I got pulled over today.
After a fun morning teaching Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Bridge at he Panhandle Press Association convention in Amarillo,Texas I was home bound.
Heading over to Oklahoma City on I-40 then north on I-35 was the quickest route, but who wants that when one can take the back roads and see abandonded airports and rural America?
So north out of Amarillo I drove. Up through one Panhandle into the next, windows down, sunroof open, halfway through a cigar, and that’s where he nabbed me, just outside of Moreland, Oklahoma.
“Do you know you were going a little fast through town back there,” the officer asked.
“Probably. I’m not from around here and don’t know the roads,” I replied as I handed him my license.
“Do you have your proof of insurance?”
“Nope. I just got home from being gone a long time and hopped in the car for this trip. It’s probably in my pile of mail at home. I might find an email with it. I’m with Farmer’s.”
“Hmmm… can you come back to the car with me?”
We walked back to the black Ford Explorer and I opened the door to get in. There were so many electronics coming out of the dash and into my seat I said “Damn. How much radiation does all that give off? I don’t want to get a tumor AND a ticket.”
He laughed as he called in my license and spent a ridiculous amount of time typing my info into his laptop.
“It’s too bad you can’t just scan my license and it puts that info in there for you automatically,” I pointed out.
“It’s supposed to do that,” he groaned. “Doesn’t work.”
I apologized for smelling like cigar and he said “if that’s the worst thing I smell today, it will be a good day.” I pondered that for a moment, but didn’t like the visuals popping into my head, so tried to drop it.
“In my defense, officer, ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel was playing on my radio and I was singing along really loudly, lost in the moment, and wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have.” He chuckled, as if he’d done the same thing at some point in his life.
Apparently, I was going 44 in a 30.
He knocked it down to 37 and let me off with a warning.
After he printed my ticket, he checked it to make sure it read “warning.” He explained that sometimes, for no reason, it will just leave that off.
“That’s better than it just putting in random crimes,” I quipped. “I would hate to get a ticket and it says ‘murder’ on it.”
“Yes,” he said, “that would be awkward.”
“Yeah, how do explain that to the judge? Seriously your honor, he just gave me a warning for it.”
So the sheriff sent me off and let me grab a pic of the crime scene before he pulled away.
I have no plans to play that song the balance of my trip home.