Arousing the Attention of Law Enforcement, and Vehicle Customization “Don’ts”

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I try to avoid interactions with law enforcement.  I think most rational people do.  I’m intimidated easily enough, and I really don’t want to be bothered anyway, so I try to just live my life, quietly obeying the rules and generally blending into the wall.

I learned a disturbing truth a few mornings ago.  I should know better, too, but I wasn’t paying attention.

On my car (the illustrious Corolla S, with the 6 speed manual, which is an awesome ride) you can just leave the lights and fog lights on (which I usually do) and they will turn off when one turns the ignition off.  But for some bizarre reason I turned the lights off.  When you turn the lights off, the DRLs (headlights only) still come on.  Usually that’s not a real issue.

The headlights are HIDs and are insanely bright, so I didn’t notice that the parking lights or tail lights weren’t on, as I went off on my merry way through the cop obstacle course between my house and the Y.  I’ve been known to see as many as six cops between my house and the Y (1.8 miles.)  This is particularly odd, considering I make this trip between 5 and 5:15AM.  I know there are quite a few speed traps in that small stretch, so I plan accordingly and keep at a painfully slow 35MPH to avoid an unplanned and expensive speeding ticket.

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So I was completely shocked when I had a cop light me up.  I know I was only doing 35 or maybe a bit less, so what in the flying thunder could this guy want with me?

I did remember the most important thing from my CCW class- let the officer see your hands, because he knows you carry the minute he runs your plates.

So as I stuck my hands out the window, all I could say was, “My weapon is in the trunk.” Which it was.  I’m not about lying to cops.

He asks for my driver’s license, and then asked me if I knew my tail lights were out.  Then it dawned on me- I looked at the dash and realized for some reason I’d turned off the lights and was just running on DRLs.  Oh. Shit.

So the officer- who thankfully wasn’t being a douche bag about it, even though he would have had the right- ran my license.  Seeing I had no record, or outstanding warrants, or reason to believe I was running a meth lab out of a late model Corolla, let me go once he verified that yes, my lights all work- when they’re turned on.

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At least I didn’t get a speeding ticket.

I have to wonder if I’d been treated differently had I been younger, male, or belonged to a different ethnic group.  I know Steve-o was randomly pulled over several times when he had his Audi.  The demographics didn’t look good- a 20 year old kid driving a late model Audi A4 in impeccable condition, in an area where the average young 20 something is unemployed,  on drugs, and not averse to stealing things.  I think the cops just couldn’t believe that someone of Steve-o’s demographic actually worked and earned money to buy a nice car via legitimate means.  In their defense, considering most of his age cohorts, I understand their incredulity.

 

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So… the place of notoriety for those of Steve-o’s generation is the “Busted” paper- getting your mug shot plastered all over Central Ohio.  The list of names (center) were all the bizarre names I found in just that one issue of the “Busted” paper.  Anyone with the last name “Hunt” should really have their head examined before naming their child “Michael.”  Another one I found funny was the name “Ciera,” as if her first name should be “Cutlass.” And the name “Crystal,” no matter how you spell it, leads me to want to call her “Crystal Meth.”  Note to self: do NOT use the “Busted” paper as a reference source for potential baby names.  Although I’m sure some people do.

The badly painted (likely with a house roller) Cincinnati Bengals tribute Civic is a more typical vehicle for someone of Steve-o’s age to be seen driving.  Either that or this distressed Accord:

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This looks eerily like Steve-o’s first car, a ’92 Accord with about 400K on it.

As soon as he could afford it, he traded it on a ’95 Integra- but he’s had plenty of cars since then.

 

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I mean, right MEOW.

Steve-o got to sit in the back of a cruiser (twice) while the cop verified that his temp tag was legit right after he bought the Audi.  Not long after he got his regular plates he got pulled over (again) and the K9 officer who pulled him over thought it appropriate to go through the Audi with the drug dog.  I doubt if they found a cough drop or a gum wrapper, (Steve-o is one of those people who doesn’t eat, smoke or do anything in the car that might leave a mess) but the dog did leave behind some hair and slobber that provoked Steve-o to pay for a $150 detail to remove.  In some ways I’m glad he traded the Audi for a (newer, yes, but less ostentatious) Jetta.   He’s not been pulled over once in the Jetta.  Apparently that’s not as much of a head turner as the Audi.

Do I agree with profiling?  Not necessarily, and I realize that if Steve-o appeared to be anything other than what can only be called “super white” that a simple, “have a seat in the cruiser” could have turned far uglier.  Cops are human too.  I know I profile. I know I hit that door lock switch extra fast in certain parts of town. I’m not saying it’s right to do it, but everyone does.

 

 

Self-Restraint is Not One of My Strong Skills, and Isolation is Good for Me (and Everyone Else!)

