Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills
I’m tooling up I-81 in New York, going from Binghamton to Schenectady. Moderate traffic, speed limit 70, but as the old saying goes, I keep pace with traffic….which is closer to 80. My rule has always been to hang in the right lane, change only to get by trucks and old granddads in their Ford wagons. Several cars buzz by me on the left.
Then suddenly a trooper comes up behind, turns on his lights. My first act is to look down, yep, 77. I pull over, and while Sgt Do-Right calls my tags in, straightens his gig line and puts on his Mounties hat, I rummage through the glove box for my papers.
Sarge walks up, bends down and peers in, and I roll down the window. The first words out of my mouth are, “What was wrong with all those other guys?”, nodding to all the Millennium Falcons jumping into hyper-space.
“You were driving 78 in a 70 mph speed zone, sir.”
Oh, well. A Georgia cop would have smiled, and said, “This just ain’tchore lucky day, is it.”
Which would have been true enough when you stop and think about it. The Chinese would have said “Bad joss.” Or “The stars are not with you today.”
Fatalism, sheer chance, probably provides more answers than we want to admit, but still, we have to come up with a causation as to why Sgt Do-Right selected my car out of at least two dozen equally guilty speeders.
Was it the color of my car? Black? Or was it the color of my skin? (These days white skin offends almost as much as every black man who was ever pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike will swear to.) More likely it was the color of my license plate, Virginia-white instead of New York gold[…]