So, I was on the final leg of my journey home from work last night, when everything went circling down the ol’ crap-catcher.
It was about 2:15 am in our little town, and not a creature was stirring. Except, of course, a few people buying gas at Sheetz, the freak on a treadmill at the 24-hour gym, and the far saner person waiting for a Quarter Pounder with chee’ at the all-night McDonald’s drive-through.
I was driving past a large grocery store, when I heard aggressive acceleration. WTF? I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw nothing but lights: some flashing, some rotating, a few Roman candles going off… I don’t even know. It felt like I was now being followed by the Kansas City Royals scoreboard.
Of course it was a cop (dammit!), so I pulled into the Burger King parking lot, and he pulled in behind me. With all those state fair corndog stand lights still a-flashing.
“Sir, do you know why I’ve stopped you tonight?” he said, while shining yet another light in my face.
Why do they insist on asking that question? I always think, “Well, it could be for a whole host of reasons…” But I always say, “No.”
“You failed to come to a complete stop at the bottom of the interstate ramp back there. You slowed-down to about 20 mph, and kept going. Sir, do you know what a red flashing light means?”
“Yeah, I know what it means,” I said.
“Driver’s license, registration, and insurance card, please.”
Grrr… He took all my documents back to his car, and stayed way too long. I know approximately the length of time it takes to run a set of plates, because of various life experiences (ahem), and this was in excess. Obviously, he was writing a ticket. The dude wasn’t going to let me go with just a warning.
And that’s exactly what happened. $109.50 is the final damage, which really toasts my strudel. Just because a guy is completely guilty is no reason to penalize him, is it? Wotta ripoff.
This is the second time I’ve been stopped near my house, in the middle of the night. Last time I was given a full drunk test, even though I was stone-sober. He said I was “driving erratically,” and I told him I was trying to get the pickles off my Big Mac.
That officer was not amused (even though I’d told him the truth), but finally let me go. The guy last night was nicer, but slapped me with a big honkin’ fine. In retrospect, I think I prefer the former to the latter.
I guess I’m going to have to start driving through our town like an elementary school teacher, or whatever? Bolt upright, hands in the ten and two o’clock positions, moving so slow crippled dogs are passing me… ‘Cause those guys are always scowling in the shadows, ready to pounce.
Oh well. As Tony Soprano says, what are you going to do?
The younger Secret is home sick again today. But it’s not the flu, thankfully. He’s just got the snots, and feels run-down. We’ll probably send him back to that seething sea of bacteria, known as the middle school, tomorrow.
When the school nurse called yesterday morning, asking me to come pick him up, I wanted to know what was wrong.
“He says he has a headache, and I think his stomach… Truthfully, I haven’t had much time to spend with him. Twenty-seven kids have gone home sick today, and it’s only 10 o’clock!”
She sounded frazzled, and overwhelmed. And when I got to the school, the clinic was loaded with frowning teens and pre-teens, all shinin’ and sweatin’. Shit! I didn’t even want to touch the pencil, to sign him out.
But if one of us gets the swine flu here, we’re fully prepared. We’ve stockpiled oinkment.
As for a Question… I guess you could tell us about your memorable encounters with traffic cops. That’s always fun. Also, Clive Bull was asking his callers where they went on their honeymoons last night. We can steal his topic again, if you’d like.
Toney and I wanted to go to London, but finally decided it would be too expensive. We went to San Francisco instead, which probably cost more than London would’ve… But it was a lot of fun, one of the best weeks ever.
What about you? If you’re married, or were once married, where’d you go for a so-called honeymoon? Tell us about it, won’t you?
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.