Going to the Fight

While trying to get to the arena, I got harrassed by a traffic cop. Never before have I been harangued in such a manner by an officer of the law. I’d wanted to park in the arena lot and there were cops directing traffic on the approach to the lots. I misinterpreted the hand signals of one of the cops and started to turn left instead of waiting. The cop yelled at me to stop. Realizing my mistake, I stopped immediately. He came sauntering up to my open window and let loose on me.

In a venomous voice he said “Did you know I could write you a citation, wait…” He stares at my registration sticker which is due to expire at the end of this month. “No, make that two citations right here and now? Not only did you disobey traffic signals given to you by a police officer but I see you also have an expired registration.”

I tried to apologize and state that I’d misinterpreted his signal but he continued talking right over me.

Gesturing for illlustration, he continues “When I give this hand signal it means you approach me and stop where I’ve pointed. You do not turn.” He goes on… In the meantime, since I have partially turned, he is holding up traffic that is coming from the other direction to continue his diatribe about obeying officers who are directing traffic.

Okay, I get it. I goofed. I’ve tried to apologize but the cop has more to say.

Then, “Have you renewed the registration on this car?” I answered affirmatively. “Do you have the new sticker? Where is it?” Again yes, and it’s at home. “Why haven’t you put it on the car? Why would you ride around with a sticker that’s expired?” And again he goes on…

It’s becoming clear to me that this guy’s problem is not about me or my simple transgression, but he’s taking it out on me. I’m starting to get pissed. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. The registration is NOT expired YET. I have another six days to swap the sticker. You’re holding me and whole bunch of other people up. Mel is sensing me get pissed and is talking, almost chanting, under her breath, “say nothing, say nothing”.

Finally, he realizes he’s holding up the works and walks away from the car. He beckons me back into the lane I was in, by curling his index finger. You know, like when you’re a kid that’s done something bad and your parent is beckoning you. Then, once I was allowed to turn, he starts screaming “go behind me”. So I stopped in the middle of my turn to look at him and realized he was yelling at the pedestrians who were crossing the street.

What an asshole.


  1. We had a similar, but less assholey, situation a week ago trying to park at a ball field. egads! It’s just traffic…chill out people!

  2. Is directing traffic a punishment for cops? I’ve had similar experiences with traffic cops myself. There is one guy in particular who directs traffic at lunchtime in front of the Wendy’s by my office. He is the world’s largest dickhead. He yells at everybody and I swear when he sees me coming he goes inside and leaves me stuck in the exit driveway until my food, which is 9 times out of 10 prepared wrong, is nice and cold. I know this guy makes at least $22 an hour to do this extra job. He needs to bite me.

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