Sunday, November 29, 2009
Bad Cop Karma
Driving home through downtown Olathe I drove right by a motorcycle cop who had just finished writing up a car for speeding. He watched me drive by, hopped on his bike, pulled up behind me and turned on his lights. I was a bit nonplussed as I had been driving at what I considered to be a perfectly reasonable speed. Jim informed me however, that the speed limit on that particular stretch of road is 25, which is about the maximum speed achieved by geriatrics with walkers, and I had apparently been doing slightly more than that.
I need to pause here to explain that I have extremely good cop karma. I am rarely pulled over by cops and when I am, I am invariably allowed to go with just a warning. I believe this is because I view law enforcement as a force for good in the world, always out there to protect me and my fellow citizens from evil-doing minions, and they reward me in kind by allowing me leeway in minor transgressions like trifling traffic violations. It’s one big cosmic love fest.
A few months back I was driving on some of the country roads behind our house and I sort of ran a stop sign. A cop pulled me over and I explained that I hadn’t even seen it (as it turns out, it was brand new and lots of people were running it, hence the cop stationed out there). I apologized and we had a nice little chat, wherein the cop confessed that he even ran it now and then. By the end of it, we were great pals and he let me go without a ticket. That’s good cop karma.
Jim, on the other hand, has bad cop karma. He believes cops exist for the pure purpose of bullying law-abiding citizens, tazering kittens and fulfilling ticket quotas. And his expectations are generally fulfilled. And on this particular day, because he was in the car with me, his bad cop karma neutralized, nay, completely obliterated my good cop karma, and Officer Borkowsky of the Olathe Police Department gave me a ticket for $116 for doing 37 in a 25 zone.
My kids sat stock still in the back of the van while all of this was going on. They were beyond fascinated. In the past when we had passed cars that had been pulled over, I had explained to my children that the police were giving the adults a “time out” and this seemed to satisfy them. Being one who always sought a silver lining, I began to wonder if I could somehow turn this into 46 minutes of alone time for myself once we got home (the answer, sadly, is no).
Jim thinks I should contest the ticket. He says that if the officer doesn’t show up (and they rarely do) they drop the charges and it won’t go on my record (and he speaks as if he has experience in these matters). But I’m dubious. To contest the charges implies that I would have some sort of defense. Which would be what? That, really, I was only doing 36. That I respect law enforcement and generally have good cop karma. That Office Borkowsky is a big meanie and sucks monster rocks.
My court date is not for a while yet so I’m just going to file the ticket away for now until I decide what to do. In the mean time, I have suggested to Jim that we drive separate cars just, you know, as a safety precaution against any terrible accident befalling the two of us that might render our children wards of the state. He is dubious.