Ten minutes of my life

March 1, 2008

I went to play poker last week and after playing poorly and getting knocked out of TWO tournaments I figured my best course of action was to go home.

So I hopped in the tiny car and puttered down the road in Wilton, NH.


No sooner did I begin my puttering—at 25MPH mind you—than I saw a police car tucked neatly into a driveway watching all the passing cars with care.

I smiled smugly and continued my puttering. Then, for no reason, I thought I would look back and see if he had darted out of his alcove to nap a perp. To my surprise he was right behind me with lights ablaze and spotlight making my little Scion a star.

“How you doin’ tonight?” he said. His face looked to be about 11, but the uniform commanded my respect.

“I’m fine, and you?”

“Good, good. I pulled you over because you have a light out.”

“Really?” The car had been inspected recently and it won’t pass if any lights are inoperable.

“Yeah, it’s a plate light, or maybe two. But it’s out. Can I have your license and registration?”

This is where I split personalities and ran a conversation in my head while being perfectly polite.

—In My Head (IMH) Are you out of your mind? You pulled me over because you can’t read my license plate?

—Out Loud (OL) Sure, here you go.

“Thanks. I’m just going to go write you up and I’ll be back. Will only take a few minutes.”

—IMH Are you really writing me up for this? Am I being punk’d?

—OL Great, thanks.

When officer pre-pubescent came back to the car he handed me a slip of paper along with my license and registration. The slip of paper was what amounted to a journal entry of his first traffic stop. It wasn’t a warning. It wasn’t a ticket. It was just—as he put it—a note telling me why he stopped me.


“None of this goes on your record and there’s no fine. Just a description of why I pulled you over.”

—IMH Does the speed limit here double as the IQ average in the town? Didn’t you already tell me twice why I was being pulled over? Would it be too much to ask if you could give me the last ten minutes of my life back so I could travel four more miles out of your pretty little town?

—OL Oh, thanks again. I’ll fix that tomorrow.

I shake my head. In retrospect I guess he was probably one of the newer cops on the force and was practicing his stops. And I admire his attention to detail—if the Staties paid that much attention to reckless drivers, cars that wouldn’t pass inspection and other hazards on the road, there’d be no traffic here EVER.

I applaud the police for protecting us. Both from ourselves and from others. Yay!

More to come…