How To Fight The Law And Sound Stupid

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.


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