Friday, May 03, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: It's a conspiracy, ain'a? (The Great Ranking Of Problems.)

These are my fancy pajamas.

I'm pretty sure I got profiled yesterday.

But YOU be the judge.  I'll just tell you what happened, without any spin at all, elaborating only the facts of how some crazy liar cop who clearly had it in for me and/or had to make his quota for the day pulled me over and gave me a ticket for no reason at all whatsoever.

Here is what happened:

I'm on my way to a hearing yesterday morning in the city of Jefferson, which is cleverly located in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, because there is a shortage of names to apply to cities and places, which is how most places in Wisconsin ended up with unpronounceable names like "Oconomowoc" or "Butte des Mortes" which is French for (I'm pretty sure) "dead butts" and like "Fond du Lac," which seems like it would be really easy to pronounce  (FON DOO LACK) except that I was raised to say it "Fonja Lack," which is how I still pronounce it, because that is how it's pronounced, by everyone who was raised in my family, in which "ain'a" was a word, used like this:

Grampa: "It's pretty cold out there, ain'a?"

Grandkids: "Why is the meat gray?"

Gray meat and the use of clearly made-up words weren't the biggest problems with going to my grandparents' house when we were kids.  The BIGGEST problem was that there was nothing to do there, as my grandparents had, for toys and entertainment at their house, only the following:

1. A television, in the "den," where Uncle Doug was watching golf and where you had to hear about Ben Hogan or someone if you went in there.  

2. A giant "Baseball Dart" board which was made in the 1950s and so had actual sharp metal darts, which  we couldn't use after the one time we had dart fights and my cousin Joey got one stuck in his side.  

3. A pool table that leaned to the left and so all the shots went in the corner pocket.

and

4.  The book "Letters from Camp," which supposedly contained real (?),  hilarious (?) letters written by actual kids to their actual parents from actual camp.

I don't remember any of the actual letters in the book Letters from Camp, but I do remember the book cover.  It was this:



That is the book I read, every Christmas and Thanksgiving and other indoor-holidays.  We didn't read books or sit inside and watch golf on outdoor holidays like the Fourth of July, because on those days we were required to sit out in the backyard, where we could sit quietly at the picnic table, or we could go play basketball in the alley using the basketball that wasn't inflated enough to dribble to throw through the hoop that had no net.  We couldn't, after one year, use the croquet set to play croquet because one time we played "Alley Croquet," which is where you see how far you can hit the ball down the alley using the mallet, and it turns out that is a game you can play only once.

So it's lucky for me, I guess, that I was only headed to court in Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, because that will make it easier for me to spell on my massive, billion-dollar, civil lawsuit for violating my section 1983 rights.

(NOTE TO NONLAWYERS: "Section 1983" is a federal law that allows people to sue when their Constitutional rights have been violated.  It doesn't actually grant any OTHER rights than that.  But the best possible way to get yourself taken seriously in a "court of law", as we lawyers never say, is to make sure that you repeatedly mis-state the actual nature of your claim.  So rather than this:

JUDGE: So you want a billion dollars for what, now?

PERSON: AHEM. Your honor, the person of the first part, ipso facto, the defendant, violated the Constitutional rights of the person of the second part, res ipso loquitur the plaintiff, e.g, me, by denying said plaintiff the rights and liberties afforded to him, quid pro quo, me, by our fair Constitution,  namely Article I, Section 8,  Clause Four, Seats B-8 and B-9, in the lower grandstand.

JUDGE: Here is a check from the city.  Hope we spelled your name rights.

You probably want to go the better route:

JUDGE: Explain your case to me again?

PERSON: My rights were violated! By NASA, and probably Obama.

Anyway, where was I?  Wait, forgot to close the parentheses:

)

. Back to our story!  As I was saying, I was profiled when I was on my way to court, and here is what happened:

I was driving along this road.  I'm not sure what road it was, because I use GPS to get around, exclusively, and so I never know what roads I'm on or how to get somewhere.  Let's just say it was Jefferson Road, and as I was about a half-mile from the courthouse, I saw a cop car sitting on a side street, just sitting there, parked and empty.  


I noticed that because: COP CAR.  You notice things like that when you are a member of a group that is subject to blatant discrimination, like I am.  

I also noticed it because outside of the empty cop car was a cop, presumably the one who had vacated his empty cop car, and he was walking on the sidewalk, looking at me as he walked.

I noticed that, in turn, not just because COP AND COP CAR, but also he was really looking at me, like staring at me, intently, while leaning back a bit. 

About which I thought "What's his problem?" and drove on.

I drove on for nearly a half-mile, listening to the radio and thinking about my upcoming court hearing, and I drove across a long bridge over a river (I'm just guessing, but it was probably Jefferson River) and then I sat at a stoplight, and then I turned right, and I drove another quarter-mile down the road and then I pulled off to the side of the street to park.

AND THEN AND ONLY THEN did the cop turn on his lights and siren and pull me over.

I had not even known he was behind me.  I only realized he was behind me, now, when he pulled me over as I was pulling over to park my car.

Here is what I thought:

"What?"

