I Watch Too Much TV

On the way home from my best friend’s house tonight, I was planning out this post in my head. I was going to tell you how sad I am that she’s moving (which I am) and how I don’t know what I’m going to do without her (which I don’t) and how horrible and terrible the whole thing is (which it is). I was teary as I left her house and I was teary as I thought about all of the years we’ve been friends and I was teary at the thought of not getting to be there for Little L as she grows up. It was all very brooding and melancholy.

And then I got pulled over. Around the corner from my house. For a burned-out headlight that burned out today and it’s late and I haven’t been able to go to the store yet. And while I’m sitting there waiting for the officer to bring back my license, a song comes on the Christmas station and I recognize it as one that was used once in a Christmas play at church. It’s really a horrible song. We made fun of it the whole time we prepped for the play and we still make fun of it. And I have never in my life heard it on the radio. And I just had to laugh. And laugh and laugh.

I’ll save my melancholy for another day, mostly because I can’t even write about it without getting worked up all over again. Also, because I don’t have time before bed to really write it well. So instead I will ask if any of you watch The National Geographic Channel. If you do, you have probably seen the promos (or even watched) a certain show about law enforcement officers in my state. I actually find it a fascinating show but I can’t figure out if that’s just because I live here. It shows a great cross-section of the state and the producers do a really good job of highlighting the challenges officers face up here. And sometimes (more often than I’d like) you can see things happening in my hometown. (And it terrifies me to know what’s going on around here.)

I was watching the show last night and just shaking my head at what these poor officers were having to deal with. I have developed a newfound respect (and soft spot) for them because of the show. I often wonder if I’ll recognize anyone…ahem…featured on the show. This is a pretty small town and the show spends a good portion of time filming in this area. I’ve actually seen them filming just down the street from my house before. However, the only people I’ve ever recognized on the show are officers that I went to high school with (at last count there were three).

That was, until tonight, when instead of seeing someone I know in real life on the show, I was seeing someone from the show in real life. I’m a little embarrassed to say, I recognized the officer who pulled me over right away. In fact, he was on the episode I watched last night. Due in oart to things I’ve learned from the show, I was a good little citizen, immediately letting him know (before I took my hands off the wheel) that my license was in my back pocket and I was going to reach for it so he wouldn’t think I was trying to pull a gun. He thanked me for letting him know and said most people just reach without thinking. I also let him know right away that there were no firearms in the vehicle. It may seem like a foreign concept, depending on where you live, but those are very real concerns for officers here. Say what you want about law enforcement, but if I can make that guy feel more comfortable about me and not worry that I’m a threat, that he might not make it home tonight, I’m going to do it. Every single interaction these guys have with the public can turn on them in seconds. I don’t want to be the one he has to worry about.

I assured him I knew about the light, that it had just happened, and that I fully intended to get it fixed tomorrow. He let me off with a warning after he verified my license and checked my insurance card. He was kind enough not to even give me a fix-it ticket.

Now all I need is a new bulb.

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