Monday, August 02, 2004

Crazy Magnet Pt. I - Weary is the Heart that Bears the Badge

I've long suspected that God's plan for me involves drawing all the crazy people in the world to my doorstep. I've been accosted by schizophrenics while working at Target, assaulted (verbally) by old men, and I won't even go into some of the women who have come and gone through my life.

This weekend, I was driving two friends to Aaron's graduation party in Columbia, MO. We cruising along Highway 70, approaching the bridge into St. Charles when I noticed a police car, driving well below the speed limit with his lights flashing.

I also watched two cars pass him, and nothing happened.

While staying below the speed limit, I crept up on the police car, which swerved into my lane and swerved back into his old lane.

At this point, I don't know if he's drunk, confused or just messing with me, so I pass him.

And he pulls me over.

"Step out of the car, please, sir." I followed him behind my car.

"Sir," he said, "I was trying to protect you and your family."

"From what?" I asked.

"If you see my lights are on, you don't have the right to pass me." he replied.

"Well, sir. I saw two cars pass you, and I didn't know what you were doing."


"Okay. No one passed you. I still don't know what you were trying to do. For all I knew, you'd left your light on by mistake."

"I didn't! We had reports of a car stalled on the bridge, and I was going to check it out."

Now this was bullshit. Traffic wasn't slowed at all, and there was no indication of it slowing down - except around him. Plus, if there was indeed a stranded motorist on the bridge, what the fuck was he doing driving like Miss Daisy up the highway instead of quickly going to help this person?

I pointed out the first part, figuring the second would be pushing my luck.

"Well, sir, that wasn't the case. Pay more attention in the future," he said, curtly.

"Yes, sir. Thank you." And I returned to the car, rather pissed off about the whole thing.

I support the police; I believe they have a thankless job where, for the most part, they do to the best of their abilities. But then someone does something like this; where he was looking to make an example of someone. I don't appreciate that one little bit. We all make mistakes, but if I make one, I don't have the right to pull someone over and tear him a new one over it.

In any case, he didn't give me a ticket, so I can't complain too much. Hopefully, next time he forgets and leaves his lights on, he'll be in a better mood.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience once with a city cop whose hand signal I misinterpreted on a dark and rainy night. He waved me over to the curb and then proceeded to accuse me of deliberately ignoring his directions. And I had to sit there and take his shit because I knew that if I said one farking word in response I was going to jail and my 2-year-old daughter in the backseat (who was borderline hysterical and who I had just reassured that the police were our friend) was going into Social Services custody until my wife (working and out of pocket that night) could be located.

He ended up arrogantly accepting my abject apology and letting me go, and he has probably forgotten all about the whole thing. But I haven't. And as long as he stays on the city payroll, I never will.

Brian said...

I hear you; I understand having a bad day, but I don't think this gives anyone the right to tear into someone - especially if they're being unclear in the first place.

Nuance said...

My lead foot always seems to land me in the radar path of some nice officer. And I agree, it's an important job. They keep us safe from the bad guys and are always on call to defend our freedoms and lives. But oh lordy, it takes just one mean bastard to make up for the 10 amazing cops you meet. I was once clocked in triple digits in rural Missouri...and the guy who pulled me over had a profane, childish glee in his eye. His first question wasn't to me, but to my passenger. He was going to arrest me no matter what, and she would have to drive my car to the police station and bail me out. All for going a touch fast on a flat, straight, empty highway. It was the middle of the day, I was clean & sober, and not driving recklessly. He just got off on arresting people. After he processed me, he joked to the booker that he was, "going to go bring in another one." Pisses me off to this day.