I got pulled over last night. I was literally about twenty feet from my driveway when the lights started flashing behind me. I couldn’t imagine why I was being pulled over. I wasn’t driving fast, I had stopped at the stop sign. So, I rolled down my window and waited. After a minute or two, a twelve-year-old boy in a police uniform came to my window. He told me that none of my rear lights were on. Then, he asked me where I lived. I pointed across the street. He apologized, but still asked for my license and registration. While he was back at his car with my license and registration, I checked, the lights were turned on. I knew I had a problem. Then he came back to my car, returned my license and registration, said it was just a warning, gave me a card saying if I felt I had been mistreated to call the number, and let me go. I turned left into my driveway and that was that.
It was the first time in a long time that I’d been pulled over. And it was the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had with a cop. I used to get pulled over all the time. For a while I worked in a bar, and a few times a week a cop would see me leaving the bar at 1:00 in the morning and pull me over. They were trying to catch drunk drivers, which is funny because I’ve literally never had a drink in my life, but they always gave me a hard time. I’d tell them I was leaving work and going home, and it was like they didn’t believe me. I’d have to sit there for half an hour or more while they asked me questions. I always chalked it up to cops being bored in the suburbs. But it really shaped the way I view and react to cops. I don’t know if it was the earlier hour or the fact that I’m middle aged or what, but this time was totally different.
So, I got to spend most of the day at the auto-mechanic. It turned out that the wires going to the back of the car were broken. I asked how that could have happened and he said it’s an old car and it happens from opening and closing the trunk all the time. It cost me a few hundred bucks, but it’s fixed. I know this whole story reeks of privilege, but I find myself in the odd position of being happy I got pulled over. Who knows how long I would have been driving around without lights otherwise.