Yesterday morning I was in the mood for a kolache. If you're not Czech, or you don't live in this area, you may have no idea what a kolache is. I didn't until I moved here. Kolaches are a Czech pastry. They can have fruit, cheese, or meat filling. Basically, it's a fancy Czech term for either a danish, donut, or pig in a blanket. That's the best way I can describe them to someone who's never had one. I like the kind with the little mini sausages and cheese in them. They are delicious. This picture does not do them justice.
So. It's Saturday morning and I want some. There's a little bakery down the street that sells them, so I get in the car and go. This is kind of a boring story so far, isn't it? I'm sorry. It's about to get better. I hope.
I'm in my neighborhood. I'm driving the speed limit. I'm wearing my seat belt. My registration and inspection are both current. I'm not texting. And I'm sober as a judge. I come to a 4 way stop, and I'm turning right. There is a cop in the on the road I'm about to turn on, also at the stop sign. I signal my turn and wait for him to go. He was there first. He starts to go, and as I make my turn, I see him do a quick U-turn and turn his lights on.
Oh for crying out loud.
I rack my brains and try to figure out what in Moses' name I could possibly be getting pulled over for. As I said, I was obeying all the rules of the road. And I know I'd come to a complete stop at the stop sign because he had the right of way. I seriously have no idea at this point what the hell this cop could want with me. Because of this, I'm not really nervous. Now, I've been pulled over before when I know I've been speeding, or ran a red light, or what have you, and I've been shaking, nervous, on the verge of tears. But this time, I couldn't see that I had done anything wrong, and furthermore, the cops in my little community are (pardon my French) DICKS, so I just kind of sat back and waited to see what ol' John Q had to say.
"Good morning ma'am," (strike one, don't call me ma'am, buddy) "I'm Office Asshole with the Mayberry Police Department. You're being pulled over this morning because you failed to signal 100 feet before making your turn. Is there a reason for this ma'am?" (again with the ma'am)
"Uhhh, um, no." (seriously, that's probably more eloquent than I actually was. I was dumbfounded.) I stare blankly at him.
"Are you in some kind of hurry this morning? What's the rush?"
Blank stare continues. "No rush." Feeble shrug. "Didn't even realize......" my sentence trails off. I don't even know what to say.
"License and insurance please?"
I hand them over. He walks back to his car. And I sit there. And think. And think. Let me paint the picture for you.
I'm in a residential neighborhood. I'm not on a busy street. In fact, there was no one behind me when I approached this stop sign. The cop was on the other street, also at the stop sign. It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning. There were no children playing in the street (as there sometimes are in my neighborhood). I was not speeding. I came to a complete stop. I USED MY SIGNAL. I just didn't turn it on 100 feet prior to making my turn. So for this, the cop MAKES A U-TURN, and pulls me the fuck over. Pardon my French again. But are you fucking kidding me??
Wow, what a menace I am. What a dangerous driver. Thank goodness he was there to prevent me from hurting anyone. Don't bother pulling over people who are, oh, I don't know, actually speeding (which I still think is ridiculous in most situations), or killing people, or selling crack cocaine, or molesting children. No, I'm the real threat to society.
At least he didn't ask to search my car and find that dismembered body and kilo of pure Mexican heroin in my trunk. Whew. Close call.
So he comes back and says,
"Ma'am, I'm only going to write you a warning today. I need you to sign here, which indicates that I have given you a warning for failing to signal 100 feet before your turn."
"Thank you. Here's your license and your copy of the warning. You drive safe today."
And I pull away. And I make sure to put my signal on RIGHT THEN AND THERE for the turn that was 2 blocks up. Just in case.
They didn't sell beer or hard liquor at the bakery, which was probably a good thing. And the more I've thought about this little run-in with the law since it happened, the more outraged I've become. I can't see ANY circumstance that would be acceptable for him to pull someone over for THAT. I just can't. Can you? Seriously, please tell me. Because I sure as hell know it wasn't at 9 on a Saturday morning in my own damn neighborhood with no one around me. If he'd have given me a ticket, I would be fighting it. As it is, I will be writing a letter to the good ol' Mayberry Police Department. And the first thing I will tell them is:
You have a pleasant day.