Down By Law
Once you've got everything all set up, then you want to have these folks just leaving a race so that they'll all be talking about it as they head merrily home. Then you've got the bait ready and you hit the road fishing for an encounter with Missouri's finest. It shouldn't take long.
To really set the hook, you take extra long to pull over when the Holstein finally takes the bait and gets behind you with his lights flashing. Every encounter from here on will be great for viewing as the trooper will do all in his power to be so patronizing and irritating that it will take Herculean restraint on the part of all the van occupants in order to stay out of jail.
Trooper: "Did you know you were speeding?"
Me: "No, I really didn't."
Trooper: "Why is that, do you have a speedometer?"
Me: "Yes, I just didn't realize I was speeding."
Trooper: "You don't pay attention to your speed?"
Me: "I try."
Trooper: "Who's the owner of this van?
Trooper: "Please step out of the van and stand at the back while I ask your passengers some questions." Then I hear him ask no one in particular, "Who's the owner of this van?"
He tells me to get in his car. Once there, he makes me empty out my pockets, then he reaches over and pats my pockets getting a little too close to the boys in the process. Then he starts running a check on my license and peppering me with questions.
Trooper: "Why'd it take you so long to pull over?"
Me: "I pulled over as soon as I saw you back there."
Trooper: "Was something impairing your senses, cause I was back there a long time with the lights and siren on."
Me: "Well, the van's loud and we were talking and we just got done with a hard race and I guess I just didn't know you were there."
Trooper: "Was something impairing you?"
Me: "Nothing more than old age, I'm kinda hard of hearing."
Trooper: "When's the last time you smoked marijuana?"
Me: "Oh, I don't know, I guess back in the sixties."
Trooper: "Oh, come on, it's been since then hasn't it?"
Me: "Well, racin' bikes in 100 degrees and smokin' don't really go together."
Trooper: "Oh, I don't know I've busted a lot of bike racers."
Me: "They were probably mountain bikers."
Trooper: "What am I gonna find in the back of the van?"
Me: "Stinky bikes and even stinkier bikin' clothes."
Then he tells me we're waiting for his backup cause he can't unload everyone out of the van by himself. I ask him what he means by that and he says, well, there's five of you and only one of me, would you like those odds? I say, I guess not. I ask him why he's gonna unload everyone and he says, too many things don't add up here.
Then he re-asks about why I didn't pull over sooner and he asks me about ten questions having to do with the OK plates and why I have the van and why it's not licensed in MO when I live in MO. I tell him I just got the van in OK and I'm moving there in a couple of weeks. He tells me it's illegal for me not to register it in MO even if I'd be doing it for less than a month. I don't say anything back.
When the 1-Adam-12 backup unit arrives, they both pull on evidence-handling black leather gloves. Then he opens the side doors and starts talking to everyone in the van. At this point, the retired utility lineman and Viet-Nam vet is making it a point to listen intently to what the trooper is saying, and this unnerves the trooper who tells the guy, "I don't like the way you're staring at me." And really this guy who we all know as one of the most solid citzens, a father and grandfather and a credit to his community, actually does have a stare that will incline a circumspect person to feel like they should not fuck with this guy. But my buddy simply tells the trooper that he was only trying to pay attention to what he's telling them.
Then the woman professor further unnerves the trooper by telling him she needs to go to the bathroom (right there in front of God and everyone). He doesn't realize how many miles this woman rides a bike with mostly all guys. He tells her to go ahead, but to just get out of sight and makes her empty her pockets first.
After searching everyone and running their licenses and searching the van the trooper comes back to the car. And I couldn't help myself from offering just one smart-assed comment.
Me: "How'd it go?"
Trooper: "Pretty good" And he hands me my license telling me he's not giving me a ticket. He tells me to slow down---as if that had anything at all to do with why he pulled me over. After all this, he says I was doing 71, which is way slower than I'm usually driving in my unmarked, shiny clean late-model yuppie-mobile that never gets noticed by the man.
And then our intrepid public servant ties it all up in a neat package with his parting salvo:
Trooper: "Mr. McDonald, can I give you some advice?"
Me: "Sure, man."
Trooper: "Don't wear that shirt."
What I wanted to say was, "Dude, now I know to only wear this shirt when I'm this clean." But what I really said was, "Well, I bought it at a garage sale and thought it would be real funny to wear to a bike race, but I guess it wasn't such a great idea."
So Jelly Roll Hill will be glad to hear that I now have a new lucky race shirt. Later.