Monday, November 22, 2010
When the cop asked if I knew English I knew I was getting a ticket or rethinking ipecac and blood capsules
As with any father, my fathers advice is subjective and sometimes liable to end you, well not you, me, in jail. My dad advocates Marxism and the picketing of businesses. He feels tipping was conceived by capitalists and as a hobby goes to churches of differing religious denominations to debate their version of the gospel.
Not surprisingly, it was my dad who introduced me to the common disdain people feel towards cops. He says some cops are corrupt, savage and in some instances murderers while in most cases they're just individuals working one of societies dirtier jobs. I asked him if any cops are like the cops in the show CHIPS or the Police Academy series and he said he strongly doubted it. I asked what I should do if ever I was pulled over. My dad said regardless of the infraction, always be respectful and courteous. He said an inordinate amount of "sirs" works wonders on cops accustomed to meeting an ordinarily abrasive driver anticipating a traffic citation.
I got my first ticket while doing 92 MPH in a 65 while en route to a baptism in Flagstaff. To be honest, I don't know why I was speeding up North to see my niece dunked in water, but I was. It was me, a copy of Let It Be on CD, which happens to be the greatest album the Replacements would ever record, and 270 miles of open road. I was in the middle of an air drum solo when I looked up to see a highway patrol vehicle following me and the officer seemed quite upset. I immediately pulled over and waited for the cop to come up to my window. It was my first time dealing with the police and I didn't really know what to expect. Do they taser first, then ask questions? What's the go to method of deterrence, mace or nightstick? The cop got to my truck and I just looked at him. To be honest dear reader, I really was scared. I thought he was going to beat the crap outta me. Ridiculous? Yeah, but it's not improbable. It's not like YouTube is filled with tasering reenactments much like they reenact the Delaware crossing in grade school.
So we both just looked at each other for a few moments. He then took out his nightstick and began gently rapping the window with it. I took this as a sign to roll the window down, which I did immediately. He then asks me a question that usually ends with a deportation, "Do you know English son?" I in fact did know English and told him so. He then asks for my ID, where I'm heading and why I'm speeding? Hoping the cop is a staunch Catholic, I immediately tell him I'm heading to a baptism. He then produces a clip board with paper work for me to sign, then tells me to step out of the vehicle. And this is where the way that we, that being you and I reader, interact with police officers differs dramatically.
When I've given the cop as many sirs, no sirs, thank you sirs, may I have another sirs, or yes I call my mother regularly sirs, and it's abundantly clear I'm getting a ticket, then I revert back to the 4th grade and proceed to ask the cop any ridiculous question my wild little brain can conjure up. This usually, not always but more often than not, leads to more questioning on the cops part. Questions that are a cops natural reaction to my questions. Samples: What drug is a straight ticket to jail? What's the highest number of bodies you've found in a trunk? Let's say my friend is holding, am I getting a ticket? If I had to be shot, which gun would I want to be shot with? And in the instance where I was rear ended and an overly inquisitive cop stuck his head in through the window of my truck, I sensed another "what kind of drug are you running" inquisition brewing. So as a preemptive measure I blurted out "I don't have any drugs". That cop didn't respond well to that. My sister dated a cop for awhile and I went hog wild on that guy with the questions. He eventually had to ask me if I had any warrants which I was proud to say I didn't.
My buddy Chris has figurative balls that are substantially larger than mine when it comes to dealing with the police. He has been roughed up, or some would say man handled by the police, but I'd have to say he had it coming on most situations. He had the gall to call a bike cop a pussy after the bike cop ticketed him for running a yellow light. Normally calling a cop a pussy earns you fleeting fame on YouTube starring in your own tasering video, but for some reason the cop let Chris go. Then again, this is the same police department that pulled Chris over nearly pickled twice, and let him go both times.
On a side note: I had an idea on how to get out of tickets that I ran by my Serbian friend Cocho, who didn't hesitate to tell me that I'd get arrested if I tried. Basically, first I get pulled over. Before the cop gets to my vehicle I take a swig of ipecac, which is a fast acting vomitive. in my mind, the serving and protecting part of the officers personality is going to overwhelm the ticket and harass portion and he's going to become concerned about my general well being and see to it that I get home safely. Which is more or less the same train of thought with the blood capsules. I figured if I popped one and made it seem as though I was experiencing a real gusher of a nose bleed, the officer would take pity on me and send me on my way. Cocho the Serbian pointed out that if the cop was to determine that my "blood" was corn syrup based that I'd be in a real world of hurt. He said I could take comfort in knowing that in his country I'd probably lose a finger for a stunt like that.
There's a point coming pilgrim, so here it is. People fear the police and I can't argue that they haven't given me reasons not to fear them. But I have no qualms about asking a cop wherever, whenever anything that crosses my mind and neither should you. I was dressed up as a storm trooper when I saw a cop shortly after I got a ticket earlier this year. I walk over to the cop, remove my helmet and proceed to tell him about my bullshit ticket. He said seeing me without my helmet was "fucking up the illusion for him." The last point is this: That whole adage my pops fed me about being nice to the cops to get out of a ticket? Pure bullshit. I put the spit shine on a cops ass every time and I'm 6 tickets for 6 pullovers. I'll find Jimmy Hoffa's bones and the chupacabra before I find a cop that responds well to my outgoing flurry of sirs. But remember kids, Bobby Fuller said I fought the law and the law won right before Dr. Dre, Easy-E and Ice Cube said fuck the police.
Love yer law abiding pal, Luke