I was stopped by a policeman last Saturday for going through a red light. I am normally a law abiding driver who signals lane changes, stops at pedestrian crossings, observes the white lines and the road signs that may still be visible so I was pretty annoyed to be stopped. I was certain that the traffic light was not working and told the policeman as much but did not want to waste any time so took the ticket and went on my way.
I did make it a point to check the light when I passed by the next day and it was'nt working; or at least the red light was'nt.
Anyway, to return to the tale, my mood brightened a bit when I realised the ticket was being issued by the Slave Island police where a good friend had a contact. Now the fine for running a red light is Rs.1000+taxes so it is worth the hassle to avoid it. Contacted my friend and he put me on to his contact, met the man (with a T-shirt in hand as a little present) and he said call him the next day and he would arrange for me to talk to the OIC. He also admitted that they knew that the particular traffic light was not working and I wondered silently whether the police were deliberately targeting motorists to fill their quota of fines.
Then began the saga. It appears that the good Sergeant's daughter is taking part in the Derana Superstar contest. I was asked to send around 150 sms's (more if possible) between 8.30pm next Saturday and 8.30am the next day (Sunday). He also gave me a printed card with the girl's photo and number. She looks quite fashionable with straightened hair, but then a lot of very average females improve their looks by straightening their hair.
Today I encountered another member of my staff whose husband had been copped and he had been asked to do the same. My friend, who gave me the contact has also been asked to send many SMS's and told me that when he met the Sergeant he was carrying a bagful of SIM cards which was distributing to people for votes.
I'm not sure what kind of prize money is available to the winner but it seems fairly obvious that the Sergeant sees an escape from the rat race if his daughter succeeds.
I always thought these things rather silly and they are actually designed to benefit the organisers (the television companies, the phone companies and whatever media are involved) rather than the participants, but I suppose some kind of talent is involved somewhere and it does give an opportunity to people who do not take to traditional careers to better their lives.