Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spicewood, TX: Officer #2

Miles since last blog: 22.2
Miles Total: 2338.9


I think by now if you have read my blog or met me it is fair to say that I am a fairly good person who is hard to upset. Most of the time I don't even view what others would call problems as problems, more just, things that happened. But one of the points I will be attempting to make tonight is that even I sometimes still get peeved if the circumstances are right and you hit one of my few 'hot buttons.'

Originally I was going to try to be very delicate about this, because I didn't want to embarrass anyone, but the right circumstances are present: I'm tired, I'm cranky and the only hot button I can think of was pressed. I blame this, in part, on my new reflective vest from REI, which surely keeps me slightly safer, but would be covered up by my sign, hence, I wasn't wearing it tonight which probably would have made this slightly less likely to have happened. Now I've gone and built it up when really it's nothing. There, I've taken care of it scaling it back down now.

I am walking at night now at times, largely to conserve water saving myself from dehydration and sunburn to boot. As is typical of night walking, I was stopped by a police officer, this is normal and doesn't bother me in the slightest, he ran my ID which happens about half the time and we talked for a minute before we were on our way. Fine and dandy.

Then a few miles up the road I was stopped again, by his partner, who had heard the story and knew "something wasn't right." He was accompanied by the first officer, back up I guess. What ultimately pressed that hot button that I was talking about was this, he asked me to search my carrier. I generally think that this is a bad practice on an officers part because it puts innocent people in the position where they have to be troubled with no cause (remember I had already been checked and found to have no record, not even a speeding ticket) or they seem suspicious for refusing. I had already been checked once and explained that I was walking at night for the reasons I've already stated. My hot button is abuse of authority, and while this is a minor abuse, the manor with which it was done and unapologetically hassling me for a second time when I was already tired gnawed at me long after #2 left. I should note that this is only the second time in over 2300 miles anyone has asked to search my carrier, and the only time someone has come back after my ID was run and came back clean.

But none of this was really my point, I'll get to that in a minute but first let's go for a bit of logic and lay down some foundations. He thought I was up to no good. Let's examine the detective work used here:

1 - I have no record and I'm 30 years old, which means, assuming I was a criminal, I've been smart or lucky.

2 - Since walking is not illegal and he searched me (which I submitted to despite the ethical and litigious reasons not to and due to practicality), which meant he thought that my suspected crime involved transporting something illegal.

3 - Walking, at night, in reflective gear, is hardly what you would call inconspicuous behavior which coupled with part one, means I would not be smart, just lucky.

4 - I have a worn banner that says 'Walk Across America' on the front of my carrier, which would mean that my cover story would have been both idiotic and well planned with supporting props, not incredibly likely I feel.

And so you have it, I would have to be a well planned idiot who allegedly was transporting a dead body, drugs, a bomb, weapons or kidnapped victim through the middle of nowhere in a stroller. Which apparently was much more likely than someone walking across the country for charity and traveling at night to stay out of the heat. I know that neither is common, I know that my life leads me to the best of most people and #2's job probably often leads him to the worst of people, but my point is this. If you think that someone, wearing in a banner for a made up charity and walk as a cover to transport something illegal through the desert by walking it in a stroller is more likely than walking at night to stay out of the heat, maybe it's time to switch jobs, or at least change your life so that you are around good people more. There are plenty of good people out there.

Incidentally, if you think that criminals would be dumb enough to try something like this, perhaps you should donate to my charity. It is for education.


Anonymous said...

I wonder where your 2nd cousin, Steve Potts, the Texas State Trooper is these days?

Coach J said...

The situation sucks, but your description made me giggle. I'm laughing with your irritation, not at it. ;)