Caramel Popcorn and…The Wrong Side of the Law

I have to tell you about my friend.

She tries really hard to fly under the radar but somehow, despite her best efforts, she is surrounded by drama.

A few weeks ago she had to take her daughter for an ultrasound of a wobbly ankle so drove to the clinic in her massive 4-wheel drive.  When she was approaching the clinic she hunted for a parking space and managed to find one that was a tight squeeze but through sheer determination, she managed to manoeuvre that 4-wheel drive into the tiny space.

Caramel Popcorn

After the ultra-sound that of course revealed there was nothing wrong with the wobbly ankle and confirmed to my friend that this entire trip was not only a waste of time but also a financial drain, she climbed back into her car and started the engine.  My friend is a good driver and a cautious driver and she put the car into reverse, looked into the rear vision mirror, saw nothing so started to reverse.  Then there was a little bang.  A bit like a ‘tap’.  She turned her daughter.  ‘What was that?’

‘I think you hit something.’

‘There was nothing there’, said my friend.  She climbed out of the car and went to look and can you believe she had reversed into a very tiny, very low-to-the-ground, sport’s car.  She was sure she had only been driving at a snail’s pace so wasn’t expecting any damage but she had a quick look at the little car and was relieved to find no damage done.  She climbed back into her 4-wheel drive, drove away and thought that was the end of it.

But it wasn’t.

Because the very next morning at 7am there was a knock on her front door and there to greet her in her dressing gown were three policemen wearing bullet proof vests and carrying guns and tasers and handcuffs.  ‘What’s the problem?’ she asked all confused.  When she had been formally identified they asked her if she owned a 4-wheel drive and read out the number plates.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Were you parked in Parraween Street at approximately 2.45pm yesterday’.

‘Uhm.  I don’t remember.  I think so.  Oh yes, I was; I had to take my daughter for an ultra-sound’.

‘You are charged with ‘Not Reversing with Safety’ and ‘Failure to exchange particulars’.  She couldn’t believe it.


‘A passerby, who has requested to remain anonymous, saw you commit the crime and informed the police of your vehicle’s registration number’.

‘But I checked the car and there was no damage so I drove off’.

‘It is illegal to leave a crime scene without leaving a note’.

‘Well I didn’t know that was illegal’.

‘You are being charged with failing to leave a note and with reckless reversing’.

‘Reckless reversing?  I couldn’t have been going more than two kilometres an hour’, she said totally shocked.

‘It’s considered reckless ma’am, if you hit another car’.

‘I couldn’t see the other car.  It was too low to the ground and if there’s no damage, why do I have to leave a note?’

‘The law states you need to exchange particulars with the other driver’.

‘Oh for heaven’s sake.  I thought that was only if you caused damage’.

‘You’re being charged with not reversing with safety and failure to exchange particulars’.

Quick and easy to make

And my friend was telling me this story as she was driving me around in her massive car saying, ‘And you just couldn’t believe it.  Those three policeman were at my house for an hour and a half; nearly two hours.  I asked them if they were going to read me the Miranda rights but they said I’d been watching too many US crime shows.  That’s not what they’re called here.  So I asked them if they were going to read me my rights, the Australian ones and they said they already had.  I said, ‘could you read them too me again because I didn’t hear them.  I wasn’t concentrating’.  One of the policemen was writing down everything I said and at the end he asked me to sign it.  I said, ‘I can’t sign that.  You’ve written it like I’ve got a lazy way of speaking.  I don’t clip my vowels like that; I speak properly so I’m not signing it’.  So they were there nearly two hours.  Three of them.  Nothing more urgent or pressing going on in the Sydney crime scene apparently’.

And now my friend has two fines totaling nearly $500.00 for unintentionally committing two offences.

Some days it’s just hard to stay out of trouble.

A quick and easy pick-me-up for a harried day is this caramel popcorn that can be made quickly and easily with very few ingredients.  This will have you smiling again.

Something that can be made in a matter of minutes

Caramel Popcorn

Serves:  Quite a few

Degree of Difficulty:  1/5

Cost:  Very inexpensive and a little seems to go a very long way

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tbspns honey
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Take a large baking tray and cover it with baking paper.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil.  The oil is hot enough when two popcorn seeds dropped into the saucepan spin slowly.  When this happens add the rest of the popcorn and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  As the popcorn pops, lightly shake the saucepan.  When the popping stops, place in a large bowl and remove the unpopped seeds.

