Thursday, July 26, 2007

International Road Trip: Entry 2

Next day we headed out around 12 after visiting Burton's grandma. She sent us on our way with some fruit and graham crackers . We had a pretty uneventful trip until we reached about the middle of Oregon. Burton was driving. I spotted a cop in the median between the highway lanes and said “Burt, po-po.” He didn’t realize what I had said 'til we were right on top of the cop. Burton slowed down (he had only been doing 5 over anyway), and we passed the cop doing the limit. I think its important to note that we were all in good spirits at this point and probably all had smiles on our faces, which I think is the only explanation for what happened next. The cop pulled out of the median. We had two semis between us and him and they were doing a good job of staying side by side, which kept him off our tails for a bit. Burt wasn’t sure if the cop had clocked us before he slowed down or not, and Glade said he needed to pee. So we decided to pull off at the next exit and try and lose him (and find a bathroom). We pulled off, and the cop pulled off behind us. And tailed us for a couple of miles (there were no gas stations or anything for Glade). After tailing us for an eternity, the cop finally turned on his lights. He asked us if we were aware that we had "something hanging off your bumper." Burt told him he had been rear ended recently and hadn’t gotten it fixed. I must say at this point I was relieved (unlike glade who really REALLY needed to relieve himself). But then, the cop asked us if we had been drinking, and if we had been taking any illegal substances. Burt giggled at this because its absurdity (to him) and said "uh…*giggle*. No…." The cop then asked him to take off his glasses and tip his head back. Burt complied. Then he told him to close his eyes.. Burt shut his eyes kinda tight, on account of the sun was being pretty bright and kinda bothering him. The cop told him not to squint, "just relax," so he did. His eye lids were fluttering (again, the sun was being absurdly bright.) He (the cop, not Burton) said that was indicative or marijuana use. He asked if we would be okay with him searching the car. We said (in unison) "Sure, go ahead!" Then he asked if we would be okay with a canine unit coming in to sniff our luggage. Sure. Go ahead. Glade asked if it was illegal to pee on the side of the road. Cop said it was (whatever). He took Burt’s ID and registration and went back to his car. When he came back he asked Burt to step out of the car and do a couple more tests. He told him to do the little close your eyes thing again, then had him stick his tongue out. He said that his green tongue was also indicative of smoking weed, asked him again if he had been using it. Burt explained that he had an Amp energy drink in the car if the officer wanted to look. The cop said “Be honest with me, have you EVER in your life used marijuana?” Burt replied “No, never in my entire life have I ever used marijuana” he asked if either Glade or I had ever used it. “Not to my knowledge.” He asked him again if he would be okay with having his car searched by a canine unit. When Burt again said “Go ahead,” the cop told him he was okay to leave, and told him where the next gas station was.

That was just plain, old-fashioned harassment. The guy is bored out of his mind, sees three guys having a good time and thinks “I could wait for someone to speed, but that’s probably not going to happen, it hasn’t yet at least… or I could go stop those guys … easy enough…. they have a broken bumper… and I’m sure there’s a couple of secondary offenses I can get them on… seat belts… registration… insurance. Yeah! Lets do that! (he said all of this to the little devil on his left shoulder).

Upon discovering that we are 100 percent legit motorists, he figures (in his head so we can’t hear him) “So you have all your ducks in a row, do you? Well let’s just see about that… I’ve seen happy campers in my day, and I’ve seen campers that are TOO happy. And there’s the slightest chance that you have enlisted the aid of a little helper, if you know what I mean… which, if you could hear my thoughts, you probably would.”

And then he sets about trying to find any little discrepancy in our mannerisms and behaviors that would give the slightest reason for suspicion. “Well” he says in his brain “ this driver guy is certainly giggly, and he probably doesn’t react well to bright light… I’ll have him stare at the sun!” He continues and then he gets a little more frustrated, “this guy has to have at least TRIED drugs at one point in his life…”

Anyway, you get the point. He thinks like a child who loves playing cops and robbers. He also reminds me of a beast I once knew that was the most tenacious of tentacled sea dwellers. He just wouldn’t let go. He met his end at the point of a harpoon… directly between the eyes. As I am sure that cop will.

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