Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, January 14, 2019


I have not been stopped by a police officer for 40 years, and now it has happened twice in 3 months.

Even though I was too puny and feeble to go to church yesterday, today is cleaning lady day at our house, which means an “errands and coffee” day for me. I took a bunch of donations to Opportunity House, then went to The Pour House for coffee and a blueberry bagel. As usual I asked for “only a smidgen of butter.” As usual they gave me enough to sculpt a cow at the county fair.

Then I went to the mall to walk, even though it is a sunny day, when I would normally walk outside, but it was 20 degrees, which in Bloomington, unlike Iron Mountain, is considered cold. As I went east on 2nd St, I passed a police car that had a pickup truck pulled over. Many blocks later, as I approached High Street, here came the police car, lights blazing and twirling. I knew I had done nothing wrong—at least not in driving—so I tried to pull over to let him pass to go get the bad people.

But the 2nd and High intersection was designed for buggies and has not been changed since then, and the best I could do was pull up onto the curb. Well, then the car with the twirling lights stopped behind me. So it was I he was after all along! But I had dong nothing wrong!

I prepared my defense as I sat there. And sat there. And sat there some more. You’re not supposed to get out of your car when stopped by a cop. But I was worried. Maybe he was having a heart attack. I was just getting out to go give him CPA, when he walked up.

A very pleasant young man. “I won’t lie to you,” he said. “I forgot my lights were on.”

“I pulled over behind you because you drove up on the curb. I wondered why you did that. I thought maybe you were having a heart attack and maybe I should give you CPE.”

“Alright,” I said, “but the next time you stop me you have to let me go, because you owe me one.”

He looked a bit perplexed but said, “Okay.”

Twice in 3 months now, after 40 years of minding my own business!

The other time was in October and we were hurrying to the hospital because our Brown County friend, “Mississippi Bob” Butts had been taken to the hospital. [Mississippi is not usually part of his appellation, but I put that in for Jimmy Moore or Robert Sharp or some other misplaced person.] His wife, Kathy, was stuck in October Brown County traffic, and poor Bob was languishing in lonely isolation at the hospital. [Actually he was chatting up the nurses and eating snacks, but we didn’t know that. Yes, we should have assumed it, but that’s a different story.]

We needed to get to the hospital right away. But I wasn’t stopped for speeding. No. It was profiling. The officer looked at me and said, “That guy is much too old to drive.” But he had to let me go. Not even a warning. Because my license was in order. Besides, those people on the sidewalk weren’t scared that bad!

John Robert McFarland

No, I’m not writing again, but every once in a while a story just must be told. Maybe by CPB. Or CPU.

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