Make caramel: Combine butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.

Remove from heat.  Stir in pecans.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated.  Spread over prepared tray. Set aside to cool.  Break into pieces.  Serve.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found on Taste.

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  1. Magnolia Verandah says:

    OMG this is not common sense is it – is this what our taxes are paying for. Surely no drug dealers, robbers, road rage, maniac drivers, child molesters……………etc. to arrest! My goodness what is the world coming to. Nice popcorn though!

  2. If its any consolation to your friend; about a year ago I did a similar thing in the Tarago in the school carpark. Did the right thing and went and let the office know what had happened. Next thing I got pinged for $500 worth of repairs for a paint rub I could have cleaned up with elbow grease & eucalyptus oil! To top it off the Principal even admitted to me the owner needed a lesson in how to park properly!!

  3. Oh my stars, how ridiculous! Yummy popcorn recipe, though – I’ve always wondered how to make it.

  4. Even though I enjoy caramel corn and appreciate the recipe, wouldn’t guidance for an alcoholic drink been more fitting? 😉

  5. At least no, um, woman of ill repute was involved in this particular incident.

    What a waste of time on the officers’ parts.

    That popcorn recipe sounds pretty yummy and at least leaves a sweet taste in my mouth at the end of this entertaining and ridiculous encounter with the law.

  6. I take the most issue with that passerby who should have been minding his own business! I think I need a batch of this just thinking about how irritated your friend must have been.

  7. Oh goodness what bad luck. Now I’m curious to hear about the other drama she’s dealt with! I’ve never made homemade caramel popcorn, but I definitely need to try it…love the addition of nuts. Yum!

  8. Charlie, you have a wonderful way of writing these stories that make them engaging and I’m unable to stop. And of course, the prize at the end is the way you weave in the recipe. Caramel corn to the rescue.
    I’m sure it must have been a slow crime day for three officers to waste time with such ridiculousness.

  9. What an innocent mistake to have ballooned into such a drama. I loved the part about having watched too many American crime dramas. Ha! So true. I love caramel corn although I’ve never made it. Now I have the perfect recipe. Thanks!

  10. A ridiculous incident all around. Yummy caramel corn … though I haven’t made it in ages.

  11. At least the constables were patient and didn’t taser her 🙂
    I once had my home searched by an army of policemen- they were looking for someone who had lived there 2 years previously in a rental property- and they refused to tell me what it was about. They had a search warrant that specified some items, but it wasn’t until they saw our stuff was actually pretty boring, that they realized there had been a mistake. I was NOT amused!!! But I bet all the neighbors who had gathered too watch were!
    This popcorn sounds good and cheerful, and if that fails I guess you could pelt it at petty policemen…. but then I guess they may taser you after all 🙁

  12. Ok…you guys down under are a little crazy about things. I don’t think I’ll be driving a car when I make my future visit. Or do Americans get a free pass?

  13. “Reckless Reversing”? That is a new on on me;I guess they don’t call it that here.Amazing that they took the word of a stranger when there was no damage. I guess your police were bored that day!

  14. Oh man… I feel so sorry for your friend… She didn’t do anything wrong…and that person who reported it is just inconsiderate and should mind their own business! For making no damage to another person’s car she has to pay $500 that’s just horrible 🙁

    But thanks to your story I’m definitely going to make note of that and TOUCH WOOD if anything happens to me next time, I’ll know to leave a note.

    And I love Caramel Popcorn 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Reckless reversing and failure to exchange particulars…I love that! At least you have creative laws, I guess. Love the caramel corn, it looks just perfect and like a very soothing snack. 🙂

  16. My god that’s just insane. Has the world gone mad? On the other hand, maybe it’s a good thing if Sydney’s biggest criminals are those who reverse into little sports cars?

    Love the popcorn photo!

  17. She’s pretty brave being difficult with the policemen. Imagine being tasered because she wasn’t doing or saying the right thing? Bullies, the lot of them.

    Maybe they wouldn’t be so bullyish if they had some caramel corn? We could get together and have caramel corn day for the police and see if that makes them easier to get along with.

