I have an irrational fear of the police. I will sometimes change my route to my destination to avoid driving along a police officer. I never want to pass them or even stay in their range of vision for too long. I haven't done anything, but it seems like they could always find something wrong if they wanted to. So I considered turning off my normal route home when I'd noticed the police car driving behind me, but in the end decided my fear was in fact irrational and the shortest route home was the best.
Of course that's when the lights started flashing.
I don't know about you, but when I get pulled over I feel like I'm doing everything wrong. Did I pull over too close to that stop sign? Should I leave my seatbelt on to prove I was wearing it, or should I take it off so I can rummage about and find my registration, insurance etc? Should I say Sir or does that seem sycophantic? Should I see if I'm capable of crying without a decade or so of experience?
I noticed this was not typical when another cop pulled up along side me. And when the officer behind me approached with his gun in hand. Strangely they didn't ask me for my license THE ENTIRE TIME. That's weird. They did ask me to put my hands behind my back and then to sit on the curb. I asked questions periodically, out of interest, concern, and to show that my conscience was clear enough to ask questions about their procedures and whatnot. They didn't seem to like that much so I stopped.
They told me that my car was reported stolen. I asked who had reported it stolen, as I hadn't. They couldn't/wouldn't tell me that.
After asking if I stole the car they asked how much I'd been drinking. That seemed rude to me. At least me IF I'd been drinking. They then asked me where I was driving from, and the answer was Mill Street, which admittedly, where a lot of people drink. In fact that was their next question, what was I doing on Mill, if not drinking. My answer, getting ice cream. Is there a more fake sounding answer then getting ice cream? It's the kind of thing you'd tell Officer Krupke to be a wiseacre. They then asked which ice cream parlor enjoyed my patronage, which seemed entirely impertinent. Of course I couldn't remember the name of the place (who names their ice cream store Slickables?) which I'm sure sounded suspicious.
Also suspicious, the fact that I had to ask a couple times if I could get my pager and cell phone out of the car because I was the doctor on call. They gave me the pager but not the cell phone. Helpful.
Also suspicious, the fact that they couldn't find my registration. I'm 95% sure it's in the car, but they wouldn't let me look, I had to sit on the curb. Getting paged and not being able to answer it.
Also suspicious, I had gotten a parking ticket about 15 minutes before, and it was sitting on the front seat. It's remotely possible that had something to do with getting "caught" at least by karmic coincidence.
Eventually they determined by some means that my car wasn't stolen, my license plate was. Someone had put their license plate (or more accurately the license plate of a car they stole) on my car. The police wanted to know when's the last time I had my license plate. I don't know, when I got it? Who remembers their license plate number, or checks to make sure it stays the same?
Then they let me go. They told me to go buy a new license plate. I wanted to know if I needed some paperwork or something, both to get a new plate and to explain why I now had no plate, but they said I probably didn't. Probably. Then the 4 patrol cars drove off.
Arizona, you've taken my bike and my license plate. You must want me to be a pedestrian.