When I was a freshman in college, I got a job working at Landhope Farms in Thornbury. Landhope Farms is a small convenience store chain built around a dairy farm, mostly in Chester County, PA. If it still exists, that is. Anyway, I worked closing shift. Largely rural and residential at the time, there wasn't much open late at night, and the local cops congregated at the store for coffee and donuts. It's not just a cliche, folks.
So this one night a couple came in, and the woman was in some distress. They asked if we had a bathroom, and there was desperation in her eyes. We didn't have a public rest room, but I let her in the back to use the employee-only one. One of the cops came over to me to complain about letting this attractive young woman use our rest room. There's laws, after all.
"You should have told her to go out back behind the dumpster. Then we could have watched through the back door."
Heading to North Carolina's Outer Banks, we'd take Rt 13 down the peninsula and cross the Bay Bridge-Tunnel into Virginia Beach. This cut about an hour over the Rt 95 path. The Bay Bridge-Tunnel is an absurdly long bridge across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, with two dips where it drops under the water and tunnels below the sea-floor to allow large ships to pass in and out of the bay.
I pay the toll and head off down the road. About fifteen miles in on the bridge (it runs 23 miles), I see flashing lights behind me. I pull over at the first place I can and get my license and registration out. After a while, I see him come out and I open my window. He stands there, arms crossed.
"Howdy, son. You have any idea why I pulled you over?"
Now, I'm as much a slave to the speed limit as I am a slave to fashion, but on this bridge, the posted speed limit happens to be the correct speed to get seagulls catching the draft from your car and floating along, hovering next to your passenger side window. They don't have to even flap their wings until it's time to go. They just hitch a ride and when they reach their destination they flick their wings and drop out of sight.
"I don't think I was speeding, officer," I say, and I start telling him about the seagulls.
"Nope, you weren't speeding."
"Do I have a light out?"
"I don't know, then."
He looked stern. "You think maybe you forgot something? Back at the tollbooth?"
Had I forgotten to pay? Did I just blow through it without noticing? What was the penalty for zipping through a tollbooth without paying? I think I got a little pale, because he laughed and reached behind him... and pulled out... cash?
He counted $9 out of his wallet. "Here's your change, son. Y'all have a good day." I thanked him, and as he turned to leave, I heard him speaking into his radio. "Got him. Best traffic stop I've had all month."
How 'bout y'all? Any good cop / bad cop stories itching to be told?
(posted from Maryland House, just north of Baltimore. now, heading home.)