How To Fight The Law And Sound Stupid

by Josh Hanagarne on July 6, 2010

On the way to our holiday destination this weekend, we were stopped by a young police officer outside of Moab, Utah.

He had pulled someone else over and had his lights on. There is a new law that says when an emergency vehicle is on the shoulder, you must move over to the opposite lane. Janette was driving and decided to ignore this law. She would be more at home in the Mad Max films, where her defiance for authority would serve her better and roads are mere abstractions.

After pulling us over, the officer came to my window and told us about the new law. Then he said, “Has anyone been drinking tonight? I ask because I keep getting whiffs of it.”

Janette hadn’t been drinking. Max’s sippy cup was full of milk. I had eaten about two pounds of toffee-covered peanuts, but no alcohol. So I laughed, said no, and then, inexplicably, heard myself say:

“I haven’t had a drink in 25 years.” Internally, I wondered what in the world I was talking about. I’m only 32. 25 years, huh? I experienced an out-of-body-type feeling similar to the day I met Bruce Campbell.

I could feel Janette looking at me. Her eyes said…Seriously? This is what you came up with?

I don’t drink. That wasn’t the issue. But again, I’m turning 33 this December. To hear me tell it, I gave up drinking way back at the ripe old age of seven. It just slipped out. I pride myself on being a good communicator and in choosing my words carefully. Once in a while, something so bizarre pops out of my mouth that I wonder if I might be sporadically possessed by an inept spirit in a dunce cap.

Oh well, he didn’t check my license and my answer seemed to satisfy him.

Josh

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

cinderkeys July 6, 2010 at 1:56 am

When stuff doesn’t make sense, people often find ways to make it make sense. The officer might have thought you were joking or exaggerating on purpose.

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Kris Wragg July 6, 2010 at 4:20 am

Unlike you, I fought the law and the law won! :(

Granted I was 16 and I was a REALLY cool goth / punk kid with giant spikes for hair and was rebelling against the world by wearing a tshirt with rather offensive wording on it.

Plodding through the city centre I got grabbed by some men of the law and thrown into a police car and taken to the local police station whereby I was rather adamant that I had done nothing wrong and just expressing my freedom of speech…

I spent a few hours in a cell and eventually ended up with a caution.

Lesson learnt and I didn’t do that again :) It’s amazing what things you think are really cool when you are a teenager!

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cinderkeys July 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

The shirt may have been offensive, but you weren’t wrong about freedom of speech. That sort of thing should provoke informal social sanctions — disapproval from friends and the people around you — not police interference.

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Eric | Eden Journal July 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

Glad to see you kicked the habbit at seven years old. :)

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Boris Bachmann July 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

That’s an awesome answer and I will use it – I can think of many contexts when an answer like it will be quite entertaining.

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Gina July 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

That is too funny! I usually have the same math problem. I guess I’m not good a t subtracting quickly and I come up with random years – like I’ve been driving for 35 years – wrong. I’ve had kids in high school for 10 year. Wrong! When I was in college 20 years ago – wrong! It’s the numbers that get me!

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