Three policemen pulled me over because they thought I was drunk. The good news, (or is it?)--they didn't all pull me over at the same time.
The first time, I occurred as I drove the Natchez Trace. I gave myself plenty of time for the slower speed, but I didn't realize there would be an interesting or interactive display at every bend in the road. As a result, I drove longer than I should have. Just ten miles until I could tuck myself in, an officer stopped me. Following me for several miles, he had witnessed my shoulder hugging and when I crossed the line he stopped me. Hearing my destination was only a few minutes away, and confirming my sobriety, he let me go.
I once received a moving violation ticket because my car nose did not dip and bow--the cop claimed it was an incomplete stop. I claimed the nose doesn't dip if you aren't going above 5 mph. My claim was in my head so he didn't hear it. That was when I was still a quiet girl who never questioned authority figures. Now, I not only question, I would also fight it in front of The Judge. So imagine my consternation upon learning The Police thought I might be drunk when I came to a complete stop, ensuring my car nose dipped and bowed. Twice. Not the bobbing and dipping. The thinking I was inebriated.
In my naivety I unaware stoping too long could infer you might be drunk. Evidentially the trained eye equates anything more than a California Rolling Stop with Possibly Passed Out. At least that's what two different policemen have told me.
The first time occurred within a block of my house. It was a hot summers night and my air conditioning was out. At two o'clock in the morning the heat appeared to be intensifying rather than lessening and I couldn't take it any longer. I'd taken cool showers, drunk gallons of water, stuck my head in the freeze, and stripped down to the barest of clothing--yet I remained hotter than Hades. I decided to go for a ride in the air conditioned comfort of my car. When I saw the police officer at the stop sign across the intersection I realized I had not buckled up. In an elaborately fluid move I managed to scratch my left ear, fluff my hair, grab the seat belt, draw it across my body to secure it in the receptacle, flip the turn signal, and make the turn before placing my hand back on the wheel. I drove half a block before the blue lights commenced their flashing. The baby faced officer irked me when he asked me what I was doing out at that time of night. Annoyed, I asked in my most imperious voice, "Is there a curfew for 53 year old women of which I am unaware?" Never mind I was wrong in driving without my seat belt. Never mind that I live in a less than ideal part of town and I was out after the bars close down (we don't have bars). I didn't like being questioned as if I were a teenager looking for trouble, for the sole reason I took extra time at a stop sign. Since he didn't mention the seatbelt violation, or the last minute turn signs,I didn't feel the need to mention them either.
Recently I was again stopped by the police. This Officer came out and blatantly said he thought I was passed out drunk. Really? How many other passed out drunks wave the cops to pass them?! When I attempted to explain why I was driving around--or rather parked at a stop sign--I actually sounded drunk to myself. Or high.
Or mentally unstable...
Once again, it was o'dark thirty. I had started out to the gym when my low tire pressure warning light came on. My thought was to air up the tire and keep an eye on it to see if it was just low, or had a slow leak. In my search for a working air machine, I found my little town has plenty machines that will take your money; however, they don't all dispense air. Two machines didn't have gauges (and my gauge was MIA, so I was eyeballing it). Another machine sounded as if it was letting more air out than I was getting in--no matter the angle I held the wand. I finally found a machine that dispensed air and had a working gauge. I filled up the tire and went on to the gym; however, before I arrived, the warning light came back on. The tire had a fast leak.
Since I could not trust the tire to remain inflated, I alternated running errands that were doable at o'dark thirty and refilling the tire. I picked up junk mail at the post office, returned audio books to the public library, and checked bank and credit union balances and PINS. Finally, I was out of constructive things to do.
Then I remembered a list of houses for sale I had recently compiled. At the stop sign I attempted to speak the address for one of the houses that I thought was nearby. NavGirl was having none of my nonexistent Texas drawl. I love a good drawl, but I don't have one. Growing up as an Air Force Brat affords me a slightly more metropolitan speaking voice. You'd think NavGirl would understand it. But she does not. In fact she frequently has difficulty understanding me. I think she misunderstands me on purpose.
As I was attempting, for the umpteenth time, to tell NavGirl where to go, I was struck by how similar my experience was to Miranda. Miranda is a British comedy on BBC with hysterical story lines like an I Love Lucy episode. One episode Miranda had occasion to talk with an automated system over the phone. No matter how clearly, and slowly, she enunciated, AutoIdiot misunderstood what she said. It is a hilarious skit. One I totally relate to all too frequently.
Where do they find these hearing impaired AutoIdiots?!
My SUV also has a touch screen for manually inputting the information. Since NavGirl was playing daft, I decided to write the address in. That's what I was attempting when the police office pulled up to the stop sign across the street. I attempted to wave him on, so he would not waste his time, but he stubbornly stayed where he was. Ogling me. After a few attempts, in which TouchyDumby would not let me input the city--then erased the street when I tricked it into accepting the city--and finally gave me address parameters that excluded the address listed on the real estate website. I finally gave up and turned onto the street in front of me. I was soon joined by the policeman with his pretty blue lights.
When he told me he was checking to see if I was drunk--because I had stopped so long at the sign he thought I was passed out thought to myself you didn't see me waving you on? Rather than copping an attitude with him, I started babbling about leaking tires, nonfunctioning air machines, Mirranda, missing streets, and automation with a grudge. He let quickly let me go--with directions to the missing street.
Straight jackets, competency hearing judges, looney bin admission paperwork, and drunk driving--I've been independently evaluated and released by three different policemen, on three different occasions. I've been deemed neither drunk nor loony--even when I have initially presented as one or the other.