Saturday, October 10, 2009

Be nice to your policeman

I got pulled over.

So yesterday I was driving home from work, happy to have a couple of days off after a pretty uneventful week, doing the same thing I do every day on my way home: trying to speed. My route home from downtown involves as many side streets as possible because there are so God damned people here anymore and traffic makes me crazy. Lately I've been taking the same route home as I do to work - Naito to Barbur Blvd to Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy to Shattuck to Vermont to Oleson to Hall to Greenway to Murray to my street. It takes roughly 25 minutes depending on what time I leave. The worst of it is getting out of downtown and getting off Beaverton Hillsdale. The better of it is driving up Shattuck. The only people that take it live there.

After crawling on Beaverton Hillsdale, avoiding pussy wagons and trying to understand why someone driving 30 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone insists on doing so in the left lane (or at all, really, I don't get that. Do you not pay attention to the signs?), I made it to the left turn to Shattuck and relished the impending rush of speed. Unfortunately there was a Portland Police cruiser waiting to rain a little bit on my parade. He clocked me going 44 in a 30 but even I am a little shocked at that (not really). He pulled me over in the Alpenrose parking lot, but since he caught me, I was nice and played along with him. Because of this, he only gave me a warning (which has never happened to me) and told me that I won the "attitude of the day" award (for which the prize was obviously not traffic school). It made me happy and therefore as I pulled out I almost immediately gunned it back up to the low 40s until I realized he would probably follow me. He did. All the way down Oleson to Hall, where I turned right and he went straight. I will be more attentive in the future. And I honestly believe that I would not have gotten a warning had all this happened in the jurisdiction of the Beaverton Police. We just don't get along.

(Did I tell you that story about my 15th birthday? Prowler? Bread board/broom/serrated bread knife? No police for four hours despite my repeated phoning and begging them to come check it out? And then they didn't show up until Tom went outside and caused a minor ruckus and the neighbor called the cops on him and THEN they showed? I think I did. So you can imagine my feelings still, 29 years later, about Beaverton's finest)

I have a lot of respect for the police, I really do. It's got to be a shit job anymore, what with all the crazy people out there. People don't really have any boundaries at all with the police anymore. Well, criminally speaking. When a cop pulls someone over they have know idea whether or not the person in the car is packing and whether or not they are going home that night. Imagine a job like that. Imagine not knowing if this next call could be your last. I may have my differences with the Beaverton police, but at least I can respect the fact that their job is pretty much a life-or-death situation every day. Mine is too, but it's a different kind of death. I mean, so far I've only had one threat to my physical safety, but the guy threatening me was drunk and I probably could have taken him anyway.

So the moral of today's story is if you get pulled over, be nice. Realize they busted you for doing something you probably shouldn't have been doing and they might be relieved enough over not having been shot that they'll let you off with a warning.

Have a happy Saturday and Go Ducks!

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