Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Allow Me to Make a Point (on My License)

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If a police officer pulls you over and approaches your vehicle, one of the worst things you can do is begin berating him in a most profane fashion.

Not that I have much experience in this department, mind you, since the only time I was ever pulled over was in the spring of 1999. Or possibly fall of 1998. Either way, it was quite some time ago. So you must take my advice with a grain or two of salt. Things might have changed in the intervening years; it’s possible police departments across the nation have reoriented themselves toward a more stoic model of law enforcement, actively encouraging their officers to welcome unprovoked, obscene epithets from suspects. It’s also possible gravity is an illusion, as well, and no one has told me.

In any case, I did not display the slightest bit of irreverence; in fact my show of contrition and ignorance somehow gave the state trooper the impression that I had borrowed the car from the mother of the youthful-looking front-seat passenger (my wife, who did not change her name when we married). I was far too ashamed to disabuse the trooper of this notion, which led him to let me of with what amounted to a fine and a warning for going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone.

It did not occur to me at the time, as you might imagine, to speed off as the cop walked over. That could not have ended well. Nor did I consider pretending I was armed and dangerous. These are not the kind of thrill I seek; stick me in front of a dangerously luscious chocolate fudge sundae instead.

But of course later, as I turned the events over and over in my head, I wondered what I could have done differently. Many thoughts came into my head, and I must admit none of them involved running the guy down as he approached on foot. Nor did I think I should have opened the conversation with questions about his mother’s fidelity to his father. I did consider whether it would have been wise to address the trooper in a foreign language, but I’m not so sure how that would turn out (in these parts, rumor has it that about twenty years ago, a foreign driver could dissuade a cop from giving him any trouble by opening the conversation with a cheerful, American accented, “I am a pencil!” in the local tongue; I dare you to try that in any country).

Of course the most reasonable position involves not speeding in the first place, but come on. What are all those numbers on the speedometer for? In the case of my four-cylinder minivan (you read that right), they’re clearly for decoration; the thing will start shaking, then stall, if the AC is on and I push it just above the highway speed limit. But if I ever get even stupider and drive a car that can go fast, remind me to practice my Klingon.

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Written by Thag

October 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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