Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Driving First

So this past weekend I drove my grandma, sister, sis's boyfriend, and their dog 130 miles north up to my aunt's house in rural upstate New York for a family get together, and in the process experienced a driving milestone that I've managed to go 18 years avoiding. Yes, I got pulled over by a state trooper for speeding!


I saw the dude, too, right at the last moment. Parked against oncoming traffic in a tree-shaded ditch just past the shoulder. I had already avoided five similar speed traps prior to this one, and was only 20 minutes away from my aunt's home when it happened. Grrrrr! Ain't that often the case? Well, what the hell would I know? Like I said, this was the first time such a thing has ever happened to me. So I zoomed right past the guy and immediately knew I was in trouble. And so I did what any honest, law-abiding driver would do: I immediately shifted into the right lane, slowed down, and tried to hide among the other cars travelling the road with me.

But I guess these guys have seen this trick before. Because, nope, didn't fool him one bit! Next thing I knew, blue and red lights were flashing in my rearview. Shit! So I pulled over and this very young state trooper dude comes up to my window. My sister's dog is barking nonstop from the back seat, mind you, but this didn't seem to faze the guy at all.

After asking for my licence, he asked: "Why are you in such a hurry?"
Me: "I have no idea."
Him: "Do you know what the speed limit is?"
Me: "Fifty-five?"
Him: "And do you know how fast you were going?"
Me: "Uhhhh . . . seventy?"
Him: "Seventy-seven!"

Ouch! Busted! Yes, sometimes I have a bit of a lead foot, folks. Especially on super long, sparsely traveled scenic highways when I'm bored out of my skull. And especially when I'm almost--just ALMOST--at my destination. But the trooper was a nice sort, and seemed to warm up when I told him of our destination. I guess he was a local and knew the town where my aunt lived. He must have figured I wasn't some out of town gunrunner or something, just blowing through on my way to Canada. My granny certainly wasn't packing, anyway. So he ran a check on my license, found that, as usual, my record was completely clean, and then let me go with just a promise that I wouldn't do that again.

I told him that I wouldn't, and I meant it. I really did. But of course . . .

Anyway, so that was my brief and first real run in with "the law" this weekend. How was yours?

Oh, and before I go, here are some pics of the rental car and my aunt and uncle's property where we had a cookout and even a bonfire going to ward off the mid-October chill. The last three pics are panoramas acquired using the new automatic function on my iPhone 5. Pretty nifty for "cheating" your way through wide-angle shots. As always, clicke for larger views.

The Ford Escape in front of my aunt's house.
Not bad for a Zipcar.

My aunt's driveway, with their newly purchased trailer in the back.

Bonfire a-brewing out back. My sister's dog, Shiva, in the foreground.

Food and beer aplenty out on the patio. One of the guests
brought their own pooch, Ralph, to the party.

As you can see, they're not quite at peak foliage season up in the higher elevations of New York state yet--but they're very close! Of course, down here in the city we won't be seeing those colors until the end of the month or right around Election Day.


  1. Glad the guy was a reasonable sort. I always hear mixed stories, some cops act like decent human beings, some...not :)

  2. Glad that he let you off! I was speeding today (not intentionally) and saw the unmarked too late to slow down. Luckily he pulled someone else over. I've never been stopped and would probably not know what to say!

  3. Never? You'd never been pulled over before? Wow! That's amazing, David! And even more? That the cop let you off with a warning. -You lucky thing you!

    Love those pictures and even though the leaves are not as colorful yet, they still look beautiful. Do you go there often? The backdrop is so inviting and has a kind of calming effect -at least on me. :)

  4. Ian -- Yeah, he was a really decent guy. It also helps that I'm a decent guy as well. :)

    Jen -- I'll admit, I freaked out a little because I didn't know what to say or do. But luckily for me I didn't see a reason to lie or play games, so only the truth came out of my mouth. I think that helped me in the end. That, plus a spotless driving record.

    Yvonne -- I've been driving off and on since I was 18, and have only had 3 parking tickets in all that time. No other infractions. No run-ins, crashes, bumps or scrapes. It helps that I don't drive but two or 3 days out of a month. And also that I'm super, super anal and careful about driving. Except when I'm speedin' like a demon! :)

    Oh, and yes, I would like to visit my aunt and uncle more. But I only get to go out there twice a year, usually. One of these days I'll ask to house sit for them while they go on vacation. Maybe I can get some good writing time in.

  5. I remember the first time I was pulled over. I was just cruising down the street when all of a sudden I was blinded by the police lights!! I started panicking and my immediate impression was that I was going to jail! For the rest of my life!!

    The cop had stopped me to let me know I had a brake light out and to get it fixed as soon as possible. Then let me go with a warning!

  6. And yet, how were you to know you had a brake light out if not for a cop stopping you, right? It's a vicious circle, Rod!

  7. I can't believe he didn't give you a ticket. You got lucky. I was pulled over by a cop once but he took pity on me because my little one was screaming in the backseat. I think he wanted to get as far away from my car as possible.

  8. Likely excuse, Cin! You probably trained her to cry hysterically on cue. I'm on to your tricks! :) All I have to rely on are my considerable manly charms. Alas, but most state troopers are men, so I guess that puts me S.O.L.

  9. You never know, David. You might happen to come across a gay state Trooper. Then your charms will work in your favor!!

  10. That would still fall under the S.O.L. category as far as I'm concerned, Rod. LOL!

  11. Oh, the tales I have. Just recently I was pulled over for DWB. In my new neighborhood, late at night, driving around for forever looking for a damn parking spot. I go through a yellow light. Some stupid kid is out late and runs out into the street, in front of me, while I'm in the cross-section. So I brake, just enough to slow down so he can pass, get halfway down the next block then I get the flashing lights of the cop van I passed on the previous block. I know they got jack shit on me. Punk ass cop tried to tell me I ran a red light. They took their time running my info. Of course they let me go. Couldn't write me a ticket 'cause he knew damn well I didn't run a red light. All those police vehicles have cameras and shit now. They were fishing for someone that looked like me to be ridin' dirty. My license was clean, so I wasn't scared, I was pissed off. I like your response to the cop. You know I was cracking up when I read that!

  12. That's crazy! I know people who go through the same shit with the police while driving in this city, though. Which is why to this day I refuse to get a car while still living here. I can't be bothered with all that hassle just to find a freaking parking spot!


Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...