I'm a little flustered. Actually, take that back...I'm a pissed off motherfucker!! After being a good boy behind the wheel for the past five years and not getting pulled over by the police, obviously my time was due. That's right boys, girls, and hermaphrodites...I got a fuckin' speeding ticket this week. After a couple hours of hanging out at a friend's house discussing how neurotic wives are when it comes to redecorating the house, I head home around 1:30 AM. Number one, I forgot to take some Benadryl due to selective feline allergies. l was starting get a bit sniffly and watery-eyed around their damned cat (even though it was in the other room), and two, my friend had to be up for work in about five hours. For those of you familiar with the Grandview, MO area, I turned onto 71N from Red Bridge Road and as I'm accelerating to get up the speed limit, my friend points out what he says is a cop. What I see is some shape sitting perpendicular to the highway about 10 feet back from the shoulder. Considering the part of town, it could have just been a stolen car that spun out of control up in the grass. Just in case, I slow down to 65 mph. Taking a quick gander in the rearview mirror, I see said "shape" pull out onto the highway, turn on the headlights and proceed to move right up on my ass. By this time, I was heading up the onramp getting ready to get on I-435N. Once I reached the highway, sure enough, his lights start flashing. To avoid showing up on Fox's "Wildest Police Chases Part 37", I signal, pull off to the side of the road, and turn the car off. After a couple minutes, Officer Friendly walks up to the car and asks me one the dumbest things I've heard in a while..."Sir, did you have a legal reason for speeding?" I then tell him that that my friend and wife are trying to have a baby. She's ovulating, and he's about the blow like Ol' Faithful. I also said that I needed to get home so that I let my dog out to piss, and while he's outside, I need to watch "24" and "The Osbournes" on tape from earlier that night. Ok, I WANTED to say that, but so I don't end up on the Rodney King Video Channel, I was all sorts of respectful towards the authority figure in the situation. He also asked where we we're coming from, what we were doing, and typical questioning. Suddenly I had flashbacks of Steve Buscemi in Fargo and while I hand him my driver's license, conveniently leave a $50 bill sticking out of my wallet. Now comes the weird part. The police officer went back to his car and was there long enough for me to smoke two cigarettes! I'd say he was back there at least ten minutes. What I'm wondering now is what exactly it is that takes that long to run my name, license, and all that. I don't have a criminal record, outstanding warrants, or a name like Abdullah Mohammed al-Hazir Osama Jones...so what the hell is taking so long? Did I mention it was also around 30 degrees outside? A tinge on the chilly side, and no I didn't start the car to crank up the heater. That's a good way to make Francois Clemmons (obscure children's programming reference) get all sorts of anxious. In the end I get a ticket for going 72 mph in a 55 mph zone. I thought the speed limit through there was 65 mph but apparently not. If I were speeding, I would much prefer it be 7 and not 17 mph over. Barney Fife wishes me a safe evening, I start the car, hit the headlights, signal, and safely merge into traffic. Not more than 1/2 mile later, did we notice a cop had someone pulled over in the southbound lane. So their mission that night must to have been to write tickets.
Don't get me wrong, I have the highest respect for police officers, but handing out speeding tickets to people at 1:30 in the morning seems a bit silly. Besides, it's not like 70 mph on a stretch of highway is out of the ordinary. I don't know if it's because of the upcoming holiday, but I have seen an inordinate amount of cops pulling people over left and right, at all hours of the day. I've always heard to "watch out toward the end of the month" because cops need to fill their quota of speeding tickets, but I've also heard they don't have a quota system. Regardless, maybe the police would do more to acquiesce the crime rate in that particular area of Kansas City by cruising the HyperMart and Bannister Mall parking lots, as those two places seem to attract the criminal element. Or maybe the gas station nearby which is always an easy target for robbers. Just down the road a little ways further is the infamous Swope Park where bodies are found on the side of the road or dragged from the lake. I just hope that no, for lack of better term, REAL CRIME, was taking place while my iniquitous self is pulled over on the side of the road. Rape, arson, murder, burglary, armed robbery, drug deals...Let's not be concerned with that! I know, let's hide police cars and issue people tickets. The only living thing I may have been a threatening liability to is possums or rabbits crossing the road. I've never contested any previous tickets, but I am seriously considering it.
As for the responsibility on my part, did I break the law? mumblegrarathghgrmble...allegedly. Should I be gonzo-bitching about it because it has the potential to be my fault? No. Am I going to bitch about it anyways? Of course, it's a natural human reaction. So sometime this week between getting cable internet installed, my taxes prepared, and a project for school completed, I need to call up my lawyer. Hopefully this silly shit will be but a faded memory a few months from now.
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