A few nights ago I was leaving work around midnight, and blew straight through a stop sign that I blow through almost every night. Oh, I look both ways before the blowing commences, to make sure there’s not a super-rare car on the road. But, as usual, there was nothing shaking in either direction.
So, as I’ve done a million times before, I just kept going. But this time was different. Within seconds – literally seconds – a cop was on my ass with some kind of Times Square-caliber light show going. Sheesh. I’m fairly confident they could’ve spotted that flashing SUV from the International Space Station.
I pulled to the side of the road, and opened the glove compartment to start looking for my registration and insurance cards. I guess he was concerned I was going for a gun or something, and flipped on another set of lights that was so bright it almost caused me to have a seizure. Holy hell!
“Do you know why I pulled you over?” he asked, once he finally appeared at my window.
“I have a pretty good idea,” I answered, in a non-assholy way. It was more of a resigned ‘you got me’ kind of thing.
He asked to see all my cards, and took them back to his flashbuggy. Dammit! What’s this going to cost me? Two hundred bucks?? I’m an idiot! A fool, and an idiot.
About five minutes later he returned, handed everything back to me, and said, “Drive safely, Mr. Kay. And make sure you stop at all the stop signs from now on. OK?” And that was it. He let me off the hook, probably because of white privilege.
And the very next night… I blew straight through that stop sign again. I wasn’t even thinking, it’s just automatic. Thankfully no cops were lurking this time, but it freaked me out a bit. What the hell is the matter with me? The dumbass never sleeps. Since then I’ve stopped about 75% of the time. The reprogramming is not instant, but it is starting to take hold.
I’ve been pulled over dozens of times in my life, and the cops usually let me go. Certainly not always, but usually. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m respectful, and don’t give any attitude. I learned a long time ago that giving ‘tude to a cop is an invitation to pain.
I know people who claim to have NEVER been pulled over. How is that possible? Do you have any tales to tell on this subject? Assuming you’re like me, and have ample experience with police and their flashbuggies? Please share your stories in the comments section.
My personal favorite happened in South Carolina. I lived in Atlanta at the time, and was driving back from my parents’ house. A cop pulled me over, after I’d exited the interstate looking for a gas station. He was an older black man, and here’s what he said:
“Excuse me. I noticed you have Georgia plates on your car, and I know different states have different laws. I was just curious… In Georgia, if you see a sign that says No U-Turn, does that mean just go ahead and make a u-turn?”
That shit was funny, right there. And he let me go, possibly because I laughed in a non-assholy way, and adopted the tried and true ‘you got me’ posture. I don’t know for sure.
If you have anything on this subject, use the comments section above or below, whatever the hell.
And thank you guys for the donations and positive feedback on the proposed archives project, and eventual return to The West Virginia Surf Report. Things are already in the works. It’s going to be fun! Soon we’ll be back at TheWVSR, and the archives will start to appear as ebooks and paperbacks. There are some funny rants and stories in those old updates. But, holy crap, did I have a foul mouth back then. What was up with that?
Anyway, if you’d like to donate to the cause, here’s your link. Thanks again!
Now I’m going to turn it over to you, and your stories of being pulled over by The Man. Did you ever try to argue? Give the cop a little lip? What happened? Also, how often do you get away with just a warning? Please share.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!