Monday, February 21, 2005

Gather round, chilluns, Uncle Bill has a story to tell. Once upon a time there lived a man who wrote amazing stories. He rocked, and then he died. That sucked.

Here, for your reading pleasure, is my favourite piece of his work.

Vale, Hunter S. May the Force be with you.

Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him...and then we will start apologizing, begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do - when you're running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your trail - what you then want to do is accelerate. Never pull over with the first siren-howl. Mash it down and make the bastard chase you at speeds of 120 all the way to the next exit. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker-signal that says you're about to turn right. This is to let him know that you're looking for a proper place to pull off and talk...keep signalling and hope for an off-ramp, one of those uphill side-loops with a sign saying "Max Speed 25"...and the trick, at this point, is to suddenly leave the freeway and take him into the chute at no less than a hundred miles an hour.

He will lock his brakes at about the same time that you lock yours, but it will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180-degree turn at this speed...but you will be ready for it, braced for the Gs and the fast heel-toe work, and with any luck at all you will have come to a complete stop off the road at the top of the turn and be standing beside your automobile by the time he catches up. He will not be reasonable at first...but no matter. Let him calm down. He will want the first word. Let him have it. His brain will be in a turmoil: he may begin jabbering, or even pull his gun. Let him unwind; keep smiling. The idea is to show him that you were always in control while he lost control of everything.

It helps to have a police/press badge in your wallet when he calms down enough to ask you for your license. I had one of these - but I also had a can of Budweiser in my hand. Until that moment, I was unaware that I was holding it. I had felt totally on top of the situation...but when I looked down and saw that little red/silver evidence-bomb in my hand, I knew I was fucked... Speeding is one thing, but Drunk Driving is quite another. The cop seemed to grasp this - that I'd blown the whole performance by forgetting the beer can. His face relaxed, he actually smiled. And so did I. Because we both understood, in that moment, that my Thunder-Road moonshine-bomber act had been totally wasted: We had both scared the piss out of ourselves for nothing at all - because the fact of this beer can in my hand made my argument about "speeding" beside the point.


At 9:32 AM, Blogger Feisty said...

Yet Celine Dion lives. What is *wrong* with people?!

At 11:57 PM, Blogger a non-mouse said...

Where is that particular piece from exactly?


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