I took my car in for an oil change today, and asked them to also fix a brake light that’s shit the bed on me. Someone at work told me about the light a week or so ago, and I haven’t had a chance to deal with it until today.
And I was convinced the predatory middle o’ the night cops in this town would pull me over and put me through another drunk test. Every night, almost without exception, they have someone pulled over when I’m coming home from work around 2:30 am. And a couple of times that someone was me.
The first one had to do with a Big Mac purchased only moments before, at the 24 hour McDonald’s. I specifically told them “no pickles,” ’cause they’re nasty-ass. But when I took my first bite of the burger, my teefas passed through something that was suspiciously pickle-like. Then I tasted it.
Dammit! I was instantly angry, and began yanking the devil’s fixin’ off my hamburger, while navigating the abandoned streets. And the next thing I know, there’s a whole mess of lights in my rearview mirror, a-flashing and a-twirling and whatnot.
WTF? For a couple of seconds I thought it might have been a runaway corndog stand from the county fair. Not really the most logical of thoughts, but there you go…
The cop was all business, and refused to crack a smile. I told him I was trying to get the pickles off my Big Mac, but he saw no humor in it. Then he started shining a light in my face, and wanted to know why my eyes were bloodshot. “They are?” I responded.
And the next thing I know… he’s got me doing the Stupid Human Tricks. Touching my nose, and following his flashlight with my eyes, etc. I told him I hadn’t been drinking, I’d just left work, but I guess people routinely lie to the police? Apparently it’s true.
He finally let me go without issuing a ticket, but he was an earnest man — exceedingly earnest.
The second time cost me about two hundred dollars, and had nothing to do with food. At the bottom of the interstate exit ramp is a set of flashing red lights. I understand they mean the same thing as a stop sign, but the streets are almost completely deserted at 2:30 in the morning, and I had gotten into the habit of doing the ol’ rolling stop, then continuing on my way.
The cop who pulled me that night was also not very funny. Not really the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with… He did that really annoying thing where they ask, “Do you know why I’ve pulled you over this evening?” I always have to suppress an urge to say, “Because you’re a prick?”
But, of course, I know better. I never mouth-off to a cop, ’cause that’s a battle you’re not going to win. And this one told me I’d gone through the flashing lights at 20 mph, which was complete horseshit. I would put it closer to 5 mph.
He wrote me a ticket and gave me a lecture about keeping my vehicle under control, and it cost some number between a hundred and two hundred. I can’t remember the exact amount, but it was a lot. And my vehicle had been under control at all times.
So, when I found out one of my brake lights had burned out, I feared the worst. I figured they’d be lying in wait, and would seize the opportunity to yank my ass again. But I somehow got away with it. The brake lights are operational once again. Pass the beer nuts.
Have you been pulled over by The Man recently? Tell us about it, won’t you? And what was your all-time most memorable encounter with a traffic cop? I know I’ve told these stories before, but I don’t do anything in the real world anymore, and am forced to recycle.
I’ve had plenty of memorable experiences on this subject, but my favorite happened in South Carolina. I was living in Atlanta at the time, and was returning from visiting my parents in Dunbar (I think). I’d gotten off the interstate to buy gas, or a cannonball of fat from McDonald’s or something.
I was pulled over by an older black man, probably in his late fifties or early sixties. He eyed my Georgia driver’s license, and finally said, “I know different states have different laws, and everything. But I was wondering… In Georgia if there’s a sign that says ‘No U-Turn,’ does that mean to just go ahead and make a U-Turn?”
And you’ve got to give credit where credit is due… That’s some funny shit. A good line. And he let me go, too, even though he’d watched me whip my car around in a big ol’ U-Turn, around a No U-Turn sign. He acted like he was having pity on a poor retarded boy, but that’s OK. I can live with that.
If you have anything to report on this subject, please use the comments link below. I might be back tomorrow, and I might not. Just a word of warning… Don’t be too shocked if I don’t update again until Sunday.
Either way, I’ll see you guys next time.
Have a great day!