I was pulled over by the police Sunday night. Twice.
Because I drive like a retired schoolteacher I haven’t received a ticket in years. Last night I was headed west on K-10 toward Lawrence when I passed a car that was going even more slowly than me.
Sure enough, blue and red lights lit up my rear view.
"Did you know that your right headlight is out?" the officer asked when he strolled up to my window.
No, I didn’t know that, sir.
"Have you been drinking?"
No, not a drop. (True.)
"Are you sure?"
Yes. (Sure enough, you pulled over the rare sports fan who doesn't drink on Sunday afternoons.)
"May I see your driver’s license?"
(It’s at this point that I wished that the photo on my license didn't resemble a roadie for the Allman Brothers Band.)
"Why are you eyes red and bloodshot?"
I don’t know. (Because I’m exhausted. Motorhead rattled my cranium last night and I spent the afternoon raking leaves.)
A lengthy session of follow-the-flashlight-with-your-eyes followed. I had nothing to hide, and he let me off.
The same thing- without the sobriety test- happened on my drive back to Kansas City three hours later.
The experience taught me a few things. First, you can’t see a thing when a police lights are immediately behind you at night. Secondly, even though I’m mortified of the police, they’re even more afraid of me. I made certain I telegraphed my every move, lest I get shot by a nervous officer. "I’m going to open my glove compartment now- is that alright?" And my life would be so much easier if I modeled my appearance on Phill Kline or Jim Talent.
Finally, I learned that one headlight works pretty darn well.