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m having a currently shitty run so far this year.  Never mind I’ve been bloody sick with the screaming snots since New Year’s Day and sleeping every moment that I possibly can manage to- when I’m either not at work or hawking up snot.  The past two weekends I’ve not bothered to move much beyond my bed.

There is no way I’m calling off for spewing snots, because everyone else (conveniently) already has.   I think the guys around here call off for hangnails, zits and even excessive vaginal sand, as wussy as they are.

As long as I can somewhat remain vertical and I’m not puking or having a hate/hate relationship with Montezuma, I will function, even if it is by being jacked up on cold medicine and Sinus Plumber spray.  It sucks.  At least I did finagle a 10 day antibiotic script, and the sinus infection part of it is starting to clear up.  The green snot is going away anyway.  The clear, and brown, and bloody snot is still stringing along though.

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This stuff burns like hell, but breathing is worth the burn!

Then to add a fantastic steaming hot turd to the top of this phlegmy mess is that I got rear-ended in the Target parking lot last Wednesday.  I’m sicker than hell, strung out from another stressful short-staffed day at work, it’s 3º below zero, and then some foreigner rear ends me.  I can only imagine the vision of the she-behemoth-bitch-beast that jumped out of the driver’s door on that fateful evening. The only good parts: a.) wasn’t my fault, and the other guy’s insurance (yes he had it) has to pay, and b.) the other vehicle was an SUV and has not even a mark on it.

The bad news?  I was in the Corolla and my rear bumper fascia is toast, and the left quarter panel and decklid are damaged.  It’s about $2500 worth of aggravation and God only knows how long to get it fixed.  I’m consigned to driving the truck (no, a 2010 Tacoma 4X4 is not a bad ride at all) which is not so bad except the interior smells like a dragon’s colon thanks to Jerry using it as a smoking lounge.

Jerry also has no sense of vehicle interior feng shui.  I found loser lottery tickets from 2011, various food wrappers from a variety of establishments, including Taco Bell and Waffle House, Pepsi Max cans, used Kleenex, a flannel shirt, an NRA ball cap, and assorted flotsam and detritus.  I’m sure he will love the fact that I douched the whole interior really good with lavender Febreze.

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I guess I’m just not supposed to have anything nice.

I’m sure this poor foreign guy and his wife probably thought I was some sort of snotting, rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth bitch when I got out of the car.  Even though his English skills weren’t the greatest, he was shoving that insurance card at me with the quickness.  It probably didn’t help that I refused to move the car until I at least called the police, (and apparently the word “police” is pretty high on the list of words taught in ESL classes… because the guy was really freaked when I said, “I’m calling the police,”) who conveniently won’t come out in inclement weather unless you have to call the squad.

I could have feigned injury, but then I would have been transported to the same hospital where the (hot, but clueless) male nurse in the exam room called me Mildred and asked about my diarrhea, and I would probably rather be dead than experience that particular medical facility ever again.  That, and I really don’t want to end up paying for a meaningless and aggravating trip to any ER unless I am near death or already dead, and not just suffering from the screaming snots and the fuming anger that accompanies having to deal with a trashed car.   Ironically, any other time in beautiful Central Ohio there would be cops and fire trucks and squads and sirens galore, unbidden, stopping traffic for miles for the least of fender benders, but apparently not when it’s 3º below.

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The moral of the story- only get rear ended if it’s a bright, sunny day!

I’m sure my family is sort of pissed at me too because for the past 2 weeks I’ve felt too shitty to make the trip up there.  I also don’t want to share my mucoid maladies with anyone up there, especially Dad, who gets sinus infections and pneumonia easily enough anyway. This weekend I probably won’t either, even if I am feeling better, because I’m sure Jerry might like to use his truck for something.  I know it sounds bad because I really do miss my granddaughter, but going up north every Sunday is a bit of a pain in the ass, and usually costs me money I’d rather not have to spend.  This weekend I might just lock myself in my room and troll for new reading material and enjoy my DVR’d episodes of Brickleberry. Isolation might be healthier for me and for anyone who might surround me for awhile anyway.

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I hope so.  Because I’m rather despondent at the moment.

Granted, Jerry works at the body shop that is going to be (someday?) fixing my car.  The bad part of this is that it’s winter and there’s been ice storms, so every body shop in a 50 mile radius is booked at least 6 weeks out, and this isn’t getting done anytime soon.  Technically I can drive my car the way it is even though it looks like shit, but that could make things more complicated to fix, and I really don’t want to screw with it until the other guy’s insurance adjuster approves all the (proper) repairs.  This car is a 2014 with less than 10 K on it, and they aren’t going to get away with a half ass job.  I didn’t ask for this shit and it wasn’t my fault.  I need my car back the way it was before Julio or whatever his name was saw fit to ruin the ass end of it.