So... it's been nearly six months since I updated. My bad! I won't go into details, because it's tedious even to me, but I've a new job, will be the head volleyball coach at Dorchester School here in Nebraska, am buying a house, am getting married, etc... ANYWAY...!
This struck me while I was driving to Kansas City for a volleyball tournament. We all have stories. Think about the stories you tell people you're meeting. Let's call them "One Uppers". They're the stories that we hope will elicit the "You're kidding me!" reaction from the crowd. They're also stories that we feel like our "friends" have to know about us. I, frankly, have a series of them: Pulling a guy out of an avalanche, The RV accident, Ireland... We all have one. However, these are the "You know that guy that..." stories. Stories that make us unique. I wanted to call this blog "Ionic Bonding" or something like that. The reason is because it's commonalities that make friendships. It's a shared experience, or similar stories.
I've noticed that the common thread most all of us share is the story that starts something like this: "I got pulled over.." Have you ever noticed that as soon as someone starts that, everyone else has a story? The exception being the stories that put people in the group from the above paragraph (holy crap, you've never been pulled over?!) It's an uncommon person who manages to get through their teenage years without getting pulled over. I was actually fortunate in that way, I didn't get pulled over until the first time until I was 18, and managed to avoid a ticket in Lafayette, which was not common. Usually, when you got pulled over in Lafayette as a Centaurus student, you got pulled over more often in Louisville, but tickets more often in Lafayette. I was lucky and naive when talking to the cop.
I have plenty of stories of getting pulled over, but the one that always sticks in my head is getting nailed in Boulder for 55 in a 40. Many of you have heard this story (I'm not deluding myself into thinking there are a lot of strangers who are reading my blog), but I still like to tell it. It happened after I'd gotten back from Savannah to visit Jay. I'd gone with Dave Harbaugh and Paula Neeman. I'd driven the entire way (27 hours driving each way) save about three hours when Paula drove. SHE got a ticket in that time, even though I'D been breaking the speed limit much more dramatically the rest of the way. As I was leaving Dave's apartment, the thought crossed my mind about how hilarious it would be if I got pulled over between Dave's apartment in Boulder and my parents' place in Lafayette. As I'm driving east on Baseline I looked down because I couldn't shake the feeling that I was driving too fast. As it turned out, I was right, so I slowed down. As I looked up, I saw a black Impala (black rims, black windows) and I knew, I KNEW it was an unmarked. Before I was to him, he had his lights on. I pulled off to the next street. Instead of pulling the stereotypical cop thing (leaning in your window, "Do you know why I pulled you over?") he walked past my window, turned back toward the street and was very casual, "How are you today?"
"Not too bad."
"Even though you have to talk to me?"
I honestly kinda chuckled, "There are worse things."
He laughed, "I supposed there are. License, registration, insurance. You were doing 55 before you slowed down there."
"Yeah, I'm on my way home from Kansas City. I've been on the interstate all day."
"You're driving the wrong way to be coming home from Kansas City."
"Yeah, I just dropped my buddy off at his apartment." (I cannot remember the name of the complex)
"I'll be back." With that, he went back to his car.
I sat and watched him in my rearview mirror. I don't know about you, but I have kinda of an internal clock. If the cop takes more than a minute, it probably means I'm getting a ticket. I started laughing when my head told me it had been a minute. I was definitely getting a ticket. He came back up to my car.
"Well, I had to write you a ticket because your car says SHO on the back." (I drove a Ford Taurus SHO. The SHO stands for Super High Output. They were sporty sedans, and he obviously knew it!)
I laughed. "That's fair!"
"However, I wrote it for 49 rather than 55. What that does is cuts the points from 8 to 4, and knocks $50 off the fine. If you choose to fight it in court, we will prosecute for the original 55."
"Officer, you don't even have to bother going to court. This will be mailed the minute I get home."
"Take care, slow down."
"Have a good one, sir."
I truly laughed a lot in that ten minutes. The whole thing was so funny, and the officer was in great spirits. I have often said that any time you are talking to a cop, you need to treat them respectfully, because you either did something wrong, or are asking for their protection. PLUS, they put themselves in danger so we can stay safe! Experience (too much experience...) has also told me that being kind and respectful the officer that pulls you over will get you out of the ticket way more often than being a d**k.
I have to close this with someone else's story. My buddy Paul, who I coached with at VCN got pulled over on our way to Des Moines and was issued a ticket for the tint on his car being too dark. However, Paul claims he was nailed for a DWB (a phrase I hadn't heard since college. Don't know what it is? Look it up on urban dictionary). I haven't laughed as hard at a story about being pulled over for a long time!
Sorry it took so long to update y'all... I'll try to be better. Thanks for reading!