Last week I started a topic entitled, as near as I an remember: "To Serve and Protect: Heartbreaking Traffic Stop."
It was the story of a cop pulling over a 65 year old female for a lane change violation and the resulting altercation of the woman being removed from her car against her will. In a response to one of the replies I wrote the words that follow. It is a telling of the last time I was ever pulled over and given a warning ticket. It got so wordy I thought it deserved it's own heading.
It Happened on a Fourth of July
A Short Recollection By ~ Dajuan Candle. (Revised Copy)
Now that I am older I seldom get pulled over by cops anymore. For sure that is because I seldom go any place. The last time I got pulled over, I guess it was 7 or 8 years ago now, I found it funny. So funny I had to hold in my laugh as best I could.
It was the 4th of July Holiday. I was home alone in my bachelors lair, my mind and body aching and tired from a grueling work schedule. Who would have thought inspecting tires for a living could be so exhausting. Luckily the company always gave us production techs a full week off for the 4th. They used this time to also double as a maintenance week. Everybody got the whole week off accept the maintenance crews, but they didn't complain because they got paid triple time. If they had offered me $60 to $90 to work on a scheduled off week I would have gladly shown up for work too! But they never offer us production techs triple pay. Only double for holidays, but not the 4th.
My neighbor across the street was having her 25th annual 4th of July backyard cookout. Family from around the city, county and state showed up at her house every year. Though I am not their kin, I was welcome; but I didn't attend.
I got tired of being alone in my lair so I got tired body in my truck, cranked it, and headed 'cross town to visit family. But, wouldn't you know it, something unexpected happened. It had been so long since the last time I had being pulled over by a cop I couldn't remember, and being on the other side of fifty now I didn't know if I would ever be pulled over again.
Along the way to the other side of town a strange thing happened.
As I took a right turn off of the street me and my big holiday party neighbor lived, I noticed a cop car coming towards me. Just cruising. I thought nothing of it, until I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed him making a hasty U-turn. I immediately recognized what was happening and I chuckled to myself "for real? I bet he thinks I'm coming from the party and might be drinking on this holiday and he wants to see if he can make me swerve on the road out of fear? I am going to save him the trouble of pulling me over. I'm going to volunteer and pull over myself". By that time I had rounded a curve and went through an all-way stop sign. Where the road straightens out, just past the all-way stop, is where I pulled over. It was no wait. Around the curve here he comes flying, almost on two wheels. He slows at the all-way intersection, without stopping, and comes on through to where I now sit parked and waiting. Hell leaves about three cars lengths between his cruise and my truck. He gets on his radio and runs his routine checks. He exits his vehicle and approached mine with a wide sweep, out to the middle of the road, and then toward my vehicle at an angle. I'm looking out my driver side rear view. If the feelings I was having shown on my face my look would have been one of disbelief "what is this fool doing?" As he came closer he looked into the bed of my truck with a suspicious eye. Nothing there. Cautiously he stepped to my drivers side window, thank God I didn't laugh, but I almost did.
"License and insurance" he said.
I complied. As he looked over my license I'm sure he noticed my street address, which I suspect, confirmed to him, to his disappointment, that I did live in this neighborhood. And by now I'm sure he could tell that I hadn't been drinking anything on this holiday either. Bummer. He wasn't going to get to write me a ticket. I surely wasn't speeding. But wait, her he comes back to my window. I remain quiet, not saying a word.
"I pulled you over because you took a wide turn at a high rate of speed when you turned onto this street."
Still I remained mum.
"I'm not going to write a citation just remind you to drive safely." Then I spoke up.
"Okay" I said. It was only one word. Inside I was rolling with laughter. He just knew he had him one. But no, he didn't. He gave me a bogus warning ticket and went on about his day. Looking for people to pull over, especially if he thinks they may be leaving a cookout where lots of cold beer I available.
I added that little stop to my memory of the other 60 or more I've experience in my life, the first when I was 16 and the last when I was 51/52, the bulk coming between the ages of 16 and 32. I just had that suspicious look about me and, when I was young, I dared drive whenever and wherever I wanted. Boy, you asking for trouble. Well, I didn't ask, but it did come. Over and over, again.