Cop Stories

With all of the holiday driving coming up, conversations at my current client site naturally turned toward cop stories. This reminded me of two stories from nearly two decades ago, so I thought I would write them down.

Cop Story #1

I worked with a really strange consultant who told me this story. His sister was driving on 294 one morning only to find herself selected for driving instruction. I never met this woman, but if she looked anything like him she was as ugly as a three car wreck. She got all flustered and hyper when the cop came up to talk with her. In a high speed conversation which nearly had to be played back in slow motion to be understood she began trying to talk her way out of a ticket. (The Olympic committee really should add this as a sport.) One of the things she tried in her high speed flustered manner was asking “Can’t I just buy some tickets to the ball?” Without thinking the officer said “The State Police don’t have any balls mam.” The he stopped. The red line starting at the base of his neck going upward and the tips of his ears going downward. Just before it got to his nose he threw back her license and screamed “Get out of here! I can’t have you telling that to a judge!”

Cop Story #2

Some years before cop story number one occurred I was working at a VAR which had an eclectic bunch of clients. We will call one of the people at a particular client site Edith to protect the innocent. In many ways, if you think of Edith Bunker, you would get some sense of this lady. A heart as big as all outdoors, but her mind was generally not firing on all cylinders. This particular client was close to a ball park, so many of the senior employees would take off early to watch a baseball game, then come back to finish their work in the evening. As it happened, Edit did this very thing one day. In a hurry to get back to work she scooted through a yellow light right in front of a police officer.

Needless to say, the officer pulled her over and instructed her on what she had done. Then he told her the ticket was going to cost her $50 or some such amount. Given she was on her way back from a ball game she didn’t have $50, but spied a cash station half a block up. The officer followed her to the cash station where she withdrew the money, then handed it to him. The officer turned and began walking back to his squad. (Keep in mind, she hadn’t seen a ticket at this point.) Edith was a diligent person, so she asked for a receipt. (As I said, brain not generally firing on all cylinders.) The cop was dumb founded. They exchanged words for a little while, then he stormed off to his squad and came back with a ticket for her and handed her back her money.

Well, Edith wasn’t about to mail in the fine since her company would giver her time off to go to court, so when the court date arrived that is exactly what she did. Early on the docket, she is called before the judge where the officer tells the story of her running a yellow light, him puller her over, and stops it right there. Edith relates the rest of the story in all earnestness and to many guffaws from the people in the courtroom. The district attorney thought he was being bamboozled and asked for credence. Edith produced the cash station receipt for exactly $50 (this was long before you could only get increments of $20) After the judge and the district attorney both looked at the date and time on the receipt and the exact amount the judge admonished Edith to “Never give money to a police officer”. Without even the slightest hesitation Edith responded “I didn’t, that’s why I’m here.”

Yes, the courtroom erupted in laughter. Many people were suddenly happy they had a ticket which made them come to court that day as odd as it may sound. The judge told her to drive carefully, avoid yellow lights, and have a nice day. Edith turned to walk out when the judge looked at the officer and boomed over all of the laughter “I want to see YOU in my chambers right now!”

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.