I just got home about 10 minutes ago from a late night out of seeing the movie Juno and hanging out. I would have been here 15 minutes ago if it weren’t for a particular California Highway Patrolman.
The 210 freeway is notorious for speeders. It’s the closest interstate to my house and most desolate and safest freeway on which to speed. As you would know from me, I tend to go the speed of traffic as it’s much safer than going the speed limit. I learned that in defensive driving 9 years ago after getting my first ticket.
Upon exiting the freeway to drive to my house, the car directly behind me quickly sped up before I saw some flashing headlights followed by flashing car lights. It was the cops and they caught me!
I turned right at the light by the overpass and slowly tread by the curb until we both fit in a tiny space between the access road and entrance to a large outdoor garden center. Seconds later, two patrolmen came walking towards both sides of my car with flashlights shining into my car. By the time the patrolman rapped on my window, I had all my paperwork and license ready to hand him. So, I began to open my door to meet him outside.
“Just roll down the windows, sir”
Okay, whatever you say officer. I closed my door and rolled down my window.
May I help you?
“You were speeding. Did you have any alcohol tonight?”
“Have you had any drugs or medications?”
“I smell something that smells like coconut. What is that?”
I’m not sure what you’re smelling.
He proceeded to hold his dirty pointer finger out, pointing towards my chest. His hands needed to be washed and his fingernails had a little grime under his cuticle ends.
“I need you to follow my finger with your eyes and without moving your head. Do you understand?”
His finger first went to the left a few inches, he held it there for a couple of seconds before slowly moving it along a plane to the right about eight inches. He held it still for a couple more seconds before moving it back to the left another eight inches. My eyes easily followed his fingers towards both sides, locked on his dirty grime under his fingernail nail plate end that was almost white.
“Sit right here, I’ll be back”
The patrolman went right back to his car and I decided to shut my engine off since he likely would take a while to check my clean record and determine whether I had any problems for him to write me up. From the way he asked those certain questions, I think he was trying to find a stupid person to admit something was the matter. I’m not stupid.
As I waited there and wondered what fate had in store for me, I resigned from any discomfort about getting a ticket and paying for it since what was done, was done. Sometimes things just happen and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. I’ve been in a similar situation before with a New Mexico State Trooper and I walked in between our cars to plead my case. I was lucky enough to get a warning instead of a ticket from that New Mexican. Trying to remember which arguments won that situation, I racked my brain to come up with a few logical, defensive driving arguments that would help me in case this patrolman did want to write the ticket.
A couple of minutes later, a flashlight starts to make his way on my passenger side. Great, the other patrolman wants to see if he can find anything in my car to make me get out. I get another rap on my passenger window. I lean to the door, push the handle to open the door.
“Here you go. Drive safely.”
Bite me. You just wasted five minutes of my life.