December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas Officer

I got pulled over this morning on my way to work. I was on I-395, less than a mile from my exit, when the blues started flashing behind the grille of an unmarked trooper car.

I pulled out my wallet and license, opened my glove box and pulled out the envelope full o' stuff that came with the car (just bought it last week, remember?), turned off the radio and rolled down the window, and waited.

Me: Good morning.

Trooper: Good morning. Do you know why I pulled you over?

Now, seriously, is there any answer to this other than "no"? How many people actually admit that they were doing something wrong?

Trooper: You didn't realize that you were speeding and passing people?

Me: No sir.

Ok, now we've established that I'm a liar and we both know it. In this situation, it's expected. I've handed him my license and and going through all the paperwork that came with my car. I know that there has to be some sort of registration in there. I find *three* different ones for my old truck, but nothing for this car. The whole time, he's talking to me.

Trooper: You didn't see me? You passed me and I pulled in behind you and paced you for a while as you passed that whole string of cars.

Me (still riffling through papers): No sir.

Trooper: You were travelling at speeds up to 75 miles per hour.

Me (all surprised): Really?

Finally, I find something pink that looks official, and it's my temporary registration. I hand it over, he tells me to stay in the car, and goes back to his troopermobile. I do a little mental math (yeah, I can afford the ticket), and laugh at the situation. I'm pissed at myself for being stupid. Did I notice him back there? Of course I did. Did I know he was a cop? Nope. Now, I have a question for him as well. Did he realize that he was my wingman as we strafed that line of fighters parked on the enemy tarmac passed that line of cars? I think not. A wingman wouldn't treat his buddy this way.

The trooper came back and handed me my license and registration. He didn't write me a ticket, just told me to be more aware of what I was doing and what was going on around me. It probably helped that I've only had one ticket in the last fifteen years, and it wasn't for speeding (you don't have to go fast when chasing down feral grannies).

I hope that the kindness was because he was filled with holiday spirit, because it's a little frightening to think that being a clueless idiot excuses that kind of driving. I didn't ask, because sometimes I *do* know when to keep my mouth shut.

I wished him a Merry Christmas and was on my way.

Posted by Ted at December 20, 2005 05:35 AM | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Wow, nice cop. They give tickets here for spitting out your car window, even if you burst into tears and point to your feral granny in the back seat and try to pin it on her.

Posted by: dogette at December 20, 2005 09:13 AM

Glad you got off with a warning. Your observation that "It probably helped that I've only had one ticket in the last fifteen years" is a good one and is why I always go to court and try to get out of tickets. I have a clean driving record too, but I have spent several days riding to and from courthouses and waiting for my turn to talk to the judge. Get to hear a lot of interesting stories too. I just can't figure out why they'd schedule a speeding ticket hearing right after two pillages and a plunder.

Posted by: chris hall at December 20, 2005 01:49 PM

It being a brand new car is a good excuse. I used to drive a Nissan Sentra and I could tell how fast I was going by how it felt. If I pushed it to 60 mph I was always afraid I'd carch some turbulence and go flying. My next car was a Mustang -- a much heavier car with better power. A couple of weeks after I bought it I was driving on the highway and noticed that I was passing people pretty quickly. I looked down at my speedometer and realized tat I was going 75 miles an hour. Felt like 45 mph in my Nissan. No cops around at the time luckily.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 20, 2005 09:02 PM

It's been years since I had a ticket, too...I'd like to say that it's because I follow ALL the rules and stuff, but tha would just be lying. I drive as fast as I figure I can get away with...

Perhaps it's just 'cause I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for those sneaky unmarked cars...ALWAYS...

Posted by: Derek at December 21, 2005 11:12 AM

395... Alexandria, Arlington, or Fairfax? They're less of a pain that the State Troopers, but they all go to the same courts (in each area, respectively.) And the cops know exactly what the Judges will deal with - and what'll get tossed out.

Posted by: Lysander at December 25, 2005 05:50 PM
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