I grew up in a situation where you were required to know the whereabouts of any police officer in the immediate area. By the time, I was 13, I could steal any car on the road. By the time I was 5, I could smell a cop from 15 miles away and could see one for at least a mile.
If you grow up in the right or wrong situation, you learn to keep track of them.
As I became a man, I followed the straight and true, but never entirely lost this old habit. I have had an unhealthy awareness of the cops all my life. I have done nothing wrong for many years, but just let a cop slip in behind me. I’m as nervous as a politician who looks in the mirror and sees a polygraph machine behind him, or a pig who suddenly becomes Jimmy Dean-aware.
This used to be easy, remember, when the citizens outnumbered the police?
OK, I’m kidding, there are only about 800,000 in the country, but it’s hard to keep track of all of them. Even the Army only has a little over 500, 000 soldiers to police the entire world. I’m certainly not picking on the police, just those who control them, the politicians and the insurance companies who pull the politicians' strings.
Be that as it may, you bet I get nervous when a cop gets behind me; after all, he has a gun, and I don’t.
The police are so thick in Miami Beach that when you read the newspaper, there is one standing behind you reading it, too. The citizens have circled the wagons and the police have them surrounded. If your wife passes gas, a bush to your left might give her a ticket; more than likely, they’ll give you one. Women are allowed to pass gas, but men are not allowed to be in their company when they do.
As if this isn’t bad enough, in Miami Beach you also have Tremont Towing and the reality show, "South Beach Tow." Add to the cops a group of enthusiastic wrecker drivers who are backed by the cops and being filmed taking every car they can get their hands on, and you are simply a little fishy in a big pond of fishes.
For some reason, others can park in the streets and totally block traffic while they eat a chicken sandwich or talk on the phone, I see it every day, but yours truly better not hesitate at a red light. I am beginning to think that Miami Beach has assigned me a personal officer and tow truck driver.
If you run in to get a fourteen dollar yogurt, which is another story altogether, it might cost you an additional two hundred and seventy five bucks. After all the wrecker driver, the owner of the company, the cameraman, the rest of the film crew, the television network and millions of Americans have a vested interest in your car getting towed. What chance does an average American have in such situations?
How about the show "Cops"? Millions of Americans are sitting on the edge of their recliners with a beer in one hand and a bag of Dorritos in the other, hoping some bad boy is going to do some stupid stuff. I know the guy who is running from the cops on the intro of the show. It’s his only claim to fame; he brags about it when he is drunk, which is all the time. Of course, he has no teeth because just after the part you see, he fell off of a concrete embankment and knocked them all out. It was too graphic for television. I don’t want to be the bad boy guy, and If I were, I wouldn’t be bragging about it.
So if you get pulled over, and the cop has a film crew with him, you are in trouble. All those Americans are sitting there hanging on your every move. They do stupid stuff on a regular basis, but for some reason, it’s funnier when you do it. There is nothing more entertaining than to sit and slurp a few beers and watch people do things more stupid than the things you do. You have little chance when half of the country is rooting for you to get out of the car dressed in a pink tutu and try to explain you were out to get diapers and bread.
Be careful where your wife passes gas, don’t park your car anywhere convenient, because anywhere convenient is illegal, and if you get pulled over by a film crew with a badge, understand you are about to do something incredibly stupid, there are just too many people rooting for and cheering you on. We Americans always seem to live up to others expectations, it’s what we do.