  18. Wow! How terrible, at least the story ends with some yummy caramel popcorn 🙂

  19. Hmm, NSW road regs must be different to SA ones – I’ve never heard of reckless reversing! And if I was your friend I think I’d be taking that little matter further – that is outrageously intimidating behaviour.

  20. Oh my god. At the beginning of this year, I was pulling into a parking space and, though slowly, accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake and hit the car in front very lightly. I got out and checked, and there was no visible damage, but I was so scared and stressed and guilty, particularly because other people might have seen, that I saw in my car for over an hour, waiting for the owner to come back so I could explain myself. Eventually she did, I got out and begged forgiveness, and she laughed and said it was all fine, that there wasn’t even a scratch.

    $500 when your friend would have surely been in the same situation as me? THAT’S INSANE.

  21. That’s a crazy waste of time. Poor lady, but I’m convinced some people attract trouble.

  22. First of all, I wonder how many people think that the police have to say “You have the right to remain silent” because I definitely watch too many US Crime Shows 😛 I always worry about that happening! It’s hard to drive in Sydney 🙁

  23. Isn’t that ridiculous.. I think we’ve all done the “tap, look and drive” at some point. Btw.. why are those things called Bumpers if we can’t bump with them?? I love this popcorn recipe.. it’s simplicity makes it definitely a dangerous one!! Yum!!

  24. What a story! Being one of those that drive a low-riding sports car, I’m always having to keep an eye out for the larger cars, trucks and semis. It does seem that the police went a little overboard. It makes me think that if they can spend so much time with a minor issue like this, they must not have anything else to do. Your popcorn is definitely a great way to chill out and de-stress.

  25. Having a car with a low front end, I’ve had many a 4×4 back into my front end and i doubt whether any of them knew they’d done it. Well, that’s what I tell myself. Next time it happens, I’ll come home and make myself some of your caramel corn. It won’t help matters at all but I just happen to love caramel corn.

  26. Oh no! What a nasty passer by, to trigger all of that off. I bet she needed some popcorn at the end of her police time.

  27. I adore carmel corn. Adore it. Your friends story is nuts…I wonder if it’s illegal here to not leave info.? hmmm….not that I’ve ever needed to…never ever. Ever.

  28. Your friend sounds very spunky. I like the way she told the officer she didn’t speak the way he wrote it!

  29. There was a time when we could say ‘only in America’. *sigh*. Is there not enough crimes left for them to fight? BTW, awesome popcorn!!

  30. I am laughing outloud “over here” at the idea that she asked if her Miranda Rights were to be read. Charlie, that is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. We are really becoming a “global community” when we start borrowing one another’s laws! Oh so funny! I think we’ve all had those moments when we just aren’t sure what the law is, and I know that I’d have probably done exactly the same thing if I didn’t see any damage! But caramel popcorn would save the day! I love your recipe with honey…I’ve made it before with corn syrup, and that’s a good taste, but I’d much prefer using honey! I can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂

  31. Those cops would have a field day in France, especially in Paris. giving the cars behind and in front of your parking space a little tap is the done thing when backing in here. After all, how else can you know how far away the other car is unless you give it a gently nudge :D. “Keep going, keep going, keep going… bump. Ah, ok, stop there.”

  32. omg…that’s crazy!!! People need to mind their own business…and then it seems when something really is important, no one cares enough to help! I’m sooo glad you posted this caramel corn! I’ve been thinking of something fun to bring to a cocktail party – I get bored bringing the “expected” things! This will be perfect as there will be kids attending. This is why I love reading blogs…ideas popping up all over!

  33. Oh how frustrating, I am sorry for you friend! I have never heard of reckless reversal, but there are so many laws, too many to remember. Well a perfect treat to help make everyone feel better, and perfect inexpensive treat:-) Hugs,Terra

  34. Oh my gosh – that’s terrible! I had no idea you had to leave a note, even if there was no damage. Can’t believe she got done for a huge fine like that even though she didn’t really do anything wrong… This recipe looks amaaazing! I’m guessing its similar to that recipe that was on the cupcakes at the EDB afternoon ?? yummo!!

  35. Thanks for the heads up! Assuming QLD laws are the same? I’ve gotten away with no-damage, no-notes bumps before. But now I’ll keep an eye out ;P Or just not ‘reverse recklessly’ 🙂

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