August 07, 2004
stopped by the cops
Recondo and I have been good boys on this trip. Well... we violated the speed limit a few times (the Snake demands to EAT), but we've had no alcohol in the car and sped like crazy ONLY when we had a straight road and nobody else around us. You get a lot of that in Montana.
For a long time, Montana had no speed limits. Montana has them now, but they are not necessary. We concluded after driving these VERY INTERESTING ROADS that the guy who makes the speed limit signs also runs a funeral parlor. He's generating business by telling you it's okay to go 75 when 65 is PLENTY fast enough.
We got behind an eighteen-wheel truck today and Recondo eased out to pass him. It was a straight stretch of road and 80 MPH seemed quite reasonable there. But Rick changed his mind and eased back behind the truck, which was doing 70 MPH. "That looks like a town up ahead," Rick said. "We'll pass him on the other side."
30 seconds later, we cruised by a State Patrol officer on the side of the road with his radar gun hanging out the window. We were still behind the truck, doing the speed limit. "Bejus!" Recondo said. "Sometimes the lord works in mysterious ways. I never saw that sumbitch. If I'd have passed that truck, he would have nailed me dead."
I agreed that it was an act of divine intervention until I looked in the side view mirror and saw the patrolman burning rubber in a U-turn to pursue us. "Rick, he's got a bug up his ass about something," I said. "I think he's coming after us."
About that time the blue lights came on and Recondo pulled over on the side of the road. He rolled down the window and removed his driver's license from his wallet as the patrolman approached the 'stang.' "How ya doing, officer?" Recondo asked. "What did I do wrong?"
The officer took Rick's license, glanced at it with a chagrined expression on his face and said, "Nothing, really. I saw that you didn't have a front license plate on the car and in Montana you have to have a plate on both ends. Then I saw your rear plate and I thought it was college booster thing. (Rick has a RANGER tag on the front of the Snake and a South Carolina Purple Heart "Wounded in Combat" plate on the back.) I didn't realize that you guys were foreigners."
"I ain't a foreigner!" Recondo exclaimed. "I'm from South Carolina!"
"I see that now, but those plates are foreign to Montana." The officer then proceeded to bullshit with us about how both his son and daughter went through Basic Training in South Carolina when they were in the army.
"Fort Jackson," Recondo said.
"Yeah, I think that was it," replied the patrolman. He handed Rick's license back. "Sorry to trouble you. Have a nice trip and enjoy Montana."
We pulled back out on the road, but Recondo drove a lot slower than he had been doing before. "I KNEW I didn't do anything wrong," he said. "But it ALWAYS scares the shit out of me when I get pulled over by the cops."
I think a lot of people have the same reaction.
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