Friday, August 24, 2007

Adventures in Home Visiting

At the beginning of the school year last year, I sat down with most of the 6th graders as a way for me to get to know them before Confirmation started. I decided to do the same thing this year. Now, there is a family that I've visited before, three years ago when I was a new intern, the internet directions to their address sent me to some trashy trailer park (which is NOT where they live). Anyway, their youngest son is entering the 6th grade so I set up the home visit and headed on over there. As they live in Mustang, I only drive over there two or three times a year. After getting off the interstate, and exiting the highway, I found myself making a quick left turn onto the road that leads to their subdivision. Along the way, I meet a policeman. I'm not worried because I'm not speeding, but I also notice a barricade in the left lane at the stop sign about 20 feet in front of me (I didn't see one when I turned and there were cars behind me) and then I notice the cop car coming up behind me with his lights flashing. Confused, I pull over. Here's what happened next:

*Roll down window
Policeman (yelling): YOU! BRING YOUR LICENSE AND GET OUT OF THE CAR AND COME SIT IN THE FRONT SEAT! (yells at other cars he has signaled over on the shoulder) YOU! YOU STAY THERE UNTIL I TELL YOU TO MOVE! (returns to yelling at me) DID YOU GET YOUR LICENSE?! JUST COME AND SIT DOWN RIGHT HERE. (I walk back to the police car) I ASSUME YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID WRONG?
Me: Was I speeding? I'm sorry I don't live in this area
Policeman: (still yelling) I GUESS YOU CAN'T READ. THIS ROAD IS CLOSED (yells at cars behind him). I WILL BE THERE IN A MINUTE. YOU (to me) SIT IN THE CAR. (we get in the car and at this time I am crying because I really feel terrible and stressed that I am going to get arrested)
Me: I'm so sorry. I'm a youth worker and I live on the North side of town and was on my way to visit one of my youth for a home visit so I never come this way. (I was trying for some sympathy)
Policeman: (not yelling, but very unpleasant as he is looking over my information) Where do you live?
Me: On the North Side of town. I didn't know this road was closed
Policeman: You need to have your eyes checked then. Didn't you see the big sign when you turned?
Me: No, I'm so sorry, I didn't see the sign.
Policeman: This ticket is $206. What are you going to do about that?
Me: (shrug shoulders, sob more)
Policeman: Well you're lucky I'm going to give you a warning. Do you promise to use your eyes next time?
Me: (thinking, yes, though in 12 months when I might possibly drive on this road again, I don't imagine the road will still be closed) Yes, and once again I'm so sorry.
Policeman: Don't do it again. (Gets out of car, starts yelling at other cars behind him, motions me out of his car, hands me back my license and sends me on my way).

So that was my run-in with the law.


Jamie Lynn said...

THAT is INSANE! Talk about a cop on a power trip. Holy moly. And that sign couldn't have been too terribly big if OTHER CARS didn't see it either!

Well, at least you can laugh about it now. I would've cried too. And usually pulling the whole 'youth pastor' angle works like a charm ;)

Moose-Tipping said...

Wow. I don't understand why some cops think that they need to absolutely scare the crap outta you when they pull you over for minor traffic violations.

Oh, and I've found out that telling them you're a teacher works like a charm too!

mqzoeller said...

You should have told him that a very successful basketball coach says that if he tells the team what to do and one person doesn't get it right then shame on them, but if he tells them what to do and none of them get it right then shame on the coach. Clearly, you were one of many on the team who didn't have a clear message. That guy, is one of many on the team of annoying and overbearing dickheads who think they are far more clever than they are and give cops, and Americans, a bad name.

PS: Playing the "I'm a teacher" card can also get you preference when buying/getting for free something from craigslist. Like: "Well I'm a school teacher and this motorcycle is going to be used in the classroom so will you sell it for fifty bucks?"