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I wish the real world would just stop hassling me

by anna at 07:09 PM on May 14, 2003

As usual my grueling 14 mile commute takes me an hour. I stop to pick up a six pack of Natural Light. It occurs to me that one of those would taste good about now. So against all better judgment I pop one open and sneak a stealthy gulp. I put the can between my legs because my car lacks a cupholder. I'm three miles from home.

I approach the last stoplight and veer into the left hand turn lane. The light has just turned yellow so I speed up and make it through with seconds to spare. A siren wails as colored lights flash. I go into panic mode, stashing the open beer between the passenger seat and the console. I covered it with a newspaper.

Cop#1 pokes his shaven head into my car and says he smells alcohol. He also noted that the six-pack was missing one can. I allowed that I'd opened it and took one sip. On this basis he orders me from the vehicle to undergo a rigorous series of sobriety tests, including one where I stood on one leg flamingo-style and recited the alphabet. My performance met with his grudging satisfaction. He administered the breath test, which I passed with flying colors. Bear in mind that this all took place outside Big K-Mart with my neighbors whizzing by and waving at me. It was the 21st century equivalent of being put in stocks and flogged in the town square. Cop#2 never exited the cruiser. Did I mention that they were bicycle cops? I'm sorry but I just can't respect any cop who tools around town on a bicycle. Also, Cop#1 lectured me and was rude and disrespectful. Eventually he wrote me a ticket for running a red light, failing to wear a seat belt and "drinking while driving." Not an open container offense, which can be be dealt with via mailing a check.

A conviction on the latter count would of course cause my insurance rates to skyrocket. I'd become what Jay Leno called an outdoor wine enthusiast. Insurance companies hate reckless people like me, even though I work in the industry.

The courtroom was packed beyond capacity. It was a multiethnic cattle call shepherded by a phalanx of lawyers and interpreters. The chaotic situation in Iraq would seem orderly by comparison. Here's how it went: The judge first weeded out the easy cases. Then he disposed of cases where plea bargains had been hastily ironed out in the hallway. This process left a handful of diehards who actually wanted their day in court. Both the remaining cops and the judge looked upon us with palpable disdain.

My bicyclist accusers testified and it was clear they'd made sure their stories matched to a tee. According to their revised version both officers had participated in my interrogation, testing and citation. Both had personally seen the taboo open beer. A sense of impending doom set in as I envisioned my future dwelling in an appliance box.

But I did get a chance to cross-examine and I ripped these liars new assholes. I asked if they were absolutely sure they'd seen the can. Both said yes. I then asked what brand it was. Both said Michelob. Where did they see the Michelob? In the non-existent cupholder, both testified under oath. I turned to the breath test, asking what the results were. To my shock Cop#1 said his notes didn't reflect that information. I pounced: "Given that you signed this warrant charging me with drinking while driving don't you think that's the least bit relevent?" I then negated Cop#2's corraborative testimony by establishing that he sat there staring blankly into space the whole time. Lastly I asked them why they didn't pour out the alleged beer they'd seen. By that point a stony silence was all they could muster.

The judge looked on with interest piqued at the sudden influx of drama into his mundane traffic court hell. I told him all I can afford is Natural Light. I also produced a picture of the interior of my car that refuted their cupholder theory. He cleared me of all charges and asked to speak with the lying cops privately afterwards. Their glares at me were priceless. With a curt rap of his gavel the judge cleared me of all charges, even though I was guilty of all.

Like O.J. after his baffling exoneration, I basked in the triumphant glow of my The Practice moment. And you can bet I'll never commit that blunder again. Now if we could only be so sure he won't lop off somebody else's head.

comments (12)

Absolutely hilarious. Always the problem with lying, the little cracks will have you drowned in no time. Congratulations. Go and drink and drive no more.

by Tomiwa at May 14, 2003 7:17 PM

Hooray!!!! chalk one up for the common man.

by Dmoney at May 15, 2003 1:00 AM

Thanks. Another funny thing about lying: I can't count the time I've been telling the truth but was somehow made to feel that I wasn't. Maybe it's because I've got such a dishonest looking face.

by Anna at May 15, 2003 7:43 AM

Yay Anna! I'm very impressed! Just be careful-those cops will probably be on the look out for you now!

by shannon at May 15, 2003 9:08 AM

Oh man...that story is TOO funny. You are one lucky son of a gun. Next time to get the urge for just one sip before getting home, SQUASH it! LoL

by Tricia at May 15, 2003 10:53 AM


You are the mAnna!

God, where were you when I had to go to traffic court?

by Linz at May 15, 2003 12:32 PM

fucking priceless.

by JC at May 15, 2003 4:17 PM

I'm glad y'all found it amusing but I gotta tell you I was sweating bullets. Fortunately I've had a lot of practice trapping people in their own webs of deceit on my job.

And trust me Tricia, I won't.

And yeah Shannon they have been on my trail ever since.

by Anna at May 15, 2003 6:14 PM

I'm glad y'all found it amusing but I gotta tell you I was sweating bullets. Fortunately I've had a lot of practice trapping people in their own webs of deceit on my job.

And trust me Tricia, I won't.

And yeah Shannon they have been on my trail ever since.

by Anna at May 15, 2003 6:14 PM

You should brown bag a forty ounce and ride a mountain bike by the Big-Kmart(recently out of bankruptcy), and propose a toast...to your self-control...

by LOCKHEED at May 15, 2003 6:34 PM

Great job Anna!! But next time, drink gin-- and just one tiny sip.

by jean at May 15, 2003 9:09 PM

Way to go!!!!!! I have a court date coming up in a few months for apparently running a red-light and not wearing a seatbelt. The lying bastards (cops) wait literally three deep in unmarked cars at the height of rush hour on the last day of the month picking people off. Everyone I talk to says to just pay the fines and take the points - fuck them! This was a great story to read...

by Brian at December 11, 2003 1:47 PM

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