean one thing, a drink-and-drive check.
Now, I usually don’t drive drunk and on the days I do, I keep it under the permissible limit. However, today wasn’t that day as I was over 100 hours away from my last sip of beer. Confident, I drove towards the cop standing with the breathalyser and volunteered to blow in it (don’t smirk, we’ve all done that).
An experienced cop knows that anyone willing to do that hasn’t been drinking and the optimistic look of apprehending a potential criminal disappeared from his face. Still, taking no chances, he extended the breathalyser and I blew my responsible-citizen-sober-breath into it.
The cop looked at the reading and continued to stare at the meter. Then, he looked up and asked me to blow in it again. ‘Uh-oh’, I thought, ‘that’s never a good sign.’ I started frantically searching my recent memories for a pint.
He asked me to repeat the process. I diligently adhered. But from the look on his face, I could tell that the reading was far worse this time. He was probably thinking ‘this guy is so drunk he just volunteered to go to jail.’
He asked me to step out of the car. At this point, it was too late to stop adhering — so I did. Two more cops showed up, gearing up to catch a big one. The cars behind mine got a free show on their hands. I could see a father telling his son, ‘This is what happens when you drink and drive’. A small kid from the movie, Chak De India, ran towards my car and wrote ‘gaddar (traitor)’ on it.
He asked me to blow in it again. I took a deep breath, gathering all the pollution of Jubilee Hills Road No. 45 in my lungs, and blew into the breathalyser while letting out an SOS prayer to all the gods I could think of.
This time, he looked at the meter, looked back at me, and in a heavy Hyderabadi accent asked, ‘sanitizer lagae kya? (did you happen to use a sanitizer?)’ Bewildered, I said, ‘yes’. And, all the three cops burst out laughing! Turns out, if you use a sanitiser inside a car with the windows up, it dramatically increases the levels of alcohol in the air inside — which is what the breathalyser was picking up on. They let me go but in the rear-view mirror of my car, I could still see them laughing.
This has been pretty common. So, to all the lockdown geniuses who were trying to get drunk using a sanitiser, you were 50 per cent right because it can get you caught.
(Bhavneet is a stand-up comedian and this may be his new material)