|The Blog|| |
|"An Important Lesson"|
posted February 20, 2006 @9:39p
When I learn a lesson in life, I feel it's my duty... no... my OBLIGATION, to pass it on to the next person. It's what I like to call 'givin a little somethin back.'
Life taught me a lesson yesterday, and so now I share.
Last night, I got pulled over again. It's probably the fifth time since last July; and I guess it's no coincidence that July happens to be the same month my speedometer stopped working.
53 in a 35.
But let's back up a few hours, to near high noon.
For lunch, I had a bigger meal than I normally do. I had a big BBQ sandwich, a big pork rib, some big french fries, and two big cherry Sprites. For dessert, I had a big ice cream with caramel and hot peanut butter sauce. I stuffed my face until there was no room left.
A couple hours later, I was with a friend of mine who just so happened to be hungry. Against my better judgment, I split a big plate of buffalo-sauced meats and some more french fries. To drink, I had three Mountain Dews.
So I had quite a bit of food... According to one estimate, I consumed about 3500 calories in a three-hour time period. That's way more than even my entire daily requirement.
Needless to say, I was running out of room in my pants. In fact, I was running out of room in my pants to such a degree that I decided to unbutton AND unzip as I drove away from the restaurant.
Overeating and unbuttoning is the type of activity that qualifies one as a manly man, so I was pretty proud...
...So a problem I have when I get pulled over by the cops is that I answer their questions as straight-up as possible. And time after time, I earn myself a ticket. They probably think I'm being sarcastic, but I really am just answering the questions as best I can. Here's an excerpt from a recent ticket-receiving conversation:
Officer: "So where you going in such a hurry?"
Me: "Well... my mom's cooking spaghetti, so... yeah... I'm pretty excited about it."
There goes $82 and four hours in traffic school.
Another excerpt, different ticket:
Officer: "You HAD to have been going faster than that. When I turned around to catch you in that 25-mile-per-hour zone, I was going 55."
Me: "Well... you'd probably know, you chase people all the time and stuff."
There goes $78 and four hours in traffic school (different county).
Last night, I decided to hold back a little bit to see what happens:
Officer: "You have anything in the vehicle I need to know about?"
Me: "Um... like what? Like.....[restraint]"
Okay, I have to stop here. This question BEGS for sarcasm. What I REALLY WANTED to say was, "AH MAN - you don't know how BADLY I was hoping you wouldn't ask me about DRUGS! I DO have some drugs. You foiled my plan. Excellent detective work, officer."
But I didn't.
The conversation continued:
Officer: "Drugs. Do you have any drugs in the vehicle?"
Me: "[restraint]............ No."
Officer: "Guns or any other weapons?"
Weapons? Can't anything be a weapon? The first thing that popped in my mind was the 'weapon' that most often gets confiscated at the airport: a fingernail file. And being a guitar player, I do keep one handy. So I pulled out my nail file and did my best not to fake-threaten him with it as I brandished it in his face.
Me: "I have this nail file."
He just tilted his head sideways and sorta stared at me like a confused puppy...
Then he asked to see my driver's license, so I pulled my wallet out of my pocket, removed the license and let him take a look at it.
He talked to homebase on his collar-installed walkie talkie a time or two, then made his decision.
HE LET ME GO.
It was the first time since 1992 that I got released without a citation.
So I was pretty excited at this point, and I was just a few hundred feet from my next destination. As I drove away from the police car, I pulled up in front of my building, and a person from the valet service desk walked towards my car to hand me a valet ticket. It wasn't your typical valet though - she was an older lady, about the same age as someone that could be my grandmother.
I was still a little flustered from the traffic stop moments ago, and I still had my wallet in my lap. As she got closer to my door, I was scrambling to get everything together and get out of my car.
She stopped at my door, valet ticket in hand, and waited for me to get out.
I was already holding my driver's license between my thumb and index finger on my right hand. With the palm of my right hand, I carefully picked up my wallet. With my left, I grabbed my mobile phone and pulled the latch to open the door.
What I had forgotten was that I had unbuttoned AND unzipped my jeans. So as I stepped out, my pants immediately began to drop to my knees.
Normally, I would have just grabbed the waistband and kept them from falling, but both my hands were full. So I had to do the quick bend-at the-waist, along with the cock-eyed-knee-spread to catch my jeans where they were, on the way down.
The lady looked me in the eye, looked down at my falling pants, stuck her hand out to block her view below my waist, looked me BACK in the eye, and said the most absurd thing she could have possibly said.
With a completely straight face, she said calmly, "I didn't realize you were busy."
The lesson: no matter how much it makes you feel like a manly man, never eat so much you have to both unbutton AND unzip.
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