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Sunday, March 13, 2005

 

Driving for Retards

Woke up a bit early this morning to take my wife to a fotog gig in Central Park. She was going to take the train, but then was running late and blah blah blah. So I drive her down there and drop her off near Tavern on the Green at 72nd. I hang a right on 72nd, go down one block and take another right onto Columbus, planning on cutting back over to Central Park West and going uptown. Slight problem with this plan, though, as Columbus is a one-way street heading south and I was going north. And, of course, I'd noticed that there was a traffic cop behind me as I pulled onto 72nd.

So, when this realization hits me, I pull over, facing the wrong way, and wait a couple seconds for my heart to stop jumping in and out of my throat. I look around and figure I'm safe to turn around--not just "safe" to turn around, but "obligated" to turn around. I do a U-turn and see that the traffic cop is sitting on the corner of 72nd and Columbus, looking at me, the thought, "What the fuck kind of idiot is this guy?" plainly on her face.

I pull over to the curb--facing the right direction this time--and pull out my driver's license and registration. While waiting for the cop to come to the car, I have time to reflect on how very, very poor I am right now and how I really don't have the extra bucks to pay a "Reckless and Moronic Operation of a Motor Vehicle" fine. I think of the out-of-state plates on the car and feel great shame at the fact that I probably look like Cousin Clem, new to the Big City and mystified by the complex traffic patterns, when I'm used to drivin' down dirt roads and chucking my empty beer cans at tractors. I wind down my window and wait.

At this point, I should probably clarify that at no point did the police officer put on her lights and come chasing after me. There was no call from her speaker to "pull over." But she was right behind me when I did this and I saw her and she knew that I saw her. So, lights and sirens or no, she got out of her car and walked over.

The officer approaches the passenger side, her brow furrowed, looking at me like retarded monkeys might suddenly spring forth from my pants. I roll down the other window and begin a truly lame apology. "I'm sorry. I just dropped my wife off--" (because she's probably wondering why my wife isn't in the car) "--and I haven't really woken up yet."

So this is where I'm expecting a "Can I see your license and registration please, sir?" or a "Would you please step out of the vehicle, sir?" or something along those lines. Instead, I get a "Yeah, well, maybe you want to sit for a minute and wake yourself up." I whimper something about does she need to see my license and she replies in the negative before heading back to her cruiser, apparently satisfied that I wasn't under the influence of five tabs of blotter acid or making a getaway after a pre-brunch bank robbery.

Basically, then, I got off with nothing more than a cocked eyebrow because this was a traffic cop whose only real function is to ticket people who've parked at an expired meter and she didn't feel like going through all the trouble of remembering what she was taught in cop school about processing insane drivers.

Or maybe she thought I was an idiot out-of-towner and she wanted to cut the hillbilly idiot some slack. In which case, thank God for out-of-state plates.

Comments:
Even when I have done nothing wrong I get that jumpy terrified feeling when a cop is behind me.

I am pretty sure I would never pass a lie detector test- unless looking guilty for everything would pass me.
 
What ever happened to good old fashioned evading the police?
 
I had the same experience in Houston Texas, but then it was a case of Monkey See, Monkey Do...everybody behind me followed me. Of course having Alabama plates they musta thought I knew something they didn't. Anyway we all got stopped (ambitious litte copper) and all had to turn around
(picture 10 cars turning around on a one way street in Houston during rush hour traffic).
The policeman took one look at me (AKA leader of the pack) shook his head and walked off. Now granted I had on my pj's (what respectable southern woman does not wear pj's for early morning runs?) but to just walk away? I know he was thinking crazy Alabama redneck woman, probably can't even read. So yes out of state plates do help at times. Espically if they are from a redneck state.
 
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