Engineer, Mathematician, Musician, Father

The “Following Too Close” Pretense

So I got pulled over last night. There I was sitting in a lane going around 63 in a 65 mph zone. There was nobody in front of me and hadn’t been for over a mile. I tapped my breaks a bit to make room as two large semi’s got on the highway. About a mile later, a trooper pulled up along side me, then quickly applied his breaks, jumped behind me, and put on his lights and siren. I carefully pulled over across two lanes to the side of the road.

He approached the car from the right side and asked that I get out of the car. I complied and we chatted for a bit. He asked where I was from. Well, Northern California and Humboldt and Mendocino counties tend to bring up the pot conversation. He asked if I had any on me and I said no. I indicated that I got rid of all my stuff when I moved to Texas because the laws out here are so severe. He raised an eyebrow at that and asked if I had anything in my car. I indicated that I did not. (and through body language tried to imply that I would have been fine if he wanted to waste his and my time searching my car – motioned towards the car, etc.). He asked if I had done anything else since I had clearly smoked pot. I gave him the “heck no” narrative. I was being truly honest here. That is how I feel. (My friends in Abilene told me afterwards that I was crazy to be so honest and I should have been short on details as Parker County troopers are known for harassing people.)

He abruptly changed the subject. He said I was following too close. I indicated my confusion since I had had a truck cut me off and he rambled on about the “possibility of horses, deer, or cattle prompting a sudden stop by the truck in front of me which would produce an accident that was my fault for following too close”. Where I was going, why I was driving instead of flying. Then he asked me to stand at the passenger window of his car while he wrote up my warning. While typing it up, he said “I don’t think Obama is going to legalize it.” I said “huh?” and he said “marijauna”. I just agreed with him on the subject.

Give me a break. This guy clearly saw my Obama sticker and wanted to harass me. He was suspicious of a car willing to have an Obama sticker on it. For the record, I put the sticker on when I lived in Northern California and then I moved to Texas. I have considered removing it before as it does lead to people out here harassing me a bit.

UPDATE: I originally set this post as a draft as I was living in Texas at the time. Since I no longer live there and am SO much happier, I am setting it back to posted. About 18 months after I wrote this post, I was side-swiped by an inexperienced 18 year old driver. I stopped to see if she was ok and to call the cops since she drove off in her car even though two wheels had been completely shredded. The cop ignored me, spent 10 minutes consoling the 18 year old woman, and then gave me a ticket for unsafe lane change. After that, I removed my Obama sticker. I had grown accustomed to cops following me for 2-3 miles through town whenever I had gone out in the evening. After I removed the sticker, they stopped. I am so glad to be out of that town full of so much hatred and religious nonsense.