The Payoff

I consider myself to be a bit of a bad-arse. I don’t work hard at bad-arse behaviour; I just let it come naturally. For example, I smuggled a Swiss Army Knife in my hand luggage through security at Melbourne Airport and onto an aeroplane. Yeah, that’s pretty bad-arse.

Another bad-arse thing I’ve done was delivering an envelope filled with cash to a prison to pay off a prison guard. Yeah, that was pretty bad-arse too. I supposed you want to hear that story behind it. Oh ok.

It happened about a year ago. One morning I was in my car driving to the gym. I came to an intersection where I had to turn left. There was a left turn lane with a give way sign. Somehow I didn’t think the car in front of me was going to stop, so I didn’t brake much. Then I realised that car was stopping and I had to suddenly slam on my brakes. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough space to safely break in and I ended up hitting the other car’s rear bumper. Uh-oh.

I met up with the driver of the other car around the corner and we inspected the damage. His bumper had a small indentation where my licence plate frame had squashed into it, but he was able to pop it back out. My car was ok.

The other driver was this big fellow and he invited me into his car to discuss things. I was freaking out a bit, but I joined him. He introduced himself to me. He was a guard at the nearby prison and was on his way to work. He seemed nice enough.

He said that as there wasn’t much damage, there wasn’t any point in getting the police or insurance companies involved. He then added in a kind of guilty voice that he didn’t want his wife to know about it, and he’d be happy if I just gave him $20 cash to cover any chips in the paint.

I didn’t have my wallet with me, but I said that after I’d been to the gym I’d go home and I could drop off the $20 to him at work. He said that because he was a prison guard it’d be too hard for me to get inside to see him, but he gave me an envelope, wrote his name on it and told me to drop it off at the main gate.

And I did just that. A couple of hours later I showed up at the main gate and told the guard on duty that I had an envelope for the other guard. He was expecting me and said he’d pass it on.

There I was, handing over an envelope of cash to pay off a prison guard. Oh yes, I am a bad-arse.

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