My collection of Police records.
Last month I had some harsh words about the police after getting a speeding ticket. But I’ve moved on from cop-hater to lovable source of family-friendly entertainment. Kind of like Ice Cube! Unlike Mr. Cube, whose songs chronicled the difficulties of being a teenager in South Central L.A., I was raised in tame suburbia.
I wasn’t into NWA, but The Police were once my favorite band. So I don’t have a gangsta rap sheet, but I do have a few police records. Let’s review, using criminally bad Police song puns, shall we?
Growing up in my upper-middle-class town, there were very few violent crimes, unless you count those committed against mailboxes. The most frequent violation issued was the infamous “10-9” ordinance penalizing minors for being in the presence of alcohol. A typical police encounter in my hometown went something like this: “How dare you dump my alcohol out? I’m almost 19! What is your badge number? I’m telling Daddy.” Thankfully I never got so much as a citation. I’ll admit there were times I was under the influence, but never under arrest.
Unfortunately, I was also rarely under the speed limit. All of my actual police records are for moving violations, beginning with a speed trap sting by the infamous Officer Larson. Officer Larson was the kind of super trooper who rehearsed in the mirror, accenting different words while slowly repeating, “Do you know why I pulled you over today, son?” I remember his performance well. You may remember Officer Larson from such episodes as “Zam Gets Ticketed Doing 71 in a 55 Zone” or “Zam Disappoints Parents With Higher Insurance” or even “Passenger’s Parents Pester Perp About Police in Perpetuity.” But my friend’s parents’ teasing is all in good fun, because nobody got hurt. Except Officer Larson, who has now been roasted in this irreverent article, read by millions! [Note: my editor’s last name is Millions. She’s the only one who reads these besides you.]
Driven To Tears
My second speeding ticket was in Woodbridge, Conn., which is known as “The Town Where I Got My Second Speeding Ticket.” I’m sure it’s a nice place, but that’s all I know about it. Just passing through and passing the speed limit, thanks. The officer on duty for this particular offense (56 in a 40 m.p.h. zone) was not quite as memorable, but the resulting court visit was. True story: the judge was more than an hour late, and after my case was processed, I returned to find an expired parking meter and a parking ticket on my windshield.
King of Pain
There were days when somebody else drove, naturally. On one such day I got kicked out of a pool for horseplay, which is not an unusual offense for a kid. The difference is that I was 17. And I was kicked out by the police. And it was a pool of plastic balls. And it was inside a Burger King.
The Other Day of Stopping
After that incident, I laid low for more than 20 years before getting a third ticket this year for traveling 16 miles an hour over the speed limit – the exact same number as my other tickets. Do my cars release some kind of radar pheromone at plus-16? Beginning the very next day, I was mailed several advertisements for legal services. When I say “several,” I mean “more letters than Harry Potter got at 4 Privet Drive inviting him to attend Hogwarts.” These attorneys offered to represent me in court while I stayed in the comfort of my own home. They also said they could get my case dismissed or reduced for a flat fee that was higher than the actual ticket cost. But they claimed that by preventing an insurance hike, their services would be worth it. I didn’t know any of these guys from Adam 12, though, so I ignored the letters in case it was a scam.
Eventually, I decided to use a lawyer, if only to avoid another parking ticket. I picked the most legitimate-looking guy in the pile, called the office, and with an easy online process, enlisted his services. It seemed legit, and I’m sure I have nothing to worry about. I just have to wait for an email confirmation of the results.
[Ding!] Ah, here it is now!
“Your Traffic Ticket Case has been settled as follows: SPEEDING reduced to 44 in a 35 zone.”
Sweet! That was easy! I wonder if this attorney handles plastic ball pool litigation.
 At least he got a cooler first name than his brothers, Kosmik and Rubix. (Actually, his real name is O’Shea Jackson. Irish Cube?)
 NorthWest Airlines still seems like a strange choice of names to me.