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Saturday, July 09 2011

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  I lied to a cop. Well, not exactly. "Lie" is such a dirty word. Let's just say "I failed to be completely honest."  Yeah, that sounds better. 

You see, last night I had a run-in with 'tha law.' It went something like this . . . 

At midnight I find myself driving down the road, (with three dogs in the truck), when I see red and blue lights in my rear-view mirror.  Since I am on the phone with Other Half, I announce that "tha lawz dun got me!"

I know why.  I know how this game is played. Years ago I worked with narcotics. I know how to troll for dope.  I know how to run traffic while you're looking for bigger fish.  Repeat after me:  Probable cause!

In Cop Speak, we call that PC.  Probable cause is your justification for stopping a vehicle.

Once the vehicle is stopped for a legitimate "law-breakin' offense," that puppy is yours!  You can walk up, flashlight the dazed occupants inside and look for the signs that will lead you to something bigger. 

It is a dangerous game, but can lead to big payoffs.  Running traffic is like a warped game of Let's Make A Deal.  Stopping a car on traffic is like choosing to look behind Door #3.

What's in this car?  A Drunk? A teenager with a hooker?  (Don't laugh. It's happened to me.)  Or it could be big fish, like a drug smuggler, or a felony suspect. Remember Timothy McVeigh was stopped for a broken tail light!  But I digress . . .

In the 'hood, if your car is not in pristine shape with everything working, inspection and registration current, etc, they say you are "ridin' dirty," because that's the PC the cop needs to pull you over for a closer look. And trust me, no one wants the cops to look closely at their vehicle.  I'm a cop, married to a cop, and I still don't like it. Thus, when the red and blue lights popped on behind me, I knew it was because I was "ridin' dirty!"

And thus we continue our story . . .

I announce to Other Half that 'tha lawz' now have me because I am ridin' dirty. The right rear tail light has been out for . . . at least 3 months.  (I KNOW!  I KNOW!  I keep forgetting it!)  Anyway, I know why I am being stopped, and I'm a cop.  And my husband knows exactly where I am and why I am being stopped, but still my heart is beating a bit faster. Why?

Well . . . have you ever been stopped on traffic with three loose dogs in the truck when you have a gun beside you, but a badge in a backpack in the back seat?   Yeaaaaaahhhhhhh . . . (note to Self: Don't let this happen again.)

The spotlight in my rearview mirrors drown out my vision. Since I've been on the other side of that spotlight, it doesn't really bother me.  This is a state trooper however.  State Troopers work alone.  People who work on dark county roads by themselves don't like to see guns anywhere but on their own hips.  But then again, there's a solution for that!

A rabid Border Collie!  Two rabid Border Collies!  Two rabid Border Collies and a Blue Heeler! 

Picture this - an innocent state trooper starts at the back, and walks along the passenger side of the vehicle to the front of the vehicle, and back down the driver's side of the vehicle, all the while flashlighting the interior.  Friends and Neighbors, it was ugly.

My innocent Lily mutates into Cujo. She makes Ranger the Blue Heeler look like Ghandi.  She follows that flashlight beam all the way around the vehicle.  All that trooper sees is teeth and tonsils. I could have had 50 kilos of cocaine in that truck and it would have been neatly hidden underneath all that rage and slobber.  She has her feet on the dash following the flashlight beam with her teeth! Holy crap, she even scares me.

Add to this ridiculous scene the screaming woman snarling "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Get back!" and you have a pretty good idea of what the trooper saw. (It wasn't our finest hour. I'm just sayin'.)

I roll the window down a smidge and inform "tha law" that I was also "tha law" (thus not dangerous) and promise to produce a badge and ID to go with the gun. (that was hidden under a growling dog, but you should never really count on that . . .)  After I snarl my beasts back into submisssion, I crawl out of the vehicle.  The trooper then informs me that my tail light is out.

"REALLY??!!!"    (Father, forgive me!)

"Yes M'am, come look at it."

"Oh, I believe you!  Ohmygosh!  You're RIGHT!  My tail light IS out!"  (Father, forgive me!)

The trooper then looks at my police ID and Driver license while I wallow in guilt and shame for deceiving "tha lawz."  On the other hand, saying "Yeah, that sucker's been out for 3 months" just doesn't seem appropriate for the situation.  I take my warning ticket with a measure of relief colored with a twinge of shame.  I am now "on paper" for my crime.

I get back in the car and inform Lily that now Mommy is "on paper" and we have a record. She informs me that the dogs have discussed it as a group and have decided if things had turned ugly on the side of the road, they wouldn't be taken into custody, nor would they be taken alive. I offer that it was highly unlikely things would turn ugly from a broken tail light unless "my gang" escalated the situation by cussing at the cops. She allows as how that might be true, but since Trace is too young to spend any time in the doggy slammer, they weren't taking any chances. Point well taken.

I peer through the slobber and nose prints that coat my windshield as I pull back onto the highway and contemplate the poor trooper, teeth, tonsils and the sanity of someone who ride with beasts like that.  It really wasn't our finest hour . . .

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 04:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Why, why, WHY do I have this mental image of Lily screaming (a la James Cagney)*You'll never take me alive, copper!!!* When Belle was still small enough to carry around in my jacket pocket, I ran into our local Chief of Police. He wanted to see New Puppy, so I took her out of my pocket and set her on the ground. She peed on his shoe. But he didn't give me a ticket......LOL.....
Posted by Diane I. on 07/09/2011 - 07:11 PM
I just lost the morning coffee [nearly] over the key board...what a mental cartoon...Thanks for Briar update
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 07/09/2011 - 08:53 PM
Don't look now but the trooper just read your blog and now the entire department has seen it and so has the state vet lab and all the animal control officers not to mention your priest and so ppppplllllleeeaaaassseee get the tail light fixed! he he he
Posted by sue in wyoming on 07/10/2011 - 11:09 AM
gee, wonder how the trooper would have described the encounter? thanks for such vivid and entertaining writing, i can totally imagine the 3 dogs making a plan to keep you out of jail. now, gotta go make arrangements to get my tail light fixed. stay cool.
Posted by clairesmum on 07/11/2011 - 07:25 AM
I suppose it's good that the dogs didn't have the rifle (as above) with them at the time.
Posted by Eric on 07/12/2011 - 02:39 AM
Just for the record, I fixed that tail light the very next day!!!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 07/12/2011 - 12:36 PM

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