Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Got Pulled Over

I live in a college town, so when the students come back, I expect there to be a week's worth of interplay between them and the local authorities as the police try to establish boundaries and the students try to push the envelope. I also expect the cops to lay in wait that first weekend for students who might be speeding or driving drunk so that they can fill the city coffers with ticket revenue.

I must not have been thinking as my car rounded the square last Saturday night. I had been heading up to the local tavern to meet up with some friends and apparently, in my attempt to find a parking space on the square, I drifted into the passing lane. Red and blue rollers suddenly flashed behind me and I pulled into a parking spot and rolled down my window.

Officer Friendly was no doubt expecting to find an inebriated college student,  so his sigh upon seeing me didn't surprise me. He told me that he had pulled me over for improper lane usage and asked me for my license, registration and proof of insurance. I sat there for a few minutes expecting to get a slip of paper telling me that I had to shell out upwards of $75 to clear this gaffe up. The officer came back to my car and told me he was giving me a written warning. I thanked him and told him I'd be more careful in the future. I thought I was home free.

"I have one more thing to ask you", Officer Friendly said sternly.

"Okay", I said. I was expecting some kind of quip.

"Have you been using any illegal substances?"

I laughed. I still thought he was joking. The stoic, smileless look on his face told me that he was very serious.

"The reason I ask," the Officer said, "is that your eyes aren't reacting to my flashlight".

"I really don't know what to say to that other than I haven't been drinking and I haven't been taking any illegal substances".

"Any prescription drugs?"

"Not even an aspirin".

"Then, why are you talking so fast?"

"It's just how I talk".

The Officer looked me over again, said "Okay then" and asked me if I was going to be driving any more that night.

"Nope," I said. "In fact I'm going to just head home right now rather than hang out up here".

"Nobody is saying you can't hang out with your friends".

"No offense, Officer, I just don't feel like pushing my luck"

He looked at me again and flashed his flashlight in my eyes for the umpteenth time. "Are you SURE you aren't on any illegal substances?".

"Positive."

With that, the officer wished me good night and went back to his car. I sat there for a moment considering the events of the last few minutes and decided I needed a beer. 

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