That Was a Close One…

I just got pulled over by Metro’s Finest. I was totally in the wrong, not paying enough attention on the way back from the bank driving down a bad part of Murfreesboro Road. I turned left onto a worse road during a green light without noticing that there was a red left turn arrow. Oh, and I had to gun it pretty good to avoid getting t-boned by an oncoming car that I hadn’t noticed. An oncoming police car. Crap.

I pulled into the parking lot of a pretty scary apartment complex with the blue lights flashing behind me. I turned off the radio, took off my sunglasses, rolled down my window, shut off my engine and had my license, registration and proof of insurance in my hands in the ten seconds it took the officer to walk up to me.

I apologized. I smiled. I joked that I was an idiot and that I was listening to somebody bad-mouth the Vols on sports talk and had rolled into the intersection. (A stab in the dark, I admit, but it worked.) I’m pretty sure he had already made up his mind not to give me a ticket when he saw me pull into that scary parking lot. “Just show me your insurance and I’ll let you off with a warning,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I had to pull you over because they were all watching.” They? The whole stop was less than 30 seconds and he was outta there before I could get my window rolled up.

So I am embarrassed yet happy to say that I am the beneficiary of reverse profiling. A white guy with a tie on in a bad neighborhood (because it’s where I work) who isn’t buying drugs and has his registration crap together is usually pretty likely to get out of a ticket.

To summarize CeeElCee’s advice when getting stopped by the fuzz:
1.) Be polite.
2.) Keep it light.
3.) Be white.

It’s sad but true.

Another good piece of advice is that if you get pulled over at night, turn on your dome light, have your license between your fingers and position your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock with the window down as the officer approaches your door. There’s nothing scarier to a policeman than walking up on a car at night. If the officer sees you in this position, odds are he’ll ask if you’re a cop too. The proper response is, “No officer, but a friend of mine who is says this makes you all feel more comfortable when you’re stopping somebody at night.” If you can manage to say that without slurring your words or throwing up on the floorboard, you’ll probably be free to drive another day.

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13 Responses to That Was a Close One…

  1. sista says:

    Did you cry for him, too?

  2. bridgett says:

    I admit it. I have played the giggly dumb blonde to get out of a ticket. More than once. The trick there is to drop all your IQ points to the floorboard and kick them back under the seat so that when you’re asked about the bum tail light and the expired plates, you can act as though you have no idea cars came equipped with such complicated stuff.

  3. Angella says:

    First gig at your site, thanks to BusyMom. Laughed and forward this to several. Too true. As well as the previous comments. Great advice. Great experience.

  4. lcreekmo says:

    I am here to say I have tried all of the above and I have NEVER, EVER gotten out of a ticket.

    However, when I was 18 and got a ticket for going 84 mph in a 55 while driving home trying to beat curfew — I’m pretty certain I haven’t driven that fast in years — a major panic attack on my part induced the trooper to knock it down to 70, thus saving me major bucks on both the ticket and my insurance.

    My father also informed me that next time I should just be late and he wouldn’t care. I took his advice.

  5. Blogarita says:

    I hear showing a little cleavage works, too.

    But since you’re a guy….probably not.

  6. Kat Coble says:

    Interesting, in light of our conversation last week on racism, that you would describe a neighborhood as “scary”, all the while you and your readers making the assumption that “Scary” = “not white”.

    I’d really be interested to know which neighborhood/apt. complex along M’boro it was. When I lived in that general area there there were indeed many scary places, about 50% inhabited by whites.

  7. Heather says:

    Meh, doesn’t work in West St. Paul, MN. I made a left turn and ended up in the center lane a touch longer than was appropriate as I tried to merge. I got pulled. To this day, I don’t think I did anything illegal.

    It went like this. I had my license and registration out and ready, window rolled down. I think I was about 22, so I probably looked 16.

    Him, shouting – You didn’t do one f****ng thing right about that left turn!
    Me – wideyed (Did he just talk to me like that?)

    He took my license and registration, while I sat there getting angry.
    He came back. – Your record is clean, don’t do that again.

    I was dumbfounded. I didn’t think to get his number or anything. What. a. jerk.

  8. Panic Portal says:

    Panic Away

    This brought me back from the Brink!

  9. Panic Portal says:

    Panic Away Now

    This helped me out of those DARK PLACES.

  10. Panic Away Education

    This helped me out of those DARK PLACES.

  11. Kathy T. says:

    I’m with Laura… I’ve been pulled over twice and was polite both times. Both times – ticket. I still maintain my innocence.

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