Most days I get from A to B in a Fairlane Ranchero. To the people of Riverdale's Ass, who's wake-up call is the opening chords of Mr. Jon Bon Jovi's cover of 'Keep on Rockin' in the Free World' tuned well above legal limits (my opinion), this is not news.
The Ranchero's devil-may-care attitude towards convention--it's striking refusal to be labeled neither car nor truck--has drawn me a lot of attention. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.
Yesterday morning, it was somewhere between good and bad. It was "The Man".
Roaring down the Queensway, The Ranchero (henceforth referred to as 'The Heart of Darkness', or any part thereof) was urging me to press its accelerator harder. The 'burbs is no place for a 302 small V8 engine. I would have obeyed, save the appearance of a copper pulling out of Licks Burger.
B- "I smell chicken. I smell pork. Run piggy, run piggy! I've got a fork. . .in the shape of Bruce Springsteen's Live album."
I nodded my head in time to the music, rolling past the cop not too fast, but also not too slow--just right.
He pulled in behind me and stayed close on my rear. I looked casually in my rear view-finder.
He was typing on his computer.
He was looking at me.
He was typing on his computer.
He was turning his lights on.
He was blasting his siren.
I, in my naivete, made eye contact with the cop, pointing at myself, then pointed at him, as if to say, "Me? Mais non! Me! Shit."
We pull over. The Darkness was frustrated; told me to run. Told me, "What about 'the stuff' you got behind the seat!!"
I told The Darkness adjustable vise-grips and two sleeves of Steam Whistle coasters were not enough to get me thrown in jail.
He was calling for backup.
I was trying to turn down my Springsteen, but the radio was locked in my glovebox. I was afraid that Officer A would suppose my awkward fumbling for the glovebox as an attempt to attempt to murder a cop. 'American Skin' was blaring--an eerie warning from the Boss to let the music stand.
The cop approached.
A- "license, insurance, and ownership."
I gave him my license, insurance, and the original bill of sale dated August 12th, 1969.
A- "What's this?" (referring to the bill of sale)
B- "It's the original bill of sale."
A- "I don't want that; I want the ownership."
B- "I figured that the bill of sale would prove that since it was bought, it was owned."
A- "Is this your name. 'Bradley David Goddard'?"
B- "Yes. Is there something wrong, officer?"
He hadn't told me why we were meeting yet.
A- "Yes. I ran this plate, and it is licensed to Mr. C (not his real name). Mr. C is a prohibited driver. If I find that you are Mr. C, I'm takin' you in."
B- "Mr. C owns the car. I am Mr. B, the driver. Mr. C is a prohibited driver because he's in a wheelchair and can't feel his feet."
A- "The computer doesn't mention that information."
B- "Well, take it from me then. I'm not surprised he's a prohibited driver; I wouldn't take a ride from him if he offered it."
A- "Stay here."
He left for his car, to run my license through his computer. Even if he hadn't suggested it, I would have likely stayed put anyway.
Officer A came back after a few minutes and told me that I could go. I thanked him for keeping our streets safe, slid my aviator glasses back on, and shoved The Heart of Darkness in Drive just in time to hear the Boss advise "Baby, we were born to run!"
I must just look guilty.
Like in "American Graffiti", where the cops hassle the kids with the hot cars just for kicks.
This exchange was reminiscent of a time not too long ago when two officers of the law stopped me on the street, at gunpoint, because my duck-like gait smacked a little too much like Al Qaida. But that's another story. . .
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