Lately my car has been making some unusual noise. It got worse yesterday, so I dropped it off at the mechanic and rode into work with my father. We took 128 North, then cut onto Commerce Way.
Somehow we ended up behind a police cruiser. Normally, that’s not an issue because they speed. This morning, we ended up behind that rare police officer that doesn’t. In fact, according to our speedometer, he was below the speed limit (by an MPH or two). We normally end up in the left lane because one has to turn left into Raytheon anyway.
With that setup, you can understand why my father changed into the left lane, and increased his speed to the blazing 40 MPH that was allowed on the street. As the cruiser was going slightly less, we ended up passing him… very… slowly. When I saw the cruiser then change lanes behind us into the left lane, I knew something was up. Either he was about to turn left, or he was going to pull us over.
Being the rational person he was, he turned on his lights and pulled over my 70 year old father. The cop strutted over and after the usual “license and registration” spiel, asked my father if he knew why he was pulled over. Good old Dad must have figured that Because I passed you, therefore drawing your masculinity into question wasn’t the right answer, so he went with I have no idea. You were speeding, said the police officer, I clocked you and got you with the radar gun.
I’m sure you’re dying to know what dangerous speed we were traveling. 43. The speed limit was exceeded by 3 MPH (if we are to believe that the cops speedometer was that much more accurate than the one in the Celica). Can anyone say waste of tax payer money? Naturally dad responded by saying My speedometer read 40 MPH exactly. This is when the real cop’s real motivation was revealed. I was going the speed limit. It’s common sense that you don’t pass a cruiser.
Hold up. He was lecturing us about passing him. Exactly what law prohibits the passing of police cruisers? My father argued that his speedometer indicated 40 MPH, so it was well within his legal bounds to pass. The cop then suggested that my father decided to pass because he “had somewhere to go and couldn’t wait.” He marched back to his cruiser and proceeded to make us wait an excessive amount of time. Keep in mind that I can see the Raytheon building and walk to it in probably a minute or two. The cop had the balls to suggest that my dad callously ignored the law to get somewhere faster. The problem here is, of course, our speedometer indicated that we were not speeding.
I was closing my eyes, trying to take a nap when the officer returned. He then lectured my 70 year old father about speeding. He layed out in careful detail that Massachusetts had a mandatory $100 speeding ticket along with insurance sucharges that could get rather expensive. My dad isn’t a teenager. He knows all the details and didn’t think he was speeding. The cop then said “It’s not that you were speeding all that much.” No fucking shit, genius. He continued, “It’s common sense that you don’t pass a police cruiser when it’s going the speed limit.” Hello! Is anybody in there? We didn’t think he was going the speed limit.
After all that, he gave us a warning. The reason for that is abundantly clear. He knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on. A quick visit to the local courthouse and the court magistrate to fight the ticket would have ended in its immediate dismissal. He knew the ticket would have been completely bogus. It was completely fueled by some immature, macho, testosterone-driven response to being passed. He wanted to stick his chest out, beat it a little bit, and show my father who was the boss. Color me unimpressed, jackass.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against cops as a rule. My brother was one this summer in Cape Cod and will likely go on to be one permanently once he graduates. I’m quite proud of him. I sincerely hope this isn’t indicative of the entire Woburn police force. I want to believe this is the only idiot on their staff.