It's not always bad news when you see those flashing lights in your rearview.
This piece is based on a Quora Question. Link on the last page.
1. I was being transferred from Orlando to Chicago, by the military. Everything I owned was in my car. I stopped overnight in Atlanta (you can’t go ANYWHERE in the South without going thru Atlanta, apparently). In the morning, I got in my car and started on the next leg of my journey.
The next thing I knew, I was being pulled over, in heavy interstate traffic.
“Son, do you know how fast you were going?”
“Not a clue, officer; sorry. Was I speeding?”
“You were doing 72 mph during rush hour traffic, and driving like you were on rails. I followed you for five miles with my lights on, before I hit the sirens. Have you been drinking?”
“No, sir. I’m PCSing (Permanent Change of Station). I haven’t eaten or drank anything since Atlanta this morning.” and I showed him my orders. The officer shook his head.
“Do you know where you are, son?” I thought about it, realized I really didn’t, and shook my head.
“Here’s what we’re gonna do. You follow me. Don’t deviate from my route. Just stay on my bumper.” and he got back into his cruiser and led me, lights flashing, down the next ramp and into a motel parking lot. He walked around to my door and opened it. “Keys.”
I gave him the keys, and he disappeared into the office of the motel, returned a few minutes later with a room key. I was still behind the wheel, feeling a bit dazed.
“Son, you have what we call road hypnosis. This is Dayton, Ohio, and you’re a long way off-route. Your driver’s license and car keys are in the clerk’s office. You can have them back in the morning, when you turn in your room key. Do not move this car until then; I can see it from the Interstate. My shift ends in eight hours, and I don’t want you driving until I get home. Have a good trip, and thank you for your service.”
2. My wife and I had taken a four year old foster son who had just been placed with us to McDonald's for dinner. A policeman walked in and the 4 year old became visibly agitated and even said "I need to hide so the cops don't see me.”
Understand that to his biological parents seeing the police was a common but not usually a pleasant experience. (continued...)