What seems to be the problem, Officer?

01-30-2006

Nothing can change your day more quickly than getting pulled over by a cop. You’re driving along, chatting on the cellphone, munching on a Big Mac, steering with your left kneecap, shifting gears with your elbow, balancing your Starbucks Triple Mocha Crappochino with no foam on your right knee, minding your own business…and then it happens. You look up in the mirror and see the O.S. lights. (O.S. lights: when you see them, you say, “Oh, Shit!”)

Right away you start thinking to yourself…. ” did he see me run that stoplight?… was I weaving?… am I wearing my seatbelt?…am I driving through the wrong neighborhood?….what the heck is the speed limit around here?… where is my insurance card?…and why can’t I find a breath mint????”

So then you try to find the right place to pull over. In this case, the driver turned a corner onto a quiet sidestreet, maybe to avoid public humiliation. The cops don’t turn off the O.S. lights after you stop – they like to publicize the fact that they are working. Your job is to be The Example for the next ten minutes. You get to be the decoy so everyone else can run stoplights and weave for the next 5 blocks.

Before the cop even gets to your window, you start bargaining right away…”maybe if I’m really nice, he’ll let me go with a warning…maybe I should confess to the infraction right away, he’ll give me a break…but then, WHICH infraction do I confess to?..crap! this sucks!”

After he hands you the ticket and wishes you a nice day, it sinks in. Yep, you just got a lousy ticket. Your future just broadened to include a fine, traffic school (if you’re lucky), higher insurance (if you’re insured), and a dull ache in the bottom of your stomach – oh wait, that’s from the Big Mac.

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