So the cop comes up to my window and says "Can I see your license?" and I get it out of my wallet, wondering what kind of shakedown this is, and he said "Did you see me?"

"Yeah," I said.

"You were doing 39 in a 25," he said.

"No," I said.

He took my license and asked for my insurance card, which I could not find (I briefly tried to hand him my "Toys R Us" member card that I have, and which I dutifully present every time we go to "Toys R Us" to get Mr Bunches a toy, which is a lot, and I'm not sure why I do that because as far as I can tell, I get no discount or other benefit for doing it.  I just give them this card and they swipe it and the transaction proceeds uninterrupted.  I suppose it is possible that I'm racking up "Toys Points" or something and I might already be a billionaire, points-wise, like maybe I could get every Star Wars-themed toy ever made, or something, but I never remember to try to figure out what good my "Toys R Us" card is.  I do know, now, that a cop in Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, will not accept a "Toys R Us" card as proof of insurance.), and then he went back up to his car and then he came back and gave me a ticket, ten minutes later, during which time he was probably just back there napping, and I was reading some of the papers I had for Court and making some notes, which means, technically speaking that my client probably ought to pay this ticket for me.

(NOTE TO STATE BAR REGULATORS WHO ARE EVEN AS WE SPEAK GEARING UP TO PULL MY LICENSE OVER THAT LAST JOKE:  That was a joke.)

He gave me the ticket and asked if I had any questions and I said "Nope" because I didn't have any questions beyond "Why are you so clearly lying about whether I was speeding?" but that's a question I will save for the trial that is DEFINITELY GOING TO HAPPEN on this speeding ticket, Jefferson, and then I went into court and we argued a case for a couple of hours and I mostly won the arguments and then I left and went to my car, where I got everything in order and headed out of town, three hours after I'd originally been pulled over for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER.

And the cop, as I left town, was sitting in his car, on the corner of Jefferson Street and Jefferson Avenue, or whatever, and I saw that as I approached, so I quickly (but totally safely and in no way violating any traffic regulations) picked up my cell phone and thumbed the camera button and took this picture:




Which, actually, does not show the cop or the cop car because I mis-timed the photo.  Stupid camera.  But it gets the point across, I think, in that if it DID show the cop or the cop car I would totally have proven my point.

But what happened NEXT is really the clincher for my ultimate prevailing over the nefarious forces of Jeffersonville:  

The cop pulled out and followed me.

Totally true.  

He pulled out and followed me, staying more or less on my bumper for nearly 2 miles while I drove along, watching him and trying to get a photo of him following me, which is REALLY REALLY hard to do while you are driving in the rain and trying not to actually commit a traffic violation because you've already received a citation for one that day and even though you absolutely were not speeding it would wreck the story if you then did something illegal and got legitimately pulled over for it.

So I got this photo:



In which you can see my worried expression about having an Officer Jefferson after me, and also you can see Officer Jefferson's headlights in my rearview mirror.  (The tilted angle of the phone is not intended to heighten the sinister quality of this encounter.  I had to do it because that was the only way to get the angle I needed to show the car trailing me sinisterly.)

After I took that photo, Officer Jefferson then turned off the road, and again: I'm being totally serious about that.

But that is actually NOT the clincher because HERE is the clincher for real:  I was wearing a bright red shirt. A REALLY bright red shirt, and I never wear my suit coat in the car.  So when I FIRST drove by the cop, I assumed he noticed me because my shirt is seriously VERY VERY bright red.  It's the color of a bunch of angry red sentient neon fire engines that were just polished and are standing in a spotlight.

So that I think is what drew his attention to me in the first place, and why he was looking at me, although I'm not sure why that made him decide to pull me over and pretend that I'd been speeding, but it to me is clearly how he recognized me on the way out of town, because while a great many black SUVs might drive by him in a three-hour period, how many of those black SUVs have obvious damage to their car from where a deer jumped into it a few years ago?  And how many of those deer-damaged black SUVs are driven by a guy in a (let's be honest here) awesome red shirt?

ONLY ONE: Me, the victim of the greatest conspiracy ever to hit the human race.

(NOTE TO WOULD-BE LAWYERS: When you say "conspiracy" you instantaneously mark yourself as someone not to be taken seriously.  But that rule doesn't apply when there really is a conspiracy, only in your case, there is NOT.  There have only ever been two conspiracies in the whole world:  1. This one, in which the entire universe decides to keep claiming that I am speeding, and 2. The one where Ronald Reagan and the cute singer from the band "Heart" faked the moon landing to drive up the price of zinc.  Not many people know about that latter one.)

THIS is clearly a huge problem, people claiming that I am speeding when I am not, and as a victim of this great injustice, I intend to bring this to the attention of as many elected officials as I can find on Twitter, and also to fight this case at trial whenever my court date is, if I can find the ticket in my office where I left it.  AND WHEN I GO TO COURT I AM WEARING THAT RED SHIRT.  I will keep you posted.  

In the meantime, people claiming I am speeding when I am  not takes a high spot on the Great Ranking:


Prior entries on The Great Ranking Of Problems:

17. Cords.

20. Shower spiders.


21.  People claiming I am speeding when I am not.  (I was going to put it higher, but then I saw "shower spiders" and I remembered just how serious a problem that is, and I would rather get a fake, completely bogus speeding ticket every day of the week then die of a poisonous spider bite while I am shampooing my hair.)


72. The pen ran dry midway through my signature (legal documents)

76: 
Family members imposing their diets on me

99: Spousal PB&J Incompatibility.

100. Sweetie's advice to wear a sports bra while running.


103. Mail being delivered at the wrong time of the day.

115. Stinky Cheese Puffs. (Subject to change.)

173: Preshoveling & reshoveling snow.
...

212:
What to do about stuff I was going to buy but then it broke in the store and now I still want to buy the stuff but I don't want to buy something that was broken?
413: Guilt Over Meanness To Sentient Paperclips
. . .
502: Having to wait forever, seemingly, for Italian food to cool down. 
. . .

721: Printer not holding a lot of paper at once.
...2,624: Unidentifiable Mystery Song Stuck In Head.
...5,000: Lopsided Nail Clipping.
...7,399: Potato(E?)s?

. . .

8.766: Uncertainty over how long my magazine subscriptions last

13,334: The pen ran dry midway through my signature (signing stuff that doesn't really matter at all, so why am I signing it?)
14,452: Worrying that there's too much peanut brittle leftover to eat before it goes bad.
... 
15,451: Almost napping.
...
22,372: Having hair which isn't quite a definable color.
22,373: Having too many songs on an iPod

22,374: My iPod won't let me skip songs while running.

7 comments:

PT Dilloway, Grumpy Bulldog said...

Is he some kind of robot that he has radar eyes or something? I mean how could he gauge your speed standing outside of his car?

About 10 years ago I once got 2 speeding tickets about fifteen minutes apart. It was different cops but still there must have been a conspiracy at work there.

Rusty Webb said...

I'd you weren't a lawyer I'd say you we're hosed. I went to fight a ticket once (by 'fight' I mean, begged for forgiveness) and saw a guy really fighting his ticket. He had tons of photos and a nice suit and he called the cop a liar several times. But then I heard the words that made me realize there is no way to fight the man.

"I was pacing him."

Which I assume means 'I don't have any evidence to back this up, but I looked at my own speedometer and I was speeding, so he may have been.'

And the guy in the suit with all the pictures lost.

Rusty Webb said...

Er, it was the cop who said he was pacing the guy. Just in case that wasn't clear.

Elsie Amata said...

I just found you through a comment you left somewhere that I found fantastic.

This is a great post! I hope you can beat the ticket. Please kept us in the know.

Andrew Leon said...

I've been profile pulled over twice. Once was not long after I moved to CA, and I still had LA plates on my car. I was coming home from work (which was Toys R Us, by the way (worst place to work ever)), and it was late. After midnight. I got pulled over for having out-of-state plates. Seriously. He told me that's why he pulled me over. He allowed me to sit in my car for close to half an hour before he finally let me go without any other explanation. I didn't know, at the time, that that was totally illegal.

I have other, worse, stories, like the cop that used to come and stand outside my house (on the sidewalk so that he was on public property) and just stare in the window.

In other news:
My wife responded to your comment on my post; you should go check that out since she doesn't do that very often.

Also, when I talk about being accurate and such, I'm talking about in things that are being presented as being realistic. The deal with Gladiator is that they talked about how much work they put into it to make it "historically accurate" and all that crap and, then, take an actual emperor that was assassinated and put him in a gladiator fight. Don't talk to me about your accuracy if you're going to do something like that.

I don't have a problem with non-accuracy in things that are clearly fantastical in nature, but, when you are presenting realism, be realistic. Otherwise, it's just lying.

Briane P said...

PT:
That will be a key focus of my defense at trial. That and when I have the bailiffs bring in hundreds of letters to Santa Claus.

Rusty:
Einstein's theory of relativity tells us that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, unless first acted on by the Force. Or am I mixing that up? Whichever, it means I will win.

Elsie:

You must have me confused for someone else. I rarely leave comments on other blogs, and when I do, they are always short, and to the point, and never veer off track or say something ridiculously inaccurate. Like this one time that I was going to read Rusty's blog and leave a comment about how his pictures were really great, but then I thought maybe I should draw him a picture to show how much I appreciated his ability to draw pictures. So I went to find my art supplies, but I forgot that I don't have "art supplies" anymore, and in fact I never really did, unless you count the giant tupperware box of crayons and popsicle sticks that we have stored in an old coffee table that WOULD sit in the middle of our living room, but we can't put it there because Sweetie was worried that Mr F would jump into it.

"You KNOW he will," she told me so I agreed to put the coffee table in a corner, where it's useless for holding coffee, but how are you going to win a fight like that? What I know is the moment I insist that a coffee table go there and that the boys won't get hurt, one of the boys is going to get hurt, and then where am I? I'll tell you where I am: wondering what happened to the leftover pizza.

Where was I? Anyway, thanks for reading.

Briane P said...

Andrew:

Going to check out the comment now.

But I love your last line.