Finally a happy ending.
After a quarter century of law enforcement, a quickie retirement party and a not so quickie divorce, there were a few things I wanted to do. Adventures, bucket list things.
One of those things involved riding my motorcycle all over the United States and spending the better part of a year in New Orleans. I loved New Orleans so much, that I wanted to get a big, giant fleur de lis tattoo on my back to commemorate the experience. The best tattoo artist in town was moving his "studio" days before I was preparing to return to the highlands. Thus and sadly, I have no tattoo. Instead, I poked holes in my ears. From those holes, I dangle many different styles of earrings and studs, many of which are fleur de lis designs.
Now you're not going to meet a lot of ex cops or ex police chiefs of the male variety wearing designer fleur de lis earrings. Law enforcement is just not a big target for the earring market. Let me let you in on one other little trade secret. Cops do not like men who wear earrings. Do not forget this lesson.
How I began to notice this phenomenon was quite by accident. Every time I got stopped, I got a ticket. I am very intelligent despite my outward appearance and thus I started to look for common denominators while receiving speeding tickets. The first thing I noticed was that in every incident, I was speeding. The second common denominator I noted was that I was wearing earrings each time. Cops tend to notice things like men wearing earrings and big boobs, items that tend to stick out and grab our attention. Law enforcement is still a macho profession dominated by conservative men and women. Policy manuals prevent uniformed men from wearing earrings. Thus it occurred to me, after collecting my third speeding ticket, that after I finished traffic school I would never ever allow another cop to view my earrings- up close and personal- while conducting a traffic stop.
It has never occurred to me to just quit speeding.
This morning, it happened. I got the opportunity to test my theory. There I was... blasting along...when one of those dreaded motorcycle cops bounced a radar beam off of me. I was driving at a speed that every self respecting cop on the planet has deemed an appropriate speed at which to write a ticket. I was 16 MPH over the posted speed. I was in deep shit. Being that I had just gotten off of work and the Sunday graveyard shift, I was sporting my crystal cross dangly earrings. I had both of them off and in my drink holder in the same amount of time that it takes a bullet to pass through a paper target.
The cop dismounted. The motorcycle cops here cut speeding motorists zero slack. If they get you, you are going to greet the court clerk cashiers. That's just how it is. That is how our conversation began. It ended without me getting a ticket. Trust me when I tell you this. That happy ending occurred due in large part to me hiding those earrings.
I remember